Pacific Northwest - Old Cascade Highway Stevens Pass
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09-10-09, 08:30 AM
Love it! every time i ride it i can't believe i don't ride there more often. its fantastic.
there is so much good camping either side or top of the pass, just have to know where to look, it doesn't matter how far out you get if you ride it from seattle as an overnighter.
one more month or so before Washington passes close to bicycling for all practical purposes. ride them before the snow flies.
09-12-09, 07:13 PM
Where do you pick it up? On Google maps it seems to start about 5 miles East of Skykomish and it turns into Tye Rd which ends near the ski area. Do you have to go any distance on Hwy 2?
09-12-09, 08:21 PM
if you ride it from seattle area you're going to do some miles on highway 2; a fair place to start if you drive out is to park at money creek campground and ride the old cascade highway from there; with a small stretch onto 2 then back behind deception falls (a most excellent return!) and to the old cascade road up to the pass. a trad route from seattle is woodinville/duvall, to just S of monroe to Ben Howard RD, then mann rd, to the highway 2 for a bit (sketchy too bring a mirror!) goldbar to may creek and back to 2 until you can pick up old cascade highway by money creek. some extend the off 2 portion by riding past garland hot (cold!) spings and over jack pass from index down the Beckler river drainage back to snohomish but you don't get money creek in .
if you're touring across or riding further east you can continue to stay off of highway 2 all the way from leavenworth to 3 miles before stevens pass proper. 3 miles down to the xc center, then down the cut to the westbound lanes puts you at FS road 6700 over Nason Ridge and down to Lake Wenatchee and thence onto plain and to leavenworth the back way.
this back route over from lake wenatchee is great, packed dirt downhill riding to the east but a bit rocky of a downhill riding it west so better heading into leavenworth versus to seattle but its nice either direction.
I've ridden 3 day weekends to leavenworth from seattle and back, no problem with an early start. 4 days gives you enough leisure time to return over blewett/snoq if you want to dally a bit in leavenworth one day.
09-12-09, 11:31 PM
I used to camp at Beckler River and Money Creek, and I've been on the Index - Jack Pass - Beckler road. It was years ago and in a 4-wheel drive; if I remember right it was a (dirt?) logging road. What kind of tires do you use for these routes?
09-13-09, 08:18 AM
I use a lot of variety in tires but usually wind up on a micro treaded fat touring tire or one with side knobs for more dirt, although i'm leaning towards microtread over side knobs even for gravel as they feel more secure in the corners for some reason.
I ride Conti TravelContacts, Schwalbe Marathon Crosses and my current touring and dirt road tire, a Panaracer T-Serv 700x35.
Jan Heine and some of the Rando contingent would likely be riding this stuff on 700x28 conti 4-seasons or another tough 28 or even 25c tire i imagine.
700x28s are pretty good on the loose stuff, add a reinforced sidewall like Vittoria Rubino Pro, Vit Diamante Protech, Conti Gatorskins or 4-seasons if you want to ride gravel on the road bike.
The continuation of this back road route, FS road 6700 over Nason Ridge and back down to Lake Wenatchee, ridden W to E, is one of the best two-track dirt descents in the central cascades.
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