Ellensburg Tour Lite

A pink and blue bicycle with panniers and an orange flag leans against a metal gate on a gravel trail, with hills in the distance

Fri.-Sun., Sept. 15-17, 2023.

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Start Location

Rotary Park (map)


45 - 78 mi. /  1,100 - 3,400 ft.

Gradual inclines, with optional epic climbs.

Adult (non-members): $200
Adult (members): $180
Youth (18 and under): $40

Reduced rates available (apply here)

Not a member? Join now.


Event has already happened

Event Description

What’s to ride in Central Washington? How about dozens of miles of converted rail-trails, river roads carved through daunting foothills by Mother Nature, and a whole lot of sunny scenery tucked between three mountain ranges sprawled across old volcanic plateau over the nearly impassable Columbia River Gorge. Ellensburg sits smack dab in the middle of a unique environment just down the leeward side of the Cascade Range, surrounded by spectacular vistas. Typically sunnier and drier than much of the rest of the state, it's the perfect locale for a late summer excursion.

This tour features some sections of unpaved trail. Paved-only options will be available and may include backtracking on the route.

Each day will begin and end at the center for outdoor activities, Rotary Park, just south of W 5th Ave. Plenty of parking is available, but it's also easily bike-able from all hotels.

This event is a fundraiser for Cascade Bicycle Club's programming in advocacy, education, and community rides, such as the Major Taylor Project, Let's Go, Your Streets Your Say, and Pedaling Relief Project.


Registration opens: Wednesday, March 1, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific.

Registration closes: Sunday, September 10, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

Register in advance online. Registration is not available the day of the event.

You'll get a free Cascade Tours jersey when you register for three or more Cascade tour lites by April 1, 2023! Jerseys will also be available for purchase.


Routes subject to changes, including the start locations. Please wait until the day before the ride to download these to your device.

Event Schedule

Friday Opens Closes
Rider Check-In 9 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Rider Check-In 9 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Rider Check-In 9 a.m. 9:30 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Friday| NE Hills - Wild Horse - Old John Wayne Trail

Day 1 takes us 40 miles around the northeastern edge of the Central Plateau. We wind up to the Wild Horse windfarm for a highpoint view, then wend our way back down to the old John Wayne Trailhead just above I-90 to trace the re-named Palouse to Cascades Trail back into downtown Ellensburg.

Saturday | Cle Elum - Roslyn - Lake Cle Elum - Coal Mines Trail

Tracing the Yakima River valley northwest into the hills around Cle Elum and all the way to the Roslyn (recognizable to some as the set for Cicely, AK), we give you the full "Northern Exposure" with lunch on the shores of Cle Elum Lake, then shoot back down the Coal Mines Trail to connect under I-90 to the western section of the Palouse to Cascades Trail winding along the river banks back into town.

Sunday | Yakima River Canyon and Sunflower Fields

The first 15 miles flows downstream along the Yakima River, snaking through the steep-sided canyon to Umtanum Creek Bridge, before we wind back to high plateau land of ranches and agricultural fields, including fields of beaming sunflowers to brighten your last miles.


Everyone is welcome at Cascade events. We are committed to celebrating and promoting diversity in the bicycling community. We aim to provide safe spaces at start lines, finish lines, and official rest stops. Read our commitment to anti-racism and our participant code of conduct and grievance policy.

We would like to acknowledge that our rides take place on native land. Our offices are located on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present.

Food & Breaks

Light snacks will be available at the morning check-in.

Lunch is provided and includes fresh fruit, sandwiches (gluten free and vegan options), chips, and other snacks and drinks.

Additional water and snack stations will be posted as needed.

Where to Stay

Preferred Partners

August 14 was the cut-off date for guaranteed rooms in the room block. These partners may still have rooms available at current market rates.

Ellensburg Hotels

Support During the Ride

This ride is supported by Cascade staff and volunteers.

Support and gear (SAG) vehicles are present on the route and dispatched when you call the ride support hotline. SAG vehicles can transport you and most models of bikes in the event of a mechanical or minor medical event. You should always call 911 in a life-threatening emergency.


Early autumn weather around Ellensburg is generally dry. Morning temperatures may vary drastically from midday temperatures, as much as 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Wear or bring layers to have available on your bike with you.

Get your bike tuned up and in shape to ride. Bring front and rear lights, backup batteries, install fenders, service your brakes, and clean your chain. 


Class 1 and 3 e-bikes are permitted on the Palouse to Cascade State Park Trail and the rest of this ride.


The Cascade Training Series is a twelve-week ride series designed to prepare you for long-distance and multi-day rides. Riders of all paces will not only build their strength and endurance, but also their confidence.

To help you prepare for this ride, you can also check out our extensive schedule of Free Group Rides in the Puget Sound area. Find rides that fit your schedule and desired pace and distance.