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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,226

    north cascades highway????

    I've really enjoyed my Wa. rides and for awhile have been thinking about a ride from Bellingham to maybe Okanogan using the North Cascade highway. Bellingham because it has an airport and I remember what a beautiful road Chuckanut drive was and well, Chuckanut means downhill from Bellingham to the Skagit valley.

    Any one ride the North Cascade highway over the Cascades? Any experiences/tips you'd share would be appreciated. What’s the weather usually like in late Sept?
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,364
    I haven't ridden the highway, but I've driven it… It is quite beautiful and I'm sure it would make an extraordinary bike trip. As far as late September goes - Fall weather can be really wonderful here - but do remember you will be going quite high up in the mountains - the weather can be erratic - It may not be terribly warm in the passes, rain and even snow would not be unheard of, but the pass generally remains open until November and I've driven it in October when it's been lovely (photos - https://flic.kr/s/aHsjKX7FA8 ) The days start to become short for us in the fall - the sun likely comes up later and goes down earlier than you'll be used to down in California, so be sure to have lights and plan for that too.

    There's pretty much nothing between Marblemount and Winthrop, which is an 88 mile stretch with several mountain passes, so you'll have to plan accordingly to either have a long hard day or camp. If you are out during the week, traffic should be light, at least once you get out beyond the towns.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    I haven't ridden it either but my husband Chris and his rando buddies have, and we've talked about doing part of it on the tandem. There also was just an article in the paper about riding this highway, which I'm trying to dig up for you. When Chris gets back from his out of town trip, I'll ask him for his thoughts and let you know. What Eden says about the weather is what I would say also.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,226
    thanks!!!

    I was wondering about snow. That would really make me not want to do it, well, this year anyway. I can prepare for rain though. I’ve looked at weather averages over the years and they indicate days of high 60’s to mid 40’s in the mountains through Sept. I can happily switch to the San Juan’s if snow is there or forecasted though. Wondering if mid-week in late Sept. means less travelers/cars ???

    I think getting water is what I really need to plan out especially if I do it in one day. I’ll get a hydration pack if necessary. I’ll be riding my touring Waterford (it’s easier for a plane trip too) so camping is a possibility but I would prefer a one day lighter bike ride. I have found a good masseuse in Twisp. Planning on renting a car in the Methow valley to drive back to Bellingham and also to do some hiking in the beautiful Cascade country all of you keep posting photos of.

    Salsabike… Road/riding conditions etc. would be appreciated...like any downhill’s that will make me cry when screaming down I find gravel around a corner!!!!
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    It's been so dry here it seems we will never get rain or snow again. We couldn't find snow this year in the Cascades and in Oregon, the ski areas didn't open.

    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    thanks!!!

    I was wondering about snow. That would really make me not want to do it, well, this year anyway. I can prepare for rain though. I’ve looked at weather averages over the years and they indicate days of high 60’s to mid 40’s in the mountains through Sept. I can happily switch to the San Juan’s if snow is there or forecasted though. Wondering if mid-week in late Sept. means less travelers/cars ???

    I think getting water is what I really need to plan out especially if I do it in one day. I’ll get a hydration pack if necessary. I’ll be riding my touring Waterford (it’s easier for a plane trip too) so camping is a possibility but I would prefer a one day lighter bike ride. I have found a good masseuse in Twisp. Planning on renting a car in the Methow valley to drive back to Bellingham and also to do some hiking in the beautiful Cascade country all of you keep posting photos of.

    Salsabike… Road/riding conditions etc. would be appreciated...like any downhill’s that will make me cry when screaming down I find gravel around a corner!!!!
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,436
    Tada! Here's the article. I'll get back to you with Chris' thoughts in a few days. Highway 20 is GORGEOUS, one of my favorite drives in the state.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/life/out...te-bike-route/

 

 

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