Ride the Cascade Loop
On the border of USA & Canada lies a hidden treasure. Winding roads, Mountain scenery, unique towns and great people. Ride the Cascade Loop. We did in 2012.
This is part of our 2012 ride. We returned our bikes in Seattle and flew out to Las Vegas where we hired again and rode up into Utah, Wyoming, through Yellowstone, out to South Dakota to Sturgis and back through the Colorado Rockies before returning back into Las Vegas. 8 amazing weeks on the bike. So many routes you can take and mix and match to enjoy the West of the USA.
We rode out of Seattle, great place to spend a couple of days before leaving for the Loop.
A city on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests, and contains thousands of acres of parkland. Washington State’s largest city, and its Space Needle dominates the horizon.
We didn’t have a lot of time in Seattle but did check out the Space Needle and Pike Place Market. The Seattle Underground Tour was interesting, as the city was originally built below sea level, floods and finally fire burnt most of the city down, so they built on top of the old city, now the tours takes you through what is left of the original town.
Harley Davidson have two dealerships n Seattle, Emerald City in Lynwood and East side in Belleuve and an apparel shop in Downtown Seattle on Pier 54. We hired Bikes off Eagle Rider in Seattle, great service.
Although it is very easy to go straight from Seattle and start the Cascade Loop we wanted to take in Mount St Helens and Chinook Pass so headed South out of Seattle. If you weren’t interested in these two Mountain Passes just head straight up to Leavenworth. They say the best way to ride the loop is clockwise direction heading East first.
Mount Saint Helens
Mount Saint Helens was a very impressive sight to see after the massive explosion in 1980. The ride out into the National Park was well worth the detour.
Today ride the Chinook Pass. The pass runs through the Cascade Range in the state of Washington. The pass provides the east entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, (State Route 410). Riding out the weather was drizzly and cold, but Chinook Pass has its own climate, at an elevation of 5430 ft./1656 m we rode through the drizzly and clouds to a beautiful day. Winding our way past Alpine Lakes with snow still on the ground, beautiful mountain vistas and plenty of places to stop and breath in the fresh mountain air.
Destination, Whistlin Jack Lodge just out of Naches for our overnight stop. The Lodge is right beside the river, restaurant and gift shop on site. Although the rooms were clean but basic, the Lodge put on a lovely meal and entertainment. Make sure you get a riverfront room.
Destination Leavenworth, via Canyon Road. Now entering the Cascade Loop. Leavenworth’s entire town is modelled on a Bavarian Village. Plenty of shopping and restaurants and nestled under the Mountains. We stayed at the Enziana Inn, great spot, great pool and great location. Only disadvantage was you had to take your laundry up the street to their other establishment. The morning breakfast and the horn blower makes you feel like you’re in the Swiss Alps.
Heading further round the Cascade Loop our next stop was Winthrop, and unusual town, slightly out of a western movie with their hitching posts and wooden street walks. Interesting shops. We chose to stay in the Cabins on the river at the Koa campground. Cute wee cabins, with shared ensuite facilities. Not for everyone, but we like to mix up the accommodation. We had a great watching all the different wildlife come down to the river. Great folk in the next cabin and glad we were experiencing the great outdoors.
Today is the best of the riding on the Loop. Winthrop to Concrete here the Mountains surround you, the lakes are so green, and the winding roads just keep going. You can ride back into Seattle or go as far as Everett. Choice is yours.
Olympia National Park
We continued onto Oak Harbour and did a loop out on Olympia National Park. This does involve a ferry crossing so be sure to check and map your times. After the Cascade Loop the scenery was nice but not as impressive. If you have time take a couple of nights out this way, otherwise return to Seattle.
We did forfeit a little of the Cascade Loop doing it this way, so missed the Boeing Factory but we really wanted to do the ins and glad we did. Plan your ride and make it happen your way.