Cruise to the gem of the Pacific Northwest with Seattle motorcycle rides from REVER. Seattle is known as the Emerald City due to the lush evergreen forests that surround it, and the best motorcycle rides near Seattle will take you through these deep forests to the white caps of the Cascade Mountains. Seattle is also situated between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, so there is no shortage of rocky coastal beaches and blue waterways to explore around the city. From Olympic National Park in the west to North Cascades to the east, we've selected the top Seattle motorcycle routes you won't want to miss. Just select a ride below to get started!
The REVER app is the best way to execute Seattle motorcycle rides in the PNW. There is certainly a lot of ground to cover, but REVER was built by riders for riders just for this purpose. Download it for free today and try out a ride this weekend! For the best experience on motorcycle rides around Seattle, try an upgrade to REVER Pro. A few bucks a month nets you premium features like turn by turn and voice navigation, weather alerts, Butler Maps route suggestions and so much more. There is no better way to stay on track through the mountains and coasts around Seattle.
Of course, no discussion of the best motorcycle rides near Seattle is complete without talking about the rain. Seattle is sometimes called the Rain City, and it is in the cloudiest region of the US with an average of at least 150 days of rain each year. This doesn't mean it is day after day of downpours. Most days Seattle and the surrounding area experiences just a continuous light drizzle. So if you're putting together riding gear for the Seattle area, four season gear or a waterproof jacket should suffice most of the time. However, you should certainly pack rain gear just in case. The rain shouldn't discourage you in camping in the beautiful forests around Seattle either. So make sure you pack your camping gear, just don't forget the rain fly for your tent! The unique climate of the Seattle area actually protects it from too many cold winter days, and some of these rides you'll be able to hit all year round. However, any rides up to higher altitude like Mt. Rainier should be reserved for warmer months due to substantial snowfall and road closures.
The Seattle area harbors an array of unique attractions you won't want to miss. Start downtown at the famous Pike Place Market where fish-tossing is a local tradition. Seattle was once the headquarters for brave souls making the trek to the Klondike, and you can learn about their history at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. From there, head up north to the old site of the 1962 World's Fair now called the Seattle Center. You can ride to the top of the 605 ft. tall Space Needle, or check out Seattle's long track record of cool at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP). Outside of the city, Washington is home to three national parks, all within a days ride from Seattle. Explore the Olympic Mountains and rugged seashore at Olympic NP, or marvel at the high peaks of Mt. Rainier, which is still an active volcano. North Cascades NP might not get as much attention as the other two, but this remote area is packed with white peaks and glaciers and is a perfect place to explore on your bike. Finally, if you're a fan of pop culture, you'll want to ride over to Snoqualmie east of Seattle. This location was the setting for the TV show Twin Peaks, and fans will recognize sights like Snoqualmie Falls from the show. You can even grab a piece of pie at the Double R Diner (officially known as Twede's Cafe).
Get ready to do some serious touring of the Cascade Range on this near five hour point A to B ride up to Winthorp, WA. A good portion of this route traces the Mountain Loop Highway along the Sauk River. After that, you'll follow the Skagit River to a pair of crystal blue mountain lakes. This area contains some of the best steelhead fishing in the state, so bring your gear if you're keen to catch some trout. (Note, this route contains winter closures, so check road conditions and status before you go.) We'll start the ride on Woods Creek Road north of Route 2 in Monroe, WA. Ride north through the surrounding hills up to Lake Roesiger. There is a park along the banks of the lake if you want to make an early stop. Continue on through Pilchuck, WA as the road becomes Menzel Lake Road on up to Granite Falls, WA. Here you'll meet up with the Mountain Loop Highway. Before you leave town, hit up the Spar Tree Bar And Grill or Omega Pizza for some food if you're hungry. Then take the Mountain Loop Highway northeast out of Granite Falls. Up next, you'll tackle a remote section of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
Ride over the south fork of the Stillaguamish River, and look for the waterfall Granite Falls as you cross over the river. There is a short hiking trail here at the Granite Falls Fish Ladder if you want to get closer to the rushing water. Next, the Mountain Loop Highway turns east to ride towards higher peaks in the Cascade Range. When you hit Verlot, WA, you'll enter the national forest, and you'll see Mount Pilchuck just to the south here at 5,340 ft. Follow the Stillaguamish River farther into the valley as the rugged peaks surround the highway. The next mountain to watch for is Big Four Mountain at 6,180 ft. As you pass the mountain, the highway will turn back southeast for a stretch, and keep an eye out for a parking area off to your right. The Big Four Ice Caves are a must-see detour here if you're up for a short hike. In the summer, runoff from the mountain flows under the snowfield to create ice caves. You can take a short hike to see the mouth of these ice caves, but fair warning, the route can be a little soggy, so bring appropriate footwear. Back on the Mountain Loop Highway, keep riding south until you meet up with the south fork of the Sauk River at Barlow Pass and the Monte Cristo Trailhead. The old mining town of Monte Cristo is now a ghost town, so the road no longer goes through, and you have to take a moderate hike to explore the town. In the shadow of Sheep Mountain at 6,166 ft. the road turns back north to follow the Sauk River through another stunning mountain valley. It's hard to beat the views as you ride towards Darrington, WA.
There are several camping options in the Sauk River Valley as you continue north on the Mountain Loop Highway. After you meet up with the north fork of the Sauk River, watch for the prominent peak of Mt. Pugh at 7,201 ft. on the right of the highway. Farther off in the distance, you will catch glimpses of Glacier Peak at 10,540 ft. This peak is an active volcano just like Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. Once you pass Mt. Pugh, you'll link up with the White Chuck River that runs into the Sauk. Follow the Sauk River north into the town of Darrington, and take a much needed break after that amazing stretch of highway. We like the Burger Barn for some roadside eats, or sit down at River Time Brewing for a slice. The Mountain Loop Highway becomes Highway 530 in Darrington, and continue on 530 north past the lumber mill and out of town. The Sauk River combines with the Skagit River in Rockport, WA. After you ride over the Skagit, hang a right onto Highway 20. Another epic stretch of highway lies ahead as you head farther into the Cascade Range.
Cruise through Marblemount, WA on Highway 20 / North Cascades Highway, and stay on 20 as it turns north into more rugged terrain. Soon after, you'll ride through the North Cascades National Park West Entrance. This huge national park covers over 500,000 acres, and it is almost completely preserved in its original state. You won't see any buildings in the park aside from what lies along Highway 20, which technically falls outside of park lands as a national recreation area. Before you reach Newhalem, WA, watch for a right over the Skagit River to head up to the park visitor center to learn more about the area. Just west from Newhalem, you can see a high peak in the area known as The Needle at 8,152 ft. Outside of town, the tight canyon walls tower over the North Cascades Highway, and the views on this stretch are simply amazing. Don't miss the pull off for the Newhalem Waterfall along the highway if you're up for a short hike. After the waterfall, you'll pass through a tunnel and then take the bridge over Gorge Creek Falls. The blue waters of Gorge Lake lie below the highway here, while the sheer cliffs of Davis Peak at 7,015 ft. tower above. As the road crosses the Skagit again, you'll enter Diablo Canyon and then trace the cliffs on the south shore of Diablo Lake. Wind down and around the Thunder Arm of the lake, and then ride back north on 20 on the eastern side of the lake. Make sure you stop at the Diablo Lake Vista Point to see the reservoir in all its glory. The bright blue glacial-fed waters of the lake make for an amazing photo opp.
Your eyeballs might be tired from all the rugged vistas of the North Cascades, but there is more to see ahead on this final stretch of the route. From the vista point, continue along the base of Ruby Mountain and over the bridge on John Pierce Waterfall. Off to your left, you can look down to see the Ross Dam. Up ahead, there are a couple pull offs on the left side of the road where you can look at Ross Lake below. Follow the Ruby Arm of the lake into higher terrain in the shadow of Crater Mountain off to your left at 8,128 ft. The highway snakes through a tight canyon along Granite Creek, and you'll ride a long stretch of 20 to the south. At Rainy Pass, you'll be able to see Rainy Lake just off to your right as the road turns back east. Ride in the shadow of Whistler Mountain at 7,790 ft., and get ready for another steady climb up to Washington Pass. Take the short detour to the Washington Pass Observation Site to see views of the steep valley. Up next, a hairpin turn leads back north through another dramatic valley. Enjoy the ride between Vasiliki Ridge and Delancy Ridge along Early Winters Creek. Soon you'll leave the high peaks behind and enter the small community of Mazama, WA. The Methow River flows down along Highway 20 as you take the final stretch into Winthrop, WA. Relax after this epic ride at one of the town's breweries, wineries or cideries. Three Fingered Jack's Saloon is the perfect place to grab some wings or nachos to take care of an empty stomach.
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Explore the northern reaches of Olympic National Park on the Salish Sea as you trace this three and a half hour loop west of Seattle. Take Highway 101 west out of Seattle into the Port Angeles area to begin this route. There are a ton of restaurant options along the waterfront and the 101 in Port Angeles if you need a meal before you go. First, we'll ride by the Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Hurricane Ridge Road south of town. Olympic National Park covers over a million acres of glacial peaks, old-growth forests and coastal rain forests. The park is actually split into two sections, with the central mountainous region taking up most of the park compared to a smaller 70 mile strip of coastline to the west. You'll reach Hurricane Ridge up an 18 mile road from Port Angeles, and it is one of the best places to see views of the Olympic Mountain Range. (Note: in the winter months, Hurricane Ridge is only open three days a week. Check hours and closures before you go.)
Hurricane Ridge Road is a dead end route that climbs slowly out of Port Angeles area until you reach the Heart O the Hills area. From there, you'll tackle a fun winding section along the side of Mount Pleasant and Rocky Peak. Around the back side of the ridge, you'll climb even higher to the west past Mount Angeles at 6,458 ft. One more snaking section along a high ridge awaits, and once on top, you'll reach the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The highlight of this location is views of the snowy mountains to the south, particularly Mount Olympus at 7,969 ft. Just off to the west, there is a moderate trail up to Hurricane Hill that provides more views of both the mountains and the Salish Sea. When you're finished at Hurricane Ridge, enjoy the exciting ride back down Hurricane Ridge Road into Port Angeles.
Once you're back in town, hang a left on Lauridsen Boulevard to link back up with Highway 101 heading west. You'll meet up with the Elwha River as the Olympic Highway begins on the way to Elwha, WA. Pass through Elwha, and keep an eye out for Granny's Cafe along the highway for a retro lunch spot. As you're dining, you can look up at Baldy Ridge to the south at 5,075 ft. Cruise over to Lake Sutherland and Maple Grove, WA after you're finished eating. Soon after, you'll see the much larger Lake Crescent. The Olympic Highway traces the southern edge of the lake, and consider a stop at Barnes Point to see Marymere Falls. This short trail is an easy hike from the highway that offers views of the stunning 90 ft. waterfall. More miles of shoreline surrounded by deep forest awaits along Lake Crescent afterward. Once you leave the lake behind, you'll ride a small valley cut by the Sol Duc River. When you get to Sappho, WA, fuel up and then take a right onto Burnt Mountain Road / Highway 113 to continue the route. Pass Beaver Lake through another small valley, and then snake through some forest hills next to Burnt Mountain. Watch for your next right onto Highway 112 / Strait Of Juan de Fuca Highway to continue the route.
This last section along the Strait Of Juan de Fuca Highway provides excellent views of the Salish Sea and the southern tip of Vancouver Island across the bay in Canada. But first you need to ride one more windy section until you reach the coast. Once there, Pillar Point Recreation Area offers a chance to walk along the rocky beach at Butler Cove. Enjoy the ride along the wooded coast, and be prepared for a tight hairpin turn in the Jim Creek bottom. There is another opportunity to walk along the water at Twin Beach. From here, the road winds away from the coast with a small hairpin along a gentle ridge. When you reach Joyce, WA, take Crescent Beach Road for a fun detour out to the coast. Crescent Beach is another beautiful beach with plenty of opportunity to get your toes in the sand. This road will also take you to the Camp Hayden Gun Placements. In 1941, the US Military set up naval guns here to protect Puget Sound during WWII. The old bunkers make for an interesting hike and solid photo opp. There is also camping here at Salt Creek. Once you're finished in the area, take Camp Hayden Road back to Ramapo, WA and Highway 112. It's just a short ride back to the Olympic Highway and Port Angeles to complete the loop.
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Budget ample time for this epic five and a half hour loop around Mt. Rainier. Much of this route takes place in Mt. Rainier National Park, and the real draw to the area is Mount Rainier itself. This active volcano is the highest mountain in Washington and the 4th highest in the nation at 14,411 ft. Surrounding the mountain are the two largest glaciers in the contiguous US – Carbon Glacier and Emmons Glacier. Interestingly, Mt. Rainier is also listed as one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, partially because of these large glaciers. Should an eruption occur, giant mudflows called lahars would impact the entire region. Of course the probability of such an event is extremely rare, but it is interesting to learn about this imposing mountain before you go.
We'll start the super loop in Packwood, WA. If you're riding from Seattle, you'll take Highway 7 south and then Route 12 east into Packwood. Once in town, take Skate Creek Road over the Cowlitz River for an almost immediate climb north into the rugged mountains above. (Note: this road is closed in winter, so check for closures before you go.) Outside of town, the road becomes Forest Road 52 as you tackle a hairpin turn into the nearby hills. Follow Skate Creek into the nearby canyon on NF-52 as breathtaking scenery surrounds you. Enjoy the ride between Skate Mountain to the west and Dixon Mountain to the east. The forest road winds to the west once you meet up with the Nisqually River. You'll trace the river east for several miles until the forest road crosses the Nisqually to link up with the National Park Highway. Hang a right on the NP Highway / 706 to follow the north side of the Nisqually back west. You'll want to pull off at Wild Berry to try some authentic Sherpa-Himalayan food or some mountain-inspired fare like yak burgers and steaks.
The historic Nisqually Entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park is up next, and this old wood arch was first built in 1911. Ride through the arch and then stop to pay the park entrance fee. Stay on 706 through the valley as you pass by Tumtum Peak that sticks out along the valley floor. Follow the Nisqually as the road turns north up into the Longmire park area. The original park headquarters, built by James Longmire in 1916, now acts as a park museum here. There is also a suspension bridge over the Nisqually to explore. Head farther up into the rugged valley past the Cougar Rock area, and get ready for an exciting stretch ahead. First up, you'll pass by the Christine Falls Bridge. Take the switchback up onto a high river bluff, and consider hitting a quick detour to the Ricksecker Point overlook. Climb higher towards the Paradise area of the park, and there is another waterfall and a stop for a restroom break at Narada Falls Comfort Station along the road. Your next turn will be a right onto Stevens Canyon Road, but you can opt for the one way loop around Paradise if you want to get a little closer to Mt. Rainier. The stunning new Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center has exhibits and snacks if you need to stretch your legs, but Edith Gorge Falls and Myrtle Falls might be the real attraction here. These rugged waterfalls with the backdrop of Mt. Rainier are a worthy photo opp on a short hike.
Back on Stevens Canyon Road, you'll ride south from Mt. Rainier for a stretch, and then head east up to Reflection Lake. This spot offers stunning views of both Mt. Rainier and its reflection in the crystal clear waters. Turn around to see Pinnacle Peak at 6,562 ft. behind you. Gear up for wide sweeping curves and one tight hairpin turn ahead as you descend down into the canyon into lower altitude. Ride along the cliff edge and through one tunnel along this stunning section of Stevens Canyon. The road will take you south around Backbone Ridge, and you'll meet up with Highway 123 just north of the Ohanapecosh Visitor Center. Hang a left onto 123 to ride north for the second half of this super loop. More scenic waterfalls dot the side of the highway as you cruise between Shriner Peak to the east and Double Peak to the west. Near the end of Highway 123, you'll climb up two steep switchbacks to meet the Mather Memorial Parkway / 410.
Before we ride away from Mt. Rainier, there is one last exciting section to climb for more views of this majestic peak. Go straight when Highway 123 runs into the 410, and then watch for a left onto Sunrise Park Road. This dead end route follows the White River and then cuts into a high ridge up to Mt. Fremont Lookout. This dramatic climb makes for an unforgettable ride, and the views of Mt. Rainier at the lookout point are some of the best in the park. When you're finished, ride back to Highway 410 and take a right to head towards the Naches Peak area. This section has a surprise all its own as you'll ascend two long switchbacks along steep cliffs up to Tipsoo Lake. There is another comfort station here if you need a break. Otherwise stay on Highway 410 to exit the park to the east.
With Mt. Rainier in the rear view, plenty of beautiful vistas still remain on this section of the ride. Follow the American River as it meanders away from Mt. Rainier, and enjoy the long stretch through the forested valley. Just before Cliffdell, WA, the road turns southeast. Off the road to the right, you can explore a nearby cave at the Boulder Cave Trail. It's been a while since there has been any food options, so take the opportunity to stop at Gold Creek Station or Mountain Mommas south of Cliffdell. Once you pass through the little farming community of Nile, WA, watch for your next right onto Route 12. This last section follows the Tieton River over to Rimrock Lake. Enjoy the long cruise through the canyon and then along the crystal blue lake. A few miles past the lake, there is another waterfall viewing opportunity at Clear Creek Falls Overlook. After the White Pass Ski Resort, hit one last overlook at the Mt. Rainier-Goat Rocks Observation Site. Route 12 will take you back into Packwood to wrap this epic super loop.
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Explore the northwestern tip of the continental US on this near three hour ride along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Neah Bay is the largest community in the Makah Native American Reservation. Once a whale hunting tribe, the Makah have occupied this area for more than 3,800 years. Today the Makah practice sustainable forestry on their tribal lands. (Note: you have to purchase a pass to enter the Makah Reservation.) This route begins in Clallam Bay, WA north of Olympia National Park. If you're staying in the area, you can pair this ride with the North Olympia Loop With Hurricane Ridge. There is a little dive bar in town called the Clallam Bay Inn if you need a bite to eat, and you can walk out to the beach at the nearby Clallam Bay State Park before you head out. Sport fishing is excellent in this region as well. Consider hiring a charter if you want to get out on the water to catch halibut, ling cod and salmon.
Take Highway 112 west out of town, and if the food at the dive bar wasn't to your liking, there are more options at Sekiu, WA in the Breakwater Restaurant and By the Bay Cafe. The 112 will take you all the way up to Neah Bay, so there isn't much worry about getting lost here. Explore sites along the way like Hoko River State Park and its elk herds, or the beaches covered with shells at Shipwreck Point. Once you arrive in Neah Bay, the Makah Cultural & Research Center is an excellent place to learn more about this storied tribe. There are a few places to eat right along the bay, and if you like seafood, you'll definitely want to try the fresh caught halibut and crab when it's in season. Highway 112 ends at the Fort Nunez Gaona-Diah Veterans Park, so take a left on Fort Street and then a right on 3rd Street to get to Cape Flattery Road. You'll ride this all the way out to Cape Flattery as you explore the forest hills of Bahokus Peak. Cape Flattery is well worth the ride as you're presented with several trails down to the rugged coastline of the Pacific. This is also the westernmost place in the contiguous US. Out on a nearby Island, you can also see the Cape Flattery Lighthouse.
There is one last section of this route to see, so trace your way back to Hoko River State Park and take a right onto Ozette Lake Road. This portion is fairly remote, so make sure you're good on fuel before you go. You'll wind through a small forest canyon along the Big River, and watch for Stolzenburg Mountain off to your left. The last section of the road runs along Ozette Lake until you arrive at the national park ranger station. This area is part of the coastal section of Olympic National Park. It is a decent hike out to Sand Point, but the opportunity to explore wild coastline devoid of any roads or civilization is certainly a worthy place to end this ride.
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Tour the western reaches of the Seattle metro area on this three and a half hour A to B ride up to Port Townsend. You'll begin this route in downtown Seattle at the ferry terminal on the waterfront. Take the Bremerton Ferry across Elliott Bay, and then get on Highway 304 heading west. This city is famous for its naval shipyards, and you'll ride by the US Navy facility to the south of the 304. If you need a bite before you head out of town, the Horse & Cow Bar & Grill is a great place to stop. Follow Highway 304 as it turns to the south and becomes a four lane boulevard. South of town the road becomes Highway 3 as you ride along the Sinclair Inlet. Highway 3 moves inland as you pass the old Rodeo Drive-In Theatre. Once through Belfair, WA, look for the right turn onto Highway 106. This time the Hood Canal is off to your right, and we'll trace it for a good amount of this route. You'll see a popular swimming beach at Twanoh State Park on the way to Union, WA. Stay on 106 through Union and into the Skokomish Reservation. Turn right to jump on Highway 101 north up to Hoodsport, WA.
Once you arrive in Hoodsport, we recommend a quick there and back ride out to Lake Cushman. Take left onto Lake Cushman Road heading northwest. It won't take you very long to reach the shores of the lake. Cruise north and then west again to follow the “L” shape of the lake. If you're a fisherman, Lake Cushman offers kokanee fishing in the summer and a solid run for late-season cutthroat. Highway 119 ends in the shadow of Copper Mountain at 5,426 ft. as you cross over into the Olympic National Forest. Bear Gulch is a good place to stop and see the north fork of the Skokomish River as it runs into the lake. The gravel forest road past Bear Gulch offers a campground and trailhead for the Staircase Rapids. When you're finished with the area, trace your tire tracks back to Highway 101, and turn left to continue on the route.
More scenic views of the Hood Canal await as you ride north on the 101. You'll cruise through several lakeside communities along the way. If you love seafood, make a stop at Hama Hama Oyster Saloon right off the highway on the lake. The greenish blue deltas and coves that dot the lake shore make for a beautiful ride. You can eat right along one of these deltas at the Geoduck Restaurant in Brinnon, WA. After you pass Brinnon, Highway 101 will duck into the hills for a short stretch, and you'll be treated to a ride through a small valley around Mount Walker. You'll hit the north edge of the Hood Canal at Quilcene, WA, and stay on the 101 north through town to begin the last section of this route. When you reach Discovery Bay, WA, turn right to take Highway 20 to the northeast. There is a fun little roadside joint here called Fat Smitty's if you need a quick bite. Ride the eastern edge of Discovery Bay until the highway bears back inland towards Port Townsend, WA. You'll wrap the route at downtown Port Townsend, and make sure to cruise Water Street to find a place to eat. Point Hudson and Point Wilson at the edge of the peninsula offer whale watching opportunities as well.
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Cruise up to northern Washington and tackle the Mount Baker Scenic Byway on this five hour loop near Bellingham, WA. Begin the route in Sedro-Woolley, WA, and head north on Highway 9 / The Valley Highway towards Acme, WA. You'll ride between the two smaller mountains of Lyman Hill and Anderson Mountain to start. This valley is the site of the old Lake Whatcom Railway, which you may see operating classic trains on the weekends. Just north of Mirror Lake, WA, there is a small pull off on the right where you can view the Twin Sisters peaks off to the east. The South Twin is the higher of the two peaks at 7,020 ft. Right past the viewpoint, the Blue Mountain Grill offers excellent country-style food. Once you cross the Acme Bridge, look for an immediate right onto Mosquito Lake Road. Ride out of the valley and up into the surrounding hills past Blue Mountain. Stay on Mosquito Lake Road as it turns north. Soon after, you'll pass Mosquito Lake and its smaller sister Jorgensen Lake. The road will descend back down to the middle fork of the Nooksack River, and you'll cross the historic iron bridge known as Ole One Lane. This entire area is known for its bald eagle viewing, so keep an eye out as you explore the river valley. Mosquito Lake Road will then follow the middle fork of the Nooksack up north into Welcome, WA.
Once in the small community of Welcome, hang a right on Highway 542 / Mt. Baker Highway to continue the route. This time the north fork of the Nooksack River will be off to your right. When you arrive in Kendall, WA, turn right to stay on the 542 headed east along the north fork of the river. Up next is Maple Falls, WA, and the Frosty Inn along the highway is a great place to grab a bite or a sundae. You'll continue to follow the river into Glacier, WA, where you'll cross over into the northern unit of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Watch for Church Mountain up to the north at 6,315 ft. as you ride higher into the valley along the north fork of the Nooksack. Eventually the Mt. Baker Highway will wind to the south, and gear up for a dramatic climb into higher altitude. (Note: this road is maintained throughout the winter to support the Mt. Baker Ski Area, but you'll certainly want to check road conditions before you go, even in the spring and fall.)
Exciting switchbacks and snaking turns await as you ride up to Austin Pass. There is a lot to see in this high mountain meadow between Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan as you finish the climb from the southeast. Up first, stop at the Picture Lake Viewpoint to see an amazing vista with Mt. Shuksan reflected back into the lake. Mt. Shuksan lies in North Cascades National Park just to the east, and while it's not the tallest peak in the region, it does reach 9,131 ft. above sea level. Although you can't see it from this vantage point, Mt. Shuksan harbors one of the tallest waterfalls in North America. Sulphide Creek Falls cascade down a sheer drop of over 2,100 ft., but since the area is so remote and precarious, there is no easy way for hikers to reach this amazing waterfall.
Once you're finished with Picture Lake, it's just a small climb up to the top of Austin Pass. The Heather Meadows Visitor Center is along the way and offers a chance to take more short hikes around the alpine region. Just after Austin Pass, it's just a short ride above the treeline to the end of Highway 542 at Artist Point. This last section is closed October to July each year as it is often covered in several feet of snow. Mt. Baker is the focal point at this scenic overlook, and the 10,781 ft. volcano is one of the most active sites in the Cascade Range behind Mt. St. Helens. This is also one of the snowiest places in the world. In the 1998-99 season, Mt. Baker reported an unbelievable 1,140 inches of snowfall that year. That is 95 feet of snow that fell in the region during the season! Enjoy the 360 degree views of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan. Several high altitude hiking trails leave from the parking lot as well. The ride down the Mt. Baker Highway is just as exciting as the way up, so enjoy the ride back to Maple Falls. Once there, you'll look for the right onto Silver Lake Road to continue the loop.
Silver Lake Road will take you north to the edge of the US / Canadian Border. Silver Lake Park along the way offers great views of the lake and Black Mountain off to the east. Just below the border, Silver Lake Road becomes S Pass Road as it winds back southwest. Cruise through Columbia, WA and stay on S Pass Road as it enters rolling hills off to the west. Eventually S Pass will leave the hills behind for farmland as it ends just south of Nooksack, WA. Turn left on Highway 9 to follow the Nooksack River south. At Nugents Corner, WA, bear right to jump back on Highway 542 over the Nooksack River. Take the 542 to the outskirts of Bellingham, WA, and watch for a right onto Britton Road. You'll meet up with Lake Whatcom and hang a right onto North Shore Drive to continue the route. Pass through Bloedel Donovan Park as the road becomes Electric Avenue, and then look for the left onto Lakeway Drive to keep following the lake. The road then turns into Lake Whatcom Boulevard as you trace the lake shore riding south. Soon the lake houses and docks give way to green hills for another scenic stretch. Wind around the south bay as the road once again changes to the aptly named South Bay Drive. When you run into a junction with Park Road, take the right to ride back into Mirror Lake. One final left on the Valley Highway will point you back towards Sedro-Woolley to complete the loop. Wrap up the day at Double Barrel BBQ in Sedro-Woolley that features an awesome menu packed with all the classics.
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