Washington Pass Excursion: Newhalem to Winthrop 2-day- Self Paced (75 mi/day)
If you are new, please read our newcomer information.
Come join us for a ride along the North Cascade Highway up Washington Pass and over to Winthrop. This will be a self-guided, self-paced 2-day ride starting from Newhalem. We will ride over to Winthrop the first day, overnight in a hotel, then ride back the next day. Minimal SAG support will be available (see below).
There will be a couple of water stops along the way.
About the ride: THIS RIDE IS CHALLENGING, but also one of the prettiest rides I have ever done. It will be a steady grade of 5-7% for 45 miles (11,000 ft of total elevation gain over two days/146 miles). In order to do this ride, you will have to have spent time training this winter/spring. You should be able to ride a high moderate or above pace and be comfortable with long, steady climbs riding solo for parts of the ride. If you are a slower rider, you are welcome to join but please plan to carry your own lunch as our SAG will need to be at the hotel when riders arrive.
This is a beautiful ride that you will never forget through the north Cascades.
Ride directors: Alexa Volwiler (360-303-0526) and Frieder Mack (360-244-3083).
Minimal SAG support: We have a wonderful volunteer who will carry bags and water for us. Water will be dropped off at designated points along the route. Our SAG will transport a small rider bag from the start to the hotel and back. The SAG will NOT be responsible for mechanicals on route or transporting riders. This is a minimally supported, self-sustaining ride. No food will be provided.
Detailed start location: Newhalem across from the Skagit General Store. Park in the gravel parking lot across from the Skagit General Store off the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20). See map in above.
Registration Required (no fee): Please register using the link above. Make sure you are signed into your account first.
Restrooms/Facilities at Start: The visitor's center across from the Skagit General Store opens at 9 AM and there are public restrooms and water there. The General Store opens later so do NOT plan on purchasing food there. Please arrive 20 minutes before the posted start time to walk over with bags, get bike ready, sign the waiver and hear the route notes. We need to get rolling right at 9:30 so those who show up late will be on their own as our SAG needs to be en route to drop water.
Other Notes: Cell reception is spotty at best over the pass so plan on printing a cue sheet and noting the start location before you head out. Carry with you anything you will need on route and be familiar with the rest stops/water stops.
Luggage: Riders are allowed ONE small carry-on sized bag (small luggage bag) for transport by the SAG. Bags that are too large will not be transported due to space limitations. The SAG will carry a basic mechanic's tool kit and bike pump to be used at the start or finish. Luggage must be loaded by 9:15 AM on Saturday and Sunday.
Water stops: Water will be dropped at pre-assigned points along the route. Refer to cue sheet.
Food stops: We will have a lunch stop each day. Please pack a sandwich and snacks which you will have access to during this time. We will provide cooler space, but please pack light as space is limited. Carry whatever other snacks you need on your person outside of that.
Accommodations: Winthrop Inn is where the SAG will drop bags post-ride. Riders MUST reserve their own rooms at the location provided by the organizers. Bags will be delivered to this location only. If rooms are full, the Abby Creek Inn is right next door.
Cancellation Policy: Showers cancel. This ride is not safe to do in the rain. In the event that showers are in the forecast for the area, the ride leaders will not be at the ride start, but will post a note to Meetup and the Cascade posting 4 hours before the start time.
Meetup: We encourage you to also RSVP on Meetup so you can join conversation and see photos taken on the ride. Link provided below.