Looking to bust my balls this weekend with some mates near Vantage or the Gorge near George. I reckon any launch out of the river up a canyon will do, but, was looking for the usual: longer (30-50 RT), steep and not too much traffic. Any suggestions welcome. Cheers -WD
Road or MTB? I live in Ellensburg and for road riding there are several good climbs with low traffic rural roads around. Lions Rock is a good steady climb, with one a section at 8% or so. It's a gradual climb all the way out from Eburg. A good loop is south on I-82 (three good hills) and back up to Ellensburg on the Canyon Rd (take the Selah exit).
If you're starting in Vantage, head west on I-90 (tackling the 12 mile grade) and then take the Kittitas exit and head back on the old Vantage Hwy. I know I-90 has traffic, but it's also got a really nice, wide 18 month old shoulder also. You can also head toward Royal City on Hwy 26 which has got a pretty lengthy climb out of the canyon also.
As mentioned earlier the old Blewett Pass road is a good workout. You can also take Hwy 97 from Ellensburg and head northeast toward Wenatchee to the T-intersection with Hwy 971. 2.5 mile climb on 97 one way and close to 4 on the way back. Or, turn left at Hwy 971 to Cle Elum and then back south on Hwy 10 along the Yakima river.
Bikes: Marin Pt. Reyes, Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, Easy Racers Gold Rush recumbent, Cannondale F600
If you're starting in Vantage, head west on I-90 (tackling the 12 mile grade) and then take the Kittitas exit and head back on the old Vantage Hwy.
If you want to start your climb at Vantage: take the (only) Vantage exit, drive north about a mile and park at Ginkgo State Park (unfortunately now closed most of the time) and you can ride the old highway directly west from there. It has very little traffic, but like all rides in that area it can be windy.