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seattle/tacoma long climbs

Old 09-23-09, 10:03 PM
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Peterson
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seattle/tacoma long climbs

Is anyone familiar with the Seattle and Tacoma area, where are some good long road climbs?

I'm looking for a few thousand feet of climbing over 10-20 miles.

The Boulder and Denver areas have a few climbs 5-10 miles with 2K of climbing or evans thats 28 miles and 7K.

Any examples would be greatly appreciated, thanks.
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Old 09-24-09, 12:28 AM
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Have you moved here, or just visiting?

Pretty much any of the paved mountain passes would probably fit your bill - and the climbs around Mt Rainier - e.g Longmire to Paradise, Cayuse pass, Sunrise, etc.

Going a bit further afield, there's Washington Pass on the North Cascades Highway (RT20) on the way over to Winthrop, Hurricane Ridge over near Port Angeles, and the Mt Baker Highway near Bellingham.
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Old 09-24-09, 08:58 AM
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Contemplating a move.

It looks like some of the routes are state hwys - are these commonly ridden? I'm a little weary of too much traffic. Even some of the local parks - rocky mtn can be a little too much

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 09-24-09, 09:48 AM
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highest road in the state is about 7000 feet so there's not as much vert.

get a cyclocross bike and ride the backpasses, this stuff is a blast!

Bon Jon Pass, bonjon pass


hart pass, union gap...

also, there's a back road up stevens pass old cascade highway

and snoqualmie too snoqualmie backroad

but it's a little bit shorter.

there's plenty of good training rides on the eastside and fine hills for hill repeats in seattle proper. no worries.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-24-09 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 09-24-09, 05:34 PM
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Thanks Bikeologist and SeattleShaun.

The snoqualmie backroad looks like a good road. Hopefully, will see you guys around sometime.
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Old 09-24-09, 08:52 PM
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Long climbs:

1. Hurricane Ridge, from Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge visitor center. 18 miles up, about 5,000 feet gain.
2. Mt. Baker Highway, from Glacier to Artist Point, about 25 miles, 4,000 to 5,000 feet
3. Windy Ridge, overlooking Mt. St. Helens. Length varies depending on how you get there. Google "High Pass Challenge" organized ride.
4. Ride up to Johnston Observatory, overlooking the Mt. St. Helens crater. 42 miles up from Toutle.
5. Sunrise Visitor Center, Rainier National Park.
6. Paradise Visitor Center, Rainier National Park.
7. North Cascades Highway.
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Old 09-25-09, 09:08 PM
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Try https://www.bicycleclimbs.com, mountains of WA region.
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Old 09-26-09, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Long climbs:

1. Hurricane Ridge, from Port Angeles to Hurricane Ridge visitor center. 18 miles up, about 5,000 feet gain.
2. Mt. Baker Highway, from Glacier to Artist Point, about 25 miles, 4,000 to 5,000 feet
3. Windy Ridge, overlooking Mt. St. Helens. Length varies depending on how you get there. Google "High Pass Challenge" organized ride.
4. Ride up to Johnston Observatory, overlooking the Mt. St. Helens crater. 42 miles up from Toutle.
5. Sunrise Visitor Center, Rainier National Park.
6. Paradise Visitor Center, Rainier National Park.
7. North Cascades Highway.
Those are some good ones - I did Hurricane Ridge today for the first time in fact, it was a blast! Not quite as scenic as Windy Ridge but not much traffic since it isn't a thru road, and nice views at the top. Not too steep either.

Also I like Cayuse Pass, it's a nice ass-kicker but not too high. White Pass is nice and steady. Blewett Pass (there's Old Blewett Rd too) is pretty tough from the north.

And there's of course Snoqualmie Pass straight up on I-90, legal though obviously much louder than Bek's alternate route, I actually like the ascent early in the morning.
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Old 09-26-09, 09:25 AM
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coming down from Chinook Pass to Cayuse, with skis.....chinook pass descent
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Old 09-26-09, 05:55 PM
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On the way up to Sunrise this morning..

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Old 09-26-09, 08:26 PM
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On the way down from Paradise this morning - coming through Stevens Canyon.

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Old 09-30-09, 07:25 AM
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Ok, I have to ask you lucky PNWer's two things:

1. Are these rides you are describing just regular weekly rides, or are these special once in a while things where you book a hotel room and make a little vacation of it? Because I looked, and it seems like Rainier is a two hour drive away from the city, and Port Angeles is pretty far away too.

2. Can you really just drive east "over the mountain" and suddenly be out of the mizzle and grey skys? If so, is that a popular weekend ride for Seattlites?

I do have a reason for asking, but all I can say for now is that things are "in the works." Thanks!!

Last edited by MCODave; 09-30-09 at 07:41 AM. Reason: can't spell
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Old 09-30-09, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by MCODave View Post
Ok, I have to ask you lucky PNWer's two things:

1. Are these rides you are describing just regular weekly rides, or are these special once in a while things where you book a hotel room and make a little vacation of it? Because I looked, and it seems like Rainier is a two hour drive away from the city, and Port Angeles is pretty far away too.
- Many of these rides I've done by driving to the ride start, doing the ride, and back home by night. Of the rides I listed above, several I did in day trips: Paradise, Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Baker Highway, Sunrise. Max 2.5 hour drive from Seattle.

- Other rides, especially when you're joining an organized ride that leaves 7-ish in the morning, are too far to reach unless you leave in the middle of the night. I stayed overnight when I did the High Pass Challenge (leaves from Packwood); Tour de Blast (leaves from Toutle) and Native Planet Classic (leaves from Winthrop). The Native Planet Classic required the most driving - about 5 hours from Seattle.


Many of the climbs mentioned above feature on various brevets organized by the Seattle International Randonneurs - they usually just leave from Seattle for most of their longer rides.

Originally Posted by MCODave View Post

2. Can you really just drive east "over the mountain" and suddenly be out of the mizzle and grey skys? If so, is that a popular weekend ride for Seattlites?
- Depends on time of year. In spring or fall it can be dry on the east side of the mountains when it's wet on the west side. But in the winter, there will be snow on the west side - sometimes a lot. I'd say that in the winter many Seattle cyclists are on our "rain bikes," or skiing, snow shoe-ing, or getting fat. All are popular options.

Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-30-09 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:09 AM
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Highway up Mt St Helens - nice!
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Old 09-30-09, 08:14 AM
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Since thread is continuing, I'm adding my collection of photos from the climbs mentioned above, which I had in a thread on the 50+ forum a few days ago:


Besides the ride above, here is my "collection" of climbs in Washington...

- Just below Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park






- Washington Pass, on the North Cascades Highway. I did this pass as part of the Native Planet Classic, which takes you over and back the North Cascades Highway 2x in a day. 132 mile round trip.



- The ride up to the Sunrise Visitor Center, in the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park. About a 40-mile day.



- The Mt. Baker Highway. 50 mile ride.



- Hurricane Ridge, in the Olympic National Park. 40 mile day.




Last summer I did:

- Mt. St. Helens, Johnston Observatory Ride. 82 mile day.



- Windy Ridge, overlooking Mt. St. Helens from the east side. 113 mile day.

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Old 09-30-09, 08:49 AM
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continuing the information stream, biggest climbs you can get to on your bike from seattle proper and back in a day trip riding your bicycle are snoqualmie pass (sea level to 3,500 feet m/l) and numerous single climbs in the 'around 2,000 vertical feet' on the eastside of seattle (the zoo, cougar mountain variants).some people might consider Stevens Pass a day trip from seattle but that would be pushing the limits of endurance. on the otehr hand, its a very pleasant ride if you drive and hour or so to a start.

you can easily accumulate 10,000 feet of vert on a century ride around the SEattle area on an afternoon ride but it is not single big climb.

sustained climbs in washington on pavement are 4-5 K at the most, and require driving up to, perhaps 4 hours to hit them (driving to these climbs at night you can often make pretty good time) the highest road in Wa state is gravel Harts' Pass road to slate peak, 7000 feet above sea level (and you start at Mazama elevation which is likely 2k)

most big climbs in Western washington are rideable on loaded touring bikes as overnight weekend trips from seattle proper, 3 days for Helens/Rainier hits and North cascades out and back, plan on 4-5 fast days for classic cascade loop over North Cascades and back over Stevens Pass.

again i recommend going randonuesse/cyclo bike and riding the gravel backroads in WA state, a lot more variety and less exhaust fumes.

Last edited by Bekologist; 09-30-09 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
again i recommend going randonuesse/cyclo bike and riding the gravel backroads in WA state, a lot more variety and less exhaust fumes.
Bek,

One day this winter, when it's too crappy to ride, I'd like to buy you a beer and have you show me all your favorite routes on a Delorme map. I've followed a number of your posts and tried to figure out where all your "secret" gravel paths are, but often get lost on Google maps. I think my backpacking son stole my Delorme Atlas so I need to get a new one, then I'll track you down...

BB
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Old 09-30-09, 09:04 AM
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lets. we should try to ride the Natchez Trail between 410 and Yakima next summer, bought the USFS maps on my last ride to Leavenworth but didn't get a chance to get down there. the map shows a doable route across manastash ridge.
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Old 09-30-09, 02:30 PM
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Thanks for all of the suggestions. The photos look great!!!

Hopefully, I'll be making a move to the area soon.


Is anyone familiar with popular, weekly group rides around Seattle/Tacoma?

It seems like there are a number of race teams locally. I'm a little more apt towards competitive rides than touring.

Thanks for any suggestions
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Old 09-30-09, 07:57 PM
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Racing season ended this Labor day weekend so all there is now are Meet the Teams rides =>

https://wsbaracing.com/meet_the_teams

Many do weekly/weekend rides so its a good time to ride with any of them to see if they fit your style/goals, etc. Check out the link and the rest of the site to find what you're looking for.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:19 PM
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I'd like to buy you a beer and have you show me all your favorite routes on a Delorme map.

I'd be willing to purchase the first and third rounds of refreshing adult beverages to sit in on this...I'm just sayin'....
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Old 10-08-09, 10:41 PM
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Thread drift danger...is the road to Hart's Pass open again? Seems like last time I checked on that one the USFS still had not repaired it from some major damage. But that may have been a couple years ago.
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Old 10-09-09, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
some people might consider Stevens Pass a day trip from seattle but that would be pushing the limits of endurance. on the otehr hand, its a very pleasant ride if you drive and hour or so to a start.
If you start from Wilmot Gateway Park in Woodinville, head over W'ville-Duvall into the valley and out Tualco to Monroe and pick up SR-2 to the Stevens Pass Summit it's a little bit over a 200k and maybe an hour of driving round trip from downtown.
Very nice ride, too. There's so much you miss in small towns like Gold Bar and Skykomish if you're just whizzing through in a car.
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Old 10-09-09, 02:36 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned the lion rock lookout road, hands down one of the best long climbs in the area. Drive a little over an hour to cle elum or ellensberg, then you can make any number of loops to include the lion rock road (which is an out and back). Here's one route I really like. Gradual climbing through farm country, then once on the FS road, the road becomes one one paved lane that switchbacks several thousand feet up through south facing forest and meadows. You'll think you're in Europe. Pavement ends right at timberline, about 1.5 miles short of the lookout, but the views are pretty spectacular nonetheless.
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Old 10-09-09, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist View Post
the map shows a doable route across manastash ridge.
Some of that area is in the Army's Yakima Firing Range, or whatever they call it; might need to wear camo gear
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