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Old 07-18-13, 08:36 AM   #1
Seattle Forrest
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Anyone done Twisp River Road?

I haven't done a scenic ride in a while, I've been too busy with backpacking and rock climbing, but I miss riding my bike in the mountains.

I've heard good things about the scenery on Twisp River Road, and I'm having a hard time finding photos or much detail about it. Has anyone been out there? Can it be done on a skinny-tire road bike? Are there views of peaks? Is it a good ride?

Can you recommend any others that are worth doing, with good mountain views?
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Old 07-18-13, 04:43 PM   #2
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I've driven most of the paved part and it is a nice country road. There are a lot of homes and farms for the part I've seen. Views are nice but not spectacular. Never stopped to take photos since we were usually heading up to Black Pine Lake to go fishing. There are two roads that go there off of the Twisp River Road and both are paved and uphill if you wanted some climbing but they are rough and turn to dirt after a few miles.

Found some fall photos someone posted that shows the Twisp River road.

http://arindam.smugmug.com/Landscape...4547&k=VB2w8Vj

I've thought about riding it but I always find something else I'd rather ride when over there. There are a couple of side roads off the Chewuch that I haven't done and I'll repeat the ride to passes every time I'm there.

You've probably done all the scenic rides there that are paved. Sun Mountain is short but nice. We rented mountain bikes when we were over there in early June and that opens up a lot of scenic rides in the area.
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Old 07-19-13, 08:38 AM   #3
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Thanks for the great info! It looks very pretty, but not exactly what I'm going for. And it's a long drive to not get what you're after...

Speaking of side roads off the Chewuch, Falls Creek Road was a surprisingly nice ride.

And since you brought up the passes, have you done Loup Loup? What's that like? I drove it 10 or more years ago, but don't really remember, it was part of a cross-country road trip.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:17 AM   #4
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As best I remember, Loup Loup is just a big, long hill with consistent grade on the up. Not much shoulder, but not much traffic either. Excellent downhill, again that consistent grade, and the turns are gentle sweepers with good visibility. Chipseal surface. That rural Okanagan feel.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:38 AM   #5
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Thanks for the great info! It looks very pretty, but not exactly what I'm going for. And it's a long drive to not get what you're after...

Speaking of side roads off the Chewuch, Falls Creek Road was a surprisingly nice ride.

And since you brought up the passes, have you done Loup Loup? What's that like? I drove it 10 or more years ago, but don't really remember, it was part of a cross-country road trip.
Based on your trip reports I figured it wasn't a destination ride for you, especially since the drive over there is long.

Falls Creek Road is the only side road I've done off of Chewuch and I didn't make it quite to the end of the pavement because of time contsraints but I enjoyed it, especially that steep section in the beginning. I've driven to the end of the pavement on Chewuch and would like to ride it along with the other at least 3 paved side roads. Someone on one of the GPS sites posted a ride profile of doing all 4 side roads and the entire Chewuch loop, seem to recall that it was similar to a Tour de France mountain stage in terms of mileage and elevation gain.
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Old 07-19-13, 09:48 AM   #6
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As best I remember, Loup Loup is just a big, long hill with consistent grade on the up. Not much shoulder, but not much traffic either. Excellent downhill, again that consistent grade, and the turns are gentle sweepers with good visibility. Chipseal surface. That rural Okanagan feel.
Spot on. I've ridden it twice, first as a century loop down to the Columbia and then back to Winthrop via Pateros and Carlton. Then again as an out and back last year. First time was in the early fall and we got an early start so traffic was pretty light. Last year we did it on the Memorial weekend and traffic was heavier.

It is a pleasant enough ride especially when you get into the trees, the first short hill is steep and has no shade if it is hot. It is not super scenic and no great views. The downhill is super fun though. If you continue on past the pass you get a short fast downhill and then another short but maybe steeper climb before a long fast decent down to the Columbia.

The chipseal thing can be annoying depending on how fresh it is. I've done rides that were way harder when the roads had been recently resurfaced with the stuff.

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Old 07-19-13, 05:00 PM   #7
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I assume you've done all the climbs around Rainier. Sunrise has great views the last few miles. Chinook is pretty cool and can easily be done with Sunrise. The Stevens Canyon entrance to Paradise is nice and has less traffic than the approach from Longmire.

The road up to Mission Ridge from Wenatchee isn't long but is steep and has nice views of the Columbia when you get up a bit. I've only driven it but would like to ride it. Might be too hot right now. There are supposedly a lot of nice loops out of Wenatchee, mountains might be visible in the distance.

The two roads up toward St. Helens are nice. I've only ridden to the Johnston observatory and that was on a crappy day but the views are cool there on a nice day. Finally drove up to Windy Ridge last year and that on is on my must do list to ride but again it is going to be pushing 90F down there this weekend.

That 75 rides book has some intersting rides I'd like to do. There was a scenic loop near Omak mentioned and a steep climb outside of Ellensburg that looks good. Farther east north of Spokane there are some nice roads around Chewelah with mountain views, maybe not as spectaluar as the Cascades or Olympics.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...taineers-Books)
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Old 07-19-13, 09:03 PM   #8
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Can you recommend any others that are worth doing, with good mountain views?
With the weather this nice, I chose the Olympic peninsula. Lot's to ride, paved or otherwise.
There is a forum member and Port Angeles hotelier who is a wealth of knowledge regarding ride possibilities.
He hammered me gently on a ride from Port Angeles out to Lake Crescent.
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Old 07-22-13, 09:29 AM   #9
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If you are looking for scenic you might give some thought to parking at Whistling Jacks on SR410 and then riding west turning left up Bumping Lake Road. SR410 has rather narrow shoulders. This ride is a bit shorter than some you have done. The views along Bumping River Road are worth it imho. A nice out and back followed by a nice meal at Whistling Jacks.
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Old 07-22-13, 09:47 AM   #10
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I assume you've done all the climbs around Rainier. Sunrise has great views the last few miles. Chinook is pretty cool and can easily be done with Sunrise. The Stevens Canyon entrance to Paradise is nice and has less traffic than the approach from Longmire.

The road up to Mission Ridge from Wenatchee isn't long but is steep and has nice views of the Columbia when you get up a bit. I've only driven it but would like to ride it. Might be too hot right now. There are supposedly a lot of nice loops out of Wenatchee, mountains might be visible in the distance.

The two roads up toward St. Helens are nice. I've only ridden to the Johnston observatory and that was on a crappy day but the views are cool there on a nice day. Finally drove up to Windy Ridge last year and that on is on my must do list to ride but again it is going to be pushing 90F down there this weekend.

That 75 rides book has some intersting rides I'd like to do. There was a scenic loop near Omak mentioned and a steep climb outside of Ellensburg that looks good. Farther east north of Spokane there are some nice roads around Chewelah with mountain views, maybe not as spectaluar as the Cascades or Olympics.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...taineers-Books)
Thanks!

I've done everything but Stevens Canyon on Rainier. That needs to be on my list...

Have you done US 12? I've never been on that one, in a car or on a bike. I'm trying to do a hike (two-day) to Old Snowy this fall, not sure if it'll happen or not. But maybe I should do it on a long weekend and spend a day exploring the road by bike?

I haven't been to Mt St Helens, either. I have a climbing permit for October 5th to make a bid for the summit, which seems like a pretty exciting first trip tot he mountain. Perhaps going by bike first is a good idea, though. I miss scenic mountain riding.
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Old 07-22-13, 09:49 AM   #11
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If you are looking for scenic you might give some thought to parking at Whistling Jacks on SR410 and then riding west turning left up Bumping Lake Road. SR410 has rather narrow shoulders. This ride is a bit shorter than some you have done. The views along Bumping River Road are worth it imho. A nice out and back followed by a nice meal at Whistling Jacks.
Thanks for the great tip! I've gone over Chinook Pass from somewhere near Enumclaw, but that was in the spring and they were doing blasting above the road somewhere to the east, so I didn't dare go further. Haven't explored that part of the state much. I remember there being a scenic canyon outside of Yakima, it might be too hot for comfort now, would this be better in the spring or fall if the heat winds up being too much for me?
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Old 07-22-13, 10:35 AM   #12
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Thanks!

I've done everything but Stevens Canyon on Rainier. That needs to be on my list...

Have you done US 12? I've never been on that one, in a car or on a bike. I'm trying to do a hike (two-day) to Old Snowy this fall, not sure if it'll happen or not. But maybe I should do it on a long weekend and spend a day exploring the road by bike?

I haven't been to Mt St Helens, either. I have a climbing permit for October 5th to make a bid for the summit, which seems like a pretty exciting first trip tot he mountain. Perhaps going by bike first is a good idea, though. I miss scenic mountain riding.
Haven't ridden 12 in either direction although it would probably be nice. I've always wanted to do 410 from the east side. I knew a racer from Yakima back in the 80's who sold me my first adult bike. He used to organize a group every year ride that went from Yakima up either 12 or 410 and down the other via Cayuse Pass. Pretty epic but supposedly a very scenic ride.

The Yakima River road to Ellensburg is really pretty and is another popular training route out of Yakima.

Didn't know you needed a permit that late. Hope you get good weather, nice views from up there. Be careful not to get too close to the top/edge, it's often a cornice with a lot of air under it an you don't see it when you approach.
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Old 07-22-13, 07:49 PM   #13
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The Yakima River road to Ellensburg is really pretty and is another popular training route out of Yakima.

snip.
Best done in mid fall, much less traffic although after mid September it re-opens to truck traffic. This time of year it is hot and filled with rafters of questionable sobriety. In the fall sightings of bighorn sheep are common.
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Old 07-27-13, 12:06 PM   #14
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Have you ridden much around Chelan? The Chelan century route has some very scenic sections. I would skip McNeil Canyon right now because they are redoing the chip seal on it this week (which I found out after running into inch deep loose gravel and dump trucks about 4 miles up the canyon) but the rest of the route is great. The first thirty miles of the route up in the hills next to Chelan and Manson are particularly nice. Apple orchards everywhere, views of the lake, low traffic, fun climbs and even some descents with switchbacks.
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Old 07-27-13, 12:14 PM   #15
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Another idea would be to hop on a ferry and ride around Orcas Island. The views are great and the ride up Mt. Constitution is a nice challenge. There is plenty of riding around the island to keep you busy for half a day or more.
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Old 07-29-13, 04:12 PM   #16
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I've never actually been to Lake Chelan. Looks like I'll be out that way pretty soon, I'm planning a hike from the Cascade Pass trailhead near Marblemount to Stehekin, on the NE side of the lake. How much riding can you do by Chelan? It looks like there aren't too many roads in the area...?

I haven't been to the San Juans yet, either. Every summer day I'm not working, I just want to be in the mountains...

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Didn't know you needed a permit that late. Hope you get good weather, nice views from up there. Be careful not to get too close to the top/edge, it's often a cornice with a lot of air under it an you don't see it when you approach.
Great to know, thanks very much! I'll remember this when I'm up there.
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Old 07-29-13, 04:56 PM   #17
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FYI The bottom of Stevens Canyon from Box Canyon to Ohanepecosh entrance is recently repaved. There was only paving equipment in the last mile or so at the bottom a week ago. There is a little construction in the tunnels too but otherwise that descent was sweeet! I was there 2 days before RAMROD. Midweek is best out there.
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Old 07-29-13, 05:03 PM   #18
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Great to know, thanks very much! I'll remember this when I'm up there.
I have to admit we probably were closer to the edge than I would like. When we hiked to the "true summit" which is climbers left from where you usually come up, we looked back and could see the cornice and the sheer drop that we had been close to. When my GF climbed they actually brought climbing harnesses, built a snow anchor and belayed each person so they could approach the edge safely.

Unfortunately more than one person has fallen through there.

It's a nice mellow climb, especially if there is still snow to glissade on the way down. Views are stellar.

The San Juans are nice, weekdays and after Labor Day are better since there is less traffic. I've ridden Constitution a few times an really like the climb and views. The main highway can be busy with liuttle or no shoulder in places but there are a few side roads that have a lot less traffic and take you down to the water. The West side of San Juan is nice too with a few nice views of the ocean. The first few miles around Friday Harbor cna have a lot of traffic.
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Old 07-29-13, 05:07 PM   #19
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FWIW, we did a couple of rides on our tandem in the Lake Chelan/Methow Valley areas on our trip to WA. I uploaded some pics and a description in the comments section. You have a beautiful state for riding.
This is the Twisp to Pictograph ride http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1545030


The Chelan Century is actually several loops. We were only able to do one of them. It was threatening rain and since we are from the central valley in CA, we don't know how to ride in the stuff.
Here is the first Chelan loop. The roads weren't well marked, so we did a bit of backtracking. Beautiful ride though. Very light traffic and people were very helpful giving us directions when we got lost.
http://ridewithgps.com/trips/1545042


We went up to WA last year too and brought our tandem. We were seriously thinking about riding Constitution, but after first driving up and seeing the HUGE potholes in the road, most of them hidden by shade, we declined. Those were wheel breakers. Hope they have resurfaced that road. All the other roads on Orcas were fine.
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Old 08-12-13, 01:08 PM   #20
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Calfee tandem = committed to tandeming. Congrats.
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