Route

The RWGPS file linked here is to be considered DRAFT until it’s approved by the Routes Committee and until the pre-ride (June 10th-14th) is complete.

Day 0 – Bainbridge Island
Thursday, June 23rd
We gather on Bainbridge Island in scenic Puget Sound for rider check-in, bike and gear inspection and a rider meeting. These activities are mandatory, and riders will not be allowed to start the event if they do not attend. The cost of the “Night 0” hotel on Bainbridge Island is INCLUDED in the ride fee.

Day 1 – Bainbridge Island to Amanda Park
Friday, June 24th. 341km ~3278m

After a 5am start, you’ll head north to Port Gamble, over the Hood Canal floating bridge, and begin a counterclockwise circumnavigation of the Olympic Peninsula. Along the way, you’ll spend time on the car free Olympic Discovery Trail, at times surrounded by tall trees, and at others with expansive views across the Salish Sea to Canada. Fans of the Twilight series might want to allow a few extra minutes to explore the town of Forks as you pass through. From Queets to the overnight in Amanda Park at the Lake Quinault School, you will be travelling on the lands of the Quinault Indian Nation. The students and staff at the Lake Quinault School are excited to welcome you in with meals prepared by the school’s culinary students.

Day 2 – Amanda Park to Packwood
Saturday, June 25th. 318km ~2467m

You continue your journey this morning on Quinault land as you turn south and inland again. As you work your way east, you’ll be roughly following the path of the Chehalis River over gentle terrain all the way to Oakville, then up and over some short hills to Grand Mound, where every chain eatery known to man is waiting to fuel you up for the second half of the day. Enjoy the quiet and gentle gradient of the Yelm-Tenino Trail, a fast and car free respite. From Yelm onwards you’ll begin the long gradual climb towards Mt. Rainier. Keep your eyes open for views of the mountain along the way. You’ll coast down the final eleven miles of the day from the summit of Skate Creek Rd to the overnight at the Cowlitz River Lodge in Packwood, which will be familiar to veterans of the 2016 Cascade 1200.

Day 3 – Packwood to Wenatchee
Sunday, June 26th. 302km ~3302m

Buckle up, because today you will have TWO major mountain passes to conquer. The first begins as soon as you roll out the door from the overnight. White Pass is 3700 feet and 20 miles up up up the road. Be sure to pack a jacket as Cascade passes can be very cold any time of year. Really! You’ll circle Rimrock Lake to the south, then continue the long descent allllll the way to Naches. By now you’ll notice the distinct change in scenery as you’ve transitioned from the wet west side of the Cascades to the much drier east side. After Selah you will enter the truly spectacular Yakima Canyon, a designated scenic byway that stretches north to Ellensburg. Be sure to have your camera handy! Have a rest and FUEL UP in Ellensburg, because you’ll need the calories to get you up and over Blewett Pass. Blewett isn’t steep but it is long, so pace yourself. From the summit of Blewett, it’s *mostly* downhill to the next overnight in Wentachee.

Day 4 – Wenatchee to Mazama
Monday, June 27th. ~222km ~1980m

Yes, we know you’ll be tired after yesterday’s big big day. But persevere and get back out there, because today is quite a bit less strenuous. Leaving Wenatchee, the route follows the gentle banks of the Columbia River for the next 25 miles with lovely views all along the way. This part of the state is known for it’s fruit orchards, and you’ll see many along the way. The only real hill of the day bumps you up and over to Lake Chelan, where you’ll follow the shoreline for some beautifully scenic miles. At Pateros, you’ll bid farewell to the Columbia River for the last time, and head up the Methow River Valley. Upriver, you will find the 4th and final overnight at Mazama. Mazama is *always* the last overnight on any Cascade event and it’s easy to see why. The setting is breathtaking, and the two lodges that serve as our overnight location are luxurious and comfortable. That good night’s sleep will set you up well for the tomorrow. <<Note: the RWGPS file indicates that a ~11km section of day 4 is gravel. That is incorrect.>>

Day 5 – Mazama to Arlington
Tuesday, June 28th. ~218km ~2094m

This is it. The final day. The last big push. And a big push it is. You’ll spend much of the day on the North Cascades Scenic Highway. In the first 16 miles, you’ll gain nearly 3400 feet working your way to the highest point of the entire trip, Washington Pass. No one passes this point without taking a photo of the road they just travelled up dropping away behind them. After Rainy Pass, you’ll drop down into North Cascades National Park. You will be cheating yourself of a breathtaking view if you do not pull off into the Ross Lake Overlook. Seriously, click that hyperlink because as pretty as it is on a screen, it’s 100x better in real life. As you work your way along the final miles towards the finish in Arlington, you’ll travel through Oso, where in 2014, the single deadliest landslide in the US took the lives of 43 people. The slide scar is clearly visible from the roadway. Take a moment to visit the roadside Oso Slide Memorial if you have the time. Volunteers, friends and family await your triumphant finish in Arlington.

Route Summary
Curious about the control closing time for each overnight and the daily required minimum pace?

OvernightDistanceDaily Distance~Elevation Gain (meters)Daily minimum Pace (kph)Overnight Closing time
Amanda Park3413413278137:14
Packwood659318246712.758:10
Wenatchee9613023302129:20
Mazama11832221980115:31
Arlington1401218209410.751:40
avg 12 kph116hr, 40 min