DIY Summer Bike Tours for Families, Friends, Couples, and Solos

Riding my electric cargo bike is my favorite thing

Paul Tolmé

  • Visit Bellingham, Mazama, Port Townsend, Mount Adams, Vashon Island, and more on these staff and board favorites.
  • From swimming holes to gravel roads and ferries, these tours will inspire you to pack up and go.

Abundant trails, scenic landscapes, and long sunny days make Washington state summers perfect for overnight bike trips. Here are some of our favorites–including a family tour with a toddler–from Cascade staff and board members.

Methow Valley Family Rambler (with Toddler!)



“This trip checked all of the boxes for a family bike trip,” Davíd says. “The route felt secluded but we were always within a short distance of the two historic and vibrant mountain towns of Mazama and Winthrop, providing the opportunity to stop for a milkshake or a beer and interact with folks enjoying the scenery.”


“We rode a mix of gravel roads, doubletrack, and low-traffic paved roads. For an extra challenge we added an up-and-back spur around Rendezvous Mountain. This added 3,000 feet of climbing but gave us extraordinary views of the valley and surrounding mountains.” 

  • Highlight: Abundant swimming holes.

  • Bike Touring Setup: Two gravel touring bikes, one with a front Thule toddler seat and Thule kids trailer. “This setup enabled our daughter to be up front when she wanted to be part of the action or behind the bike in a comfy cocoon when she needed a nap,” Davíd says.

  • Camping/Lodging: “There are ample camping opportunities and also great lodgings in Winthrop and Mazama for those desiring a bed and shower.”


Pedaling Powered by Pastries and Pints
  • Start/End: Seattle to Port Townsend and back.

  • Time/Distance: Three days, 120 miles.

  • Rider: Casey Gifford, board co-president.


Depart Friday afternoon after work and take the Bainbridge Island ferry from Seattle to Winslow, then ride seven miles to Fay Bainbridge Campground. “Some years we stop at Via Rosa 11, an Italian market about halfway between the Bainbridge ferry terminal and Fay Bainbridge Park,” Casey says. “Fay Bainbridge is one of the closest campgrounds to Seattle where you can feel like you’re far from home.”

Day 2: Fay Bainbridge to Fort Worden State Park, about 50 miles, with a lunch stop in Port Gamble. Dinner in Port Townsend at Khu Larb Thai Restaurant in Port Townsend, and pints at Pourhouse


Day 3: Fort Worden State Park to Seattle via the Kingston Ferry, about 55 miles. “Last year we stopped in Port Gamble for brunch and had biscuits and gravy with biscuits the size of our faces.” 

  • Scenic Highlight: “One of my favorite stretches of biking is entering Port Townsend on the Larry Scott Trail with the gorgeous views of Port Townsend Bay.”

  • Bike Touring Setup: “Any bike equipped to carry camping gear.”

Bellingham to the Border and Beyond!
  • Start/End: Bellingham to Harrison Hot Springs, B.C.

  • Time/Distance: Two days, 75 miles. 

  • Rider: Jos Johnson, virtual events and communications coordinator.



Jos started this tour with “an extremely scenic” Amtrak Cascades train trip from Seattle, then rode from Bellingham and across the border to finishing Day One in Chilliwack, B.C. “Getting out of Bellingham is a bit of a puzzle but soon you’re out on country roads,” Jos says. “Riding in August during berry season made everything smell fragrant.” 

Day Two covered about 25 miles to Harrison Hot Springs.


  • Scenic Highlight: Crossing the Fraser River by bike on the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge.

  • Bike Touring Setup: a free Schwinn mountain bike modified with a rear rack. Two full panniers with a tent strapped to the rack, and a solar panel to charge batteries.

  • Camping/Lodging: Jos stayed in a motel in Chilliwack, B.C., although there are multiple campgrounds nearby at Cultus Lake. They tent camped at Harrison Hot Springs.


Extra Terrestrial Gravel Grinder Sufferfest  
  • Start/End: Randle, Wash.

  • Time/Distance: Three days, about 150 miles.

  • Rider: Casey Gifford



This trip has it all: epic views of Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams, significant elevation gain, gravel, and…extraterrestrials?

Day One: Randle to Trout Lake via Baby Shoe Pass (58 miles, 4,776 ft elevation). Camp at Enlightened Contact with Extraterrestrial Intelligence (ECTI), a private campground and ranch that offers the chance to connect with “positive otherworldly beings.” 


Day Two: Trout Lake to Swift Reservoir (43 miles, 3,790 feet of elevation). Dispersed camping on U.S. Forest Service land.

Day Three: Swift Reservoir to Randle (51 miles, 4,350 feet of elevation)

  • Scenic Highlight: The lawn chairs at ECTI offer amazing views of Mount Adams. “We didn't see any ETs,” says Casey, but the campground showers were “super-nice after a dusty ride.”

  • Bike Touring Setup: A gravel or mountain bike with wide tires due to the gravel surface.


Vashon Island E-Bike Camp or Glamp
  • Start/End: Seattle to Vashon Island and back

  • Time/Distance: Two or three days, 40 miles roundtrip.

  • Rider: Paul Tolmé



A convenient weekend getaway to the farm, forests, and beaches of Vashon Island. My wife and I have ridden this quick-and-easy tour on electric bikes (read our blog post) so we can pack heavy and get to the ferry quickly after work on Friday afternoon. 

Day One: Pedal to the Fauntleroy Ferry Terminal in West Seattle, take the ferry to Vashon and pedal to Vashon Adventures, which rents campsites in multiple scenic locations as well as a yurt for glamping (with electricity for charging e-bikes). While there are more direct routes through West Seattle to the ferry terminal, we prefer the more circuitous route using the Alki Beach bike trail because it’s prettier and less trafficky. 

Day Two: Ride around Vashon Island.

Day Three: Pedal home the same way.


  • Scenic Highlight: Point Robinson Lighthouse and park.

  • Lodgings/Camping: Vashon Adventures rents campsites at Point Robinson and Lisabuela parks.

  • Bike Touring Setup: Two ebikes with fully loaded racks and panniers.

Or Sign Up for a Tour Lite!

Don't feel like planning your own tour? Cascade's three-day Tour Lites are a great way to explore Washington while leaving the work to us. The Port Townsend Tour Lite is upcoming Sept. 16-18, and the Walla Walla Tour Lite runs Sept 30 to Oct. 2. 

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