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Old 08-20-07, 10:51 AM   #1
Daveyboy
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Blewitt Pass

Has anyone ever ridden up Blewett Pass from Cle Elum?

Curious to know if it's a biker friendly road or not (wide shoulders, busy road etc...)

I will be in the Rosylen area in a few weeks and was thinking it might be a nice ride with some challenging climbing. Any killer hills??

Thanks for any advice.
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Old 08-20-07, 11:51 AM   #2
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I was thinking of doing this ride in Sept. There is an old road west of the new road that I was going to ride. Can't tell you exactly where it turns off. I think it would be better for traffic and I think it would be steeper. Other than that I'm clueless so I hope someone else has some info.
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Old 08-20-07, 01:50 PM   #3
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I have not ridden Blewett Pass (Highway 97), but have done a great deal of hiking and snow shoeing in the area. For most of the length, it is a nice paved road with wide paved shoulders with painted fog lines. Approaching the summit, it is two lanes in each direction and one lane in each direction the closer to US-2 and I-90.

There is not nearly the amount of large commercial and logging truck traffic that you see on I-90 and US-2. It can get a little hairy in the winter due to snow, but you won't encounter that. When you are over there, check out the new Suncadia resort and see if it is good for bicycling. I keep meaning to pull off of I-90 to check it out, but have forgotten to do so.
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Old 08-20-07, 02:34 PM   #4
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I have not ridden Blewett Pass (Highway 97), but have done a great deal of hiking and snow shoeing in the area. For most of the length, it is a nice paved road with wide paved shoulders with painted fog lines. Approaching the summit, it is two lanes in each direction and one lane in each direction the closer to US-2 and I-90.

There is not nearly the amount of large commercial and logging truck traffic that you see on I-90 and US-2. It can get a little hairy in the winter due to snow, but you won't encounter that.
When you are over there, check out the new Suncadia resort and see if it is good for bicycling. I keep meaning to pull off of I-90 to check it out, but have forgotten to do so.
I will actually be staying at a friends "cabin" in Suncadia - I've been once before but didn't really explore around much - most of the roads are paved and pretty wide though, with low traffic. A mountain bike would be good as I've heard there's some trails to be ridden. It's a nice area, kind of 'golf resorty' though - and certainly too rich for my blood.

I was more inclined to get out of the resort and explore the local area. So I rode through Roslyn, past Cle Elum Lake and on up to Salmon La Sac. It was probably one of my favorite rides last fall.

Thanks for the info re: Blewett Pass.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:59 PM   #5
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Blewett Pass is fine for riding as described - but the afternoon headwinds going back toward south are tough. The best thing in my judgment to do is take 97 and then take the Old Blewett Pass cutoff (it is marked) which goes up and over into the Leavenworth area. A great ride - 30 minutes or so up to the top from 97 - bit longer on the return.
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Old 08-21-07, 01:20 AM   #6
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Blewett Pass is fine for riding as described - but the afternoon headwinds going back toward south are tough. The best thing in my judgment to do is take 97 and then take the Old Blewett Pass cutoff (it is marked) which goes up and over into the Leavenworth area. A great ride - 30 minutes or so up to the top from 97 - bit longer on the return.
You know, I've only been on Old Blewett Pass cutoff once (it's a GREAT area for owls--one of the best places for finding almost all of Washington's species of owls in one place), and I remember the cutoff as being rather narrow and um, frightening in spots because there were no guardrails. Am I remembering the wrong road, or is it still narrow and steep?

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Old 08-21-07, 07:56 AM   #7
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Perceptions are different for everyone. It is a two lane road, there are no drop-offs that would make one worried, at some of the turns there is gravel and loose rock so you have to be careful on the descent. I have gone up it with groups and descended at 30mph and have seen some push it faster and some go slower. All in all tho I would characterize it as a very fine and safe route - far preferable to highway shoulder riding.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:09 AM   #8
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I must be thinking of a different road--the last time I was up that way was a long time ago...thanks for the clarification!

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Old 09-10-07, 12:42 AM   #9
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Here's a couple of shots from my ride yesterday up Old Blewett Pass. It couldn't have been a better day, sunny and warm, but not to hot. I rode out from Roslyn, through Cle Elum and then up Hiway 97 to the old Blewett Pass Hiway. Hiway 97 had a pretty wide shoulder and the cars and trucks were generous with space. Although I was happy to have all of the Old BP road to myself once I turned off. I didn't see any owls, but the views were pretty awesome towards the top.

Coming down the old pass road was pretty techical with a few hairpin turns. Needless to say I was on the brakes alot. The pace on the descent was pretty fast and there were a few hairy turns, but exhilerating nonetheless. I capped it off with a tall chocolate milkshake at the burger stand just outside of Cle Elum.

62 miles roundtrip, 3 1/2 hours, with about 15 miles of climbing.
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Old 09-10-07, 09:53 AM   #10
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It is the same road I was thinking about! I would have called that a nasty road ten years ago, perhaps riding a bike has changed my perception of the dangers.

At any rate, I do remember it as being a very scenic drive, and it did have mountain bluebirds amongst other things when I was last there.

Your last photo has got some lovely purple tones in there .

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Old 09-19-07, 09:21 AM   #11
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As a minor caution the Blewitt Pass area is beginning to open up for elk hunting, it isn't beyond reason to dress brightly on the old highway ride.
Another ride in this area would be from the top of Swauk Pass [the new highway 97] to Scotty Creek Road to where it joins the old Blewitt Pass Road a few miles from the highway intersection and shuttle or ride the highway back to your starting point.
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Old 09-19-07, 11:51 PM   #12
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As a minor caution the Blewitt Pass area is beginning to open up for elk hunting, it isn't beyond reason to dress brightly on the old highway ride.
Another ride in this area would be from the top of Swauk Pass [the new highway 97] to Scotty Creek Road to where it joins the old Blewitt Pass Road a few miles from the highway intersection and shuttle or ride the highway back to your starting point.

Blaze orange is good at this time of year (even if the hunters don't need to wear it!). No antlers on the helmet, either .

Swauk Pass sounds like fun--what's the road like? Good pavement?

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Old 09-20-07, 02:30 PM   #13
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Blaze orange is good at this time of year (even if the hunters don't need to wear it!). No antlers on the helmet, either .

Swauk Pass sounds like fun--what's the road like? Good pavement?
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At least not during open season, right East Hill??
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Old 09-21-07, 08:21 PM   #14
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At least not during open season, right East Hill??
Definitely NOT during open season! Although it's the modern firearm seasons that are the really dangerous ones .

One of these days I'll throw in the story about the Fish and Game guys who were out mushroom hunting during an open deer season...

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Old 09-29-07, 01:13 PM   #15
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A Thoroughly self-serving question

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Definitely NOT during open season! Although it's the modern firearm seasons that are the really dangerous ones .

One of these days I'll throw in the story about the Fish and Game guys who were out mushroom hunting during an open deer season...

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Is this place called Blewitt pass because of the fungus of the same name???

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Old 09-30-07, 10:11 AM   #16
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Is this place called Blewitt pass because of the fungus of the same name???

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Charles of Mendocino AKA Seasoned Warrior

I don't know about that for sure, but I don't think so. I think it was named after someone named Blewett, not the blewits.

I read your comment about the chanterelle on my blog. I'm not certain if it was a chanterelle or not--definitely bright orange, no gills.

I will go out and fetch it home and take a closer look at it. I would be delighted if it were truly a chanterelle . However, I suspect that it might be a Boletus or Suillus species, especially as the mushroom I found was growing under a Douglas Fir.

Thanks for the comment!

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Old 10-01-07, 09:58 AM   #17
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Boletus or Suillus?

Both are polypores and I love Boletus edulis (who doesn't), in our area we have a look-alike that is poisonous (Boletus satanus). The slippery jacks I don't care for as much. Being a hardcore boletevore I am keeping an eye on my favorite patch in my field. Its a little early but we've had some rain already and if we get a good rain in October we'll have lots of boletes in November. It's hard to tell via internet but to me it just looked kind of trumpet shaped, which the other two generally arent. Anyway mushroom season is coming in my neck of the woods, sounds like yours has arrived: biking and mushrooms, what a concept, enjoy!

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Old 10-01-07, 10:18 AM   #18
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Both are polypores and I love Boletus edulis (who doesn't), in our area we have a look-alike that is poisonous (Boletus satanus). The slippery jacks I don't care for as much. Being a hardcore boletevore I am keeping an eye on my favorite patch in my field. Its a little early but we've had some rain already and if we get a good rain in October we'll have lots of boletes in November. It's hard to tell via internet but to me it just looked kind of trumpet shaped, which the other two generally arent. Anyway mushroom season is coming in my neck of the woods, sounds like yours has arrived: biking and mushrooms, what a concept, enjoy!

Regards,
Charles
I'm going to see if I can find it and drag it home. I know that when I first saw it I thought it may have been a Russula from the colour, but then realised when I turned it over that there were no gills, but pores.

I love being able to combine my many interests with riding my bike--birding, wildlife viewing, mushroom hunting .

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Old 10-01-07, 05:08 PM   #19
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Blewett is named after ....

Blewett is named after the mining town of Blewett on the east side of Swauk Pass [hwy.97] There is a historical pullover at the old mining arrastra on hwy 97 with most of the old buildings and tallings up a canyon north of the site. This area can be mtn. biked by the clean living and hardy. Another area that is an interesting mtn. bike trip complete with brush bucking is the Negro Creek canyon just before Swauk opens up at Ingalls Creek, lots of old mine building stuff still up there, starts right of hwy.97 and ends on the old highway. This is a truly epic trip.
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Old 10-01-07, 07:57 PM   #20
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Thanks pyeyo! Sounds like a fun bit of MTB there for the determined, and it's nice to know the origin of the name. Definitely not named after the blewits, then.

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Old 10-03-07, 02:56 PM   #21
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we better call it a year

The old Blewett Pass road got its first snow last night, I think we better call it a year.
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