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Monroe to Sultan (and back) on quiet roads. Highly recommended. Pics + directions.

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Monroe to Sultan (and back) on quiet roads. Highly recommended. Pics + directions.

Old 03-06-12, 02:32 PM
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Monroe to Sultan (and back) on quiet roads. Highly recommended. Pics + directions.

Riding around Seattle has been getting old hat, so I've been exploring a little more lately. On Saturday, I took my bike to Monroe, then rode it to Sultan and back, avoiding route 2 almost the whole way. It was a very nice ride: scenic, mostly quiet, and easy, but with a few good hills. Half the ride had nice views of the mountains, and the other half showed farm land, with a few river views as a bonus. There's no real shoulder a lot of the way, but there isn't much traffic, either. Out of the last few places I've brought the bike, this has been the best.

Here are the directions I jotted down for the ride.

Car
  • I-5 north to 522 east, aka Lake City Way, follow to Monroe
  • W Main Street exit
  • Follow "City Center" through the roundabout
  • Right onto Lewis Street after about 1.5 mi
  • Park at Lewis Street Park, on the left, about 2 mi from "downtown."

Bike
  • 0 - R out of the parking lot
  • .5 - R onto Main St
  • .9 - Cross US 2 at the light, to Old Owen Rd
  • 1.1 - Bear L at the Y, staying on Old Owen
  • 6.6 - L onto Woods Lake Rd
  • 9.3 - R on Old Pipeline
  • 9.7 - R on Reiner Rd at Y
  • 13.1 - L on Old Owen Rd at the stop sign
  • 13.7 - L on US 2 at the light
  • 13.8 - Welcome to Sultan!
  • 14.5 - R on Mann Rd out of town
  • 15.4 - R on Ben Howard Rd
  • 24.2 - R on SR 203 into Monroe
  • 24.7 - Back to Lewis Street Park
Mile point on the left, but these are approximate. Also, my Garmin showed each of these coming a little earlier than listed here. It was a cumulative thing, so the first turn was a fraction of a mile off, but it was about a mile at Sultan.

I did a 30+ mile loop, and deviated a bit from this. I explored Sultan a bit, followed some dead end road on the way back, and then checked out a few of the farm roads before heading to the car. There are a lot of ways to extend the ride, and plenty of loops you can add. On the other hand, if you're pressed for time from the outset, you can skip Woods, Old Pipeline, and Reiner at the beginning of the ride, and just stay on Old Owen Road, which might shave about five miles from the trip. But it's a nice diversion.

This is the point where you all get to laugh at me, but hat tip to Biking Puget Sound, by The Mountaineers Books.
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Old 03-06-12, 02:37 PM
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Here are a bunch of pics from the ride. Not all of them are terribly good. These are in the order I saw them, taking the loop I outlined in the OP.

Crossing US 2 in Monroe. You skip this madness.



I think this is some sort of water treatment plant.



We don't really have farms in Seattle ... this isn't a great pic, but it's what you see on the ride.



Lots of mountain views.



Lots of empty road.



Lots of farmland.



I love mountains. For me, good scenery basically means views of mountains.



Looking toward Steven's Pass.



A warning about llamas and dogs crossing. I saw another warning for peacocks.



This was immediately before a fun descent, onto Reiner I think.

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Old 03-06-12, 02:42 PM
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Here's the end of that great descent.



Coming into Sultan, on US 2.



A mural on one of the buildings in the 'downtown' area.



I'm sure this would have looked much nicer if the weather wasn't crap. It didn't rain, though.



Let there be no doubt that western Washington is a temperate rain forest.



Those bare spots must avalanche through the winter and spring.



The Skykomish river.



This would have been more fun going down than up, and next time I'll probably do the loop in reverse.

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Old 03-06-12, 03:42 PM
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awesome!! hopefully the weather holds up this weekend, ill have to check this out!
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Old 03-06-12, 09:21 PM
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Yep, there are some very nice roads out that way. For you next trip, try out High Bridge Road.

Nice pictures - reminds me that I need to get out there again.
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Old 03-06-12, 11:48 PM
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Counter-clockwise does make for some variety.

Re: "High Bridge": Monroe - south, R on Tualco, to Highbridge, R, to Snohomish (via Springhetti) or on to Lowell, then River Road back to Snohomish; then Old Snohomish-Monroe Road back to the start.

And, Snohomish - Machias - OK Mill Rd - Creswell Road - L on Dubuque (becomes Woods Creek) - then to Sultan and back to Monroe, or to Monroe, and back to Snohomish via High Bridge (longer) or Old Sno-Monroe.

Or, for 2 hours of riding, meet at the Snohomish Bicycle Shop at 9 am Saturday morning.
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Old 03-07-12, 11:45 AM
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Sweet! Thanks for the tips! I'll try them out in the not too distant future. Monroe to Snohomish sounds about right.
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