Regional Guide

Biking - Southern Cascades

Not far from the Vancouver, Washington, metro area, the 12-mile Siouxon Trail (#130) is exceptional for its striking views and scenic forest beauty. One of Gifford Pinchot National Forest's most popular mountain biking routes, the trail parallels Siouxon Creek for about seven miles and is canopied in deep shade for most of this section.

Wenatchee National Forest's Echo Ridge system was laid out for cross-country skiing, but come snow-melt, fat tires rule. This concentrated, challenging network of loop trails also offers spectacular views of Lake Chelan, the Enchantments, Pyramid Peak, and Okonogan Highlands.

The Yakima Valley Wineries Ride begins and ends in the town of Zillah, looping through vineyards and orchards via pavement, dirt, and gravel. With five winery stops, this easy, slightly rolling road ride is a relaxed and scenic introduction to Washington's Wine Country.

If you're ready to pedal Mount Rainier National Park the roads are steep, narrow, and winding—aim for September and early October. Cyclists have fewer cars to contend with, and the fall colors are brilliant. For fat-tire fun in the park, check out the unpaved Westside Road. The final ten-mile stretch to Klapatche Point (13 miles total) is car-free, with two challenging climbs and spectacular views.

Sick of climbing hills? Head to Crystal Mountain, 76 miles southeast of Seattle, where 35 miles of single-track and access roads are just a chairlift ride away. From mid-June to Labor Day, bikers and bikes can kick back on the Chinook Express (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 13 Jul 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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