Looking for route recommendations in Washington State
Hey All -- I'm currently on tour in Victoria BC, and I have 14 days to get to Portland. Which is WAY more than I'd need to just go straight south via the Anacortes->Port Townsend->I-5 route. I rode the Olympic Peninsula last summer, and it was fine. But I wouldn't mind seeing some new sights. I've been thinking about Mt Raineer/Mt St Helens and also the Cascades, but I really don't have any sense of what these areas are like to cycle through. Anybody ride around there??? Any suggestions? Specific amazing roads are appreciated .
Since you've already done the Olympic Peninsula, I would recommend following Adventuring Cycling Association's new Washington Parks route in a clockwise direction from Anacortes to Winthrop to Wenatchee to Yakima to Mt Rainier National Park. After Mt. Rainier, you could hook up with the ACA Pacific Coast route at Centralia.
You'll have to do the math yourself, but I think this route would be just about right for your 14 day timeframe.
Good advice from Skyler above.
You also mentioned you wanted to see Mt. St. Helens. There are two ways to do by bike, both of which I did this summer.
1. You can ride out of Mt. Rainier National Park to Packwood and then up the eastern slope of the Cascades. That takes you up to the "blast zone," and you'll get to a barrier that blocks car traffic from entering because the roads got damaged in storms a couple of years. However, you can go through on a bike and get through just fine -- just watch out for potholes, fissures and boulders in the road (it's not at all maintained now since no motor vehicles go through).
This map shows an organized ride called the High Pass Challenge that shows a couple of ways to get to Packwood up to Mt. St. Helens:
After reach the Mt. St. Helens overlook, you can backtrack to Forest Road 25, and take that South. If you look at a map, you'll see that you then have a couple of options to Portland...including a route that takes you straight south to the Columbia River, then along the Columbia into Portland.
2. The second way to see Mt. St. Helens is to approach from the West side -- you can see on a map how to get to Toutle...from Toutle you take the new highway up to the visitor center overlooking the crater. From Toutle, it's a bout an 80 mile round trip. This highway is in excellent condition and is the major tourist route up to the top (there probably will be little traffic this time of year, though). There are a couple of visitor centers on this route, including one overlooking the crater.
The scenery either way is pretty spectacular, esp. on a clear day. In general staying on the east side of Mt. St. Helens after you leave Rainier will keep you in much less populated areas...coming over to the west side of the Cascades will put you closer to civilization and more traffic.
Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-28-08 at 08:50 AM.
Thanks guys -- BengeBoy, looks like you accidentallly linked this tread instead of the map- I'd be interested in seeing that map for sure as I think I'll try to get out east.
Originally Posted by scumglob
Also...I realize my advice above (if you followed it literally) didn't actually get your through much of Mt. Rainier. Presumably, after you enter the park from Yakima (on the east side) you want to ride up to Paradise. I added this route for you, it goes:
- Mt. Rainier
- Over to Paradise
- Out the Southwest corner of the park...then you loop back to Packwood, up to Mt. St. Helens, then south on 12....from the end of this you can go either straight south to the Columbia or Southwest toward Vancouver/Wa.
Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-28-08 at 09:00 AM.
Nice road. Goes right up to the mountain doesn't it. The trick for me will be not riding past .