We have reserved the famous Maryhill private road for an amateur hill climb organized by the Northwest Hillclimb Association.
The Maryhill Loops Road was an experimental road, built by Good Roads promoter Samuel Hill with the help of engineer and landscape architect Samuel C. Lancaster. Maryhill Loops Road climbs the Columbia Hills from the Columbia River and built in 1911 is the first asphalt road in the state. After the Governor of Oregon and members of the legislature visited Maryhill to see Sam Hill’s experimental road, that paved the way for construction of the Columbia River Highway, which Hill envisioned as “…a great highway so that the world can realize the magnificence and grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge.” When it was completed in 1916, the highway was described as an engineering masterpiece; today it continues to delight travelers as it snakes along cliffs and waterfalls on the south edge of the Columbia River Gorge. Samuel Hill was also instrumental in the construction of the Pacific Highway (Highway 99, the main north-south route through Oregon and Washington), Highway 101 along the coast, and a road to Crater Lake.
The road is now owned by the Maryhill Museum of Art and closed to public motor vehicle traffic but will be open to participants of 2018 Mini Meet West on June 27th, 2018.
The starting line is at the 600-foot level with the finish line at the 1500 ft. level. The course is adrenalin pumping 2 miles long. The road itself ascends 850 feet in a series of curves with a gradient of ascent at 5%. It consists of 25 curves, 8 of which are hairpins. Spectators can view the race from the Highway 97 Overlook and/or from designated viewpoints along the route.
Due to time and space constraints entries are limited to 60 cars. Your entry will enable you to make 4 runs up the hill. There are no classes for this event. Runs will be timed but not logged so you need to keep track of your own times.
6:30am Course set up; Hill closed to competitors
7:00am Registration & tech inspection opens
8:00am Registration & tech inspection close
8:10am Mandatory Drivers and Workers meeting
8:30am Group 1 cars to grid; Workers to stations
9:00am first run group out!
12:00pm Parade up Maryhill Loop Road for those not interested in taking the hill at speed.
1:00pm Group 2 cars to grid; Workers to stations
There will be many first time hillclimbers at this year’s Mini Meet West, and it is recommended that if you want to do a hill climb for the first time, Maryhill is the one to start at! A minimum of some autocross experience is required, track experience is nice. However, hill climbs are typically only as dangerous as the driver makes them. It’s very much a matter of mental state – the driver’s behavior. Hill climbs, like any motoring event, entail risk. You sign a waiver, and you are responsible to ensure a safe and fun drive. Even if you don’t drive beyond your abilities, mechanical failures can happen. Safety of all participants is the number one priority!
For all our first time hillclimbers, we recommend you focus on having fun on a beautiful road. You have all gone fast on spirited back-road drives, right? The difference is, there’s no traffic, and you can cross that little yellow line in the middle.
Drivers will be expected to help (much like autocrossing) and will be assigned to a workstation during a run group. There is as much fun working a checkpoint as there is driving the hill. There is no better place to take in all the beauty of the hill and of the cars traversing the corners that in a corner check point. We will be running a morning group and an afternoon group. If you run the morning you will work a corner in the afternoon and visa versa, if you work the morning you will drive the hill in the afternoon. If a family, or a friend would be willing to donate some of your day to working a corner, helping with tech inspections, or in any other capacity, we would greatly appreciate your assistance.
Helmets and seat belts are, of course, required. We will have some limited amounts of loaner helmets. If you would like to assure you can participate in this event please bring a helmet that is Snell 2005 or newer. For $130 you can pre-order your own helmet. See registration form for more info on ordering. Vehicles must also pass a careful tech inspection prior to participation.
Fires are not allowed in this area. This is for your safety, the safety of others and due to the dryness and high fire danger of the surrounding area. NO SMOKING! Any smokers will be asked to leave immediately.
The is event is held in a primitive area. The following items could make your stay more comfortable: Bug Spray, Drinking Water, Wet Wipes, Pit Tarps, Sun Block, Lawn chair and Food/Snacks. We will be providing box lunches for participants.
A special thanks to the Mary Hill Museum for the use of the road and the pit area. We also very much appreciate and would like to thank, the Northwest Hill climb Association’s Charles Cope for support for this event. Without the support and involvement of these people, this event would not happen. See Northwest Hillclimb Association