On Saturday, I took my bike into the Eastern Cascades, and rode from Steven’s Pass to Lake Wenatchee … sort of. I covered the distance, and back, but the route was a little more convoluted.
Without much of a plan, I took my bike into the mountains, thinking Route 2 had been nice last weekend, and I should stick with a winner. Sure enough … it worked 🙂 Sometimes this is what happens when you don’t have a plan – things fall into place more perfectly than you could ever have hoped for.
I parked at a highway rest stop in Nason Creek, a small town between Cascade Meadows and Coles Corner. From here, I rode about 11 miles back up toward Steven’s Pass. Eventually the road divides, like a freeway, and the shoulders vanish; the speed limit is already 60 mph, and I like being alive, so I turned around here. With more “gas” in my “engine,” (that would be my legs) though, I went past the car and laid down some miles in the other direction.
Finally, I came to the “town” of Coles Corner, which, from Route 2, is more of a gas station and a diner than a proper town. The diner had a sign bragging about the best iced cream shakes in Washington; I can attest that their peanut butter flavor is very good. 😀
Another road met US 2 at this point, and I decided to see where it went. Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it delighted the bike photographer. I’ve seen photos of Lake Wenatchee before, but they didn’t prepare me for the stark beauty I stumbled into after the last turn through a forested state park road.
I was leery of this detour, as the road went downhill. Miles down hill. It wasn’t too steep, but after climbing to the pass, and with plans for the next day, I wasn’t sure how much more I wanted to take on. Still, it was sunny and warm, and I wanted to explore. When I found the lake, I knew it would be worth all the climbing I’d need to do to get home. On the way out, though, I found most of the road to be slightly downhill. This was very confusing, as you can imagine… It probably means I bonked slightly. 😮
Finally, here are a few more photos to round out this post.
This was a great ride, and a good place to ride. There was a short side road in Cascade Meadows that could extend the ride by six miles, and there’s more pavement near Lake Wenatchee. So, use this as general outline, but feel free to explore:
- You can park in the Nason Creek rest area.
- Ride about 11 miles up to Steven’s Pass (or, if you’re smart, turn back where the road splits).
- Ride back down US 2.
- Turn left on Route 207 at Cole’s Corner, about 15 miles after the pass.
- Retrace your steps.
The route I took came to 38 miles, with 2,200 feet of elevation gain.
If you’d like a longer ride, follow Highway 209 (which stars as Beaver Valley Road) from Lake Wenatchee to Leavenworth, and take US 2 back up.