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bikable closed roads ?


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Does anyone know of any closed roads that might be suitable for bike touring/camping? I was thinking something along the lines of Suiattle River Road (reopened now) or the ride into Monte Cristo. This would be done on touring bikes so unpaved is ok but we won't be on mountain bikes. Basically I'm looking for some bicycle accessed camping somewhere uncrowded and wilderness-like.


Thanks in advance. Posted in spray because not climbing related.

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Not sure what your looking for (distance/days) or where your looking (basically, how far you're willing to drive) but here are some routes I have had good luck with:


1. Wells Cr Rd out of Glacier is currently gated at mile one and continues passably another... 14 (?) miles to the Cougar divide trail head. Really neat river scene at mile 4-ish, great views of Baker soon after. Zero traffic guaranteed.


2. I suggest it mostly because of its location: There's a network of USFS roads NW of Darrington I've ridden that get you into some cool forested/(and deforested) areas. Not much majestic vistas, but neat places none the less. I made a loop from Darrington clockwise along FR18 to FR 17 to the Concrete- Sauk River Rd and back to Darrington via Hwy530.


3. Smith Brook off of Steven's pass will have traffic the first 3-4 miles, but once it drops over in to Lake Wenatchee, you're golden. I'd suggest starting at Hwy2/Smith Brook, riding over to a campground in the Little Wenatchee River, then back the next day. It will be hot. Welcome to the suck.


4. Speaking of lake wenatchee, Check out the Chumstick/Maverick Saddle/Entiat ridge/Eagle creek loop. Starts near Freund Canyon (Bikes and Brews place), Heads north towards Plain, veers NE to Maveric Saddle on Entiat Ridge, south along the ridge, and back west/south to the car via Eagle creek. GREAT views of the area, long climb/descent, overall very high quality road surface, and I bet you see 10 cars off the paved portion (approx 10 miles of pavement, 35 miles dirt.


5. Ok, even one more east. The Big Hill cabin can be accessed via Entiar River Rd/Shady Pass rd, or from Lake Chelan/25 Mile Creek. Both routes involve significant grinding (though really huge terrain), but Big Hill is a pretty amazing location. Again, embrace the heat as part of the environment.


Honestly, I'd suggest opening your criteria to "open rds" too. In my experience, if the road is at all remote, the traffic is minimal. Cascade River Rd is the busiest rd around, and I've ridden it (lame) and it was pretty quiet overall.


I'd suggest an overnighter if this is your first bike camping trip. Its just a great way to shake down what you need and don't really need. The less I carry, the more I enjoy the ride!


If you don't like smoke, consider checking the the O-W national forest website for fire info.


Please report back on what you end up doing.



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  • 3 weeks later...

We ended up exploring the Wells Creek option this last Sat/Sun. The road was suitable for road bikes up to about the bridge around mile 7. After that it becomes a bit sandier and more challenging. Eventually the combination of steep climb, rock debris, loose sand and some heavy rains at the time made it a combination of riding and pushing the bikes uphill. We opted to pitch the tent around mile 9 and get out of the rain. Then the next morning made a leisurely stroll up the rest of the road and attained the ridge in nicer weather.


View from camp:



Overall I'm liking the idea of taking bikes down (or in this case lots of up) a closed road. We got into a cool area and had the place to ourselves. The climb was a bit too steep for our bikes given the road conditions but would be much better on a mountain bike.


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