Road Biking Overview: Mount Rainier National Park

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Mount Rainier National Park Road Biking Travel Tips

  • September and early October are generally excellent times for cyclists to visit Mount Rainier. There are usually fewer vehicles on the roads during these months, and fall colors enhance the scenery.
  • The Mowich Lake Road, in the northwest corner of the park at the end of Highway 165, is a five-mile dirt road that leads to a beautiful lake.
  • For a ride through a rainforest head to Carbon River Road and follow alongside the Carbon River to Ipsut Creek Campground (also in the northwest corner of the park). It is approximately five miles long.
  • In July, the Redmond Cycling Club sponsors RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier One Day). Sign up or witness 750 cyclists test themselves on a 154-mile course with 10,000 feet of total elevation gain.

September and early October are generally the best times to visit Mount Rainier National Park on a bike. Fall colors abound and fewer visitors mean the roads are clear of cars, although many facilities and services are discontinued or reduced in scope after Labor Day. Biking equipment in or near the park is very limited. It would be wise to be equipped to make minor repairs on your own.

Road and touring cyclists will find park roads quite challenging, as they are steep, narrow, winding, and have unpaved shoulders. There are several significant elevation gains and losses.

The road from the Nisqually Entrance in the southwest corner of the park to Paradise is 19 miles one way with a gain in elevation of 3,400 feet. Travel from the northeast park boundary to Sunrise is 20 miles with an elevation gain of 3,650 feet.

The Redmond Cycling Club sponsors RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Rainier One Day), an annual bicycle ride in July in which 750 cyclists test themselves on the 154-mile course with 10,000 feet of total elevation gain.


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