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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    The Leavenworth Loop - 2013, Counterclockwise (pics)

    This is a ride I did a year ago and loved, so, of course, I had to go out and repeat it. I felt like it would be a good idea to do this route just a little bit earlier in the season, and also to do it counter-clockwise this time, and, well, it was just about perfect.

    I drove from Seattle to the L'worth park and ride, where I parked my car and started to ride my bike. There are a few signs that say things like "public parking" and "no overnight parking." I'm pointing this out because L-town is a beautiful place to start a bike ride, but, because of the touristy stuff, it can be a challenge to figure out where to leave your car.

    I got out of town immediately, on the Chumstick "Highway." The first 7 miles or so were clearly the outskirts of town, but then it started feeling very remote. Before long, the road itself was the only sign of human development, and otherwise I was alone with my thoughts in a vast pine forest. The 'climb' over Chumstick Pass is very gradual and gentle, and the descent into Plain, WA (where I had lunch) is quick and a lot of fun. This is one reason I went counter-clockwise this time. I made a short side trip to Lake Wenatchee and stayed quite a while, enjoying the scenery. Unfortunately with all of my stops, and because I didn't get the earliest start possible, the sun had already set behind Icicle Ridge when I got into the Tumwater Canyon; it was still mind-blowingly beautiful, but the photos aren't as good as they could have been from this section.

    Here's the view near the park and ride:





    Plain:





    The Wenatchee River:





    A pretty stretch of road approaching the lake:



    Lake Wenatchee:



    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Tumwater Canyon:





    Back into town:





    Ride map:



    It was chilly!

    Don't believe everything you think.

  3. #3
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    My wife and I did this ride (in this direction) last summer, and it was pretty nice. Even the run back down US2 was not bad. It's super scenic and the shoulder is decent for most of the way. Thanks for sharing!

  4. #4
    Kip
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    Senior Member Kip's Avatar
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    I visit L'worth 2-3 times a year and usually do this ride. I prefer counter clockwise because you are close to the river as you return to town. In early fall you can see salmon in the river. The Midway Store is a convenient stop for coffee.
    Great photos. I enjoy your ride reports.

  5. #5
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    Wow that is an amazing ride! Thank you for sharing the photos as well. Mind sharing the route? Is it on Strava/Mapmyride/Garmin? Would love to do this loop sometime in late spring!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Drive out to the Leavenworth area. I parked at the L-town park and ride, but if you have a discover pass, Lake Wenatchee seems like another great place to start. Here's the route if you begin in town.

    Head east on the main strip, and turn left onto Chumstick, which is a major intersection with a light. It will be just after the park and ride. Follow Chumstick for about 15 or 20 miles. It ends at the Lake Wenatchee Highway; go left. Make a short detour at the south entrance to Lake Wen State Park (you don't need a discover pass when you're on a bike). Enjoy the view. When you leave, it'll be a right back onto the Lake Wen Highway. In about 5 miles, you'll connect with US Route 2, and it's 15 miles of slight downhill before you're back in Leavenworth.

    I would suggest early spring; everything is more beautiful and dramatic while the mountains are snowcapped.

    Here's the GPS data if you'd like to export a GPX file and navigate from it: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/288766773
    Don't believe everything you think.

  7. #7
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    ^Thanks Forrest, saved the directions and will definitely be doing this route in the upcoming months

  8. #8
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    yamsyamsyams - Here are some more pictures from the route, if you're interested. These are from late April of last year, but keep in mind that it was a heavy snow year, and this one has been lighter, so the peaks will probably be less snowy. Last year I did the loop in the opposite direction, eg from Leavenworth I went straight to US 2. I think you're better off going counter-clockwise.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  9. #9
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    Great blog! The trip will be refreshingly different from the boring urban Seattle routes I normally take...

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