Winthrop Gravel Tour Lite

Scenic view of a green valley and sunlight, with snow-capped mountains in back

Fri.-Sun., June 23-25, 2023.

8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Start Location

Winthrop Barn Auditorium (map)


32- 60 mi. /  3,000 - 5,300 ft.

Extended gradual 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

Ready to hit the off-road?  To boldly go where no velodrome racer or electric car has gone before?  Feeling tough and rugged enough to brave the wilderness? 

Just to the East of the North Cascades starts the Methow Valley, surrounded by vaulting foothills and steep ravines that just dare you to try to complete a cell phone call.  From the post-frontier town of Winthrop, we’ll venture into the hills north, south, east and likely even west to get overly in touch with the land before asphalt took over.  

Cascade finally presents a gravel ride — an up-and-down-and-dirty three-day diversion beyond bike lanes, multi-use pathways, and overrun autobahns.  Each day’s loops will alternate between questionable pavement, unsurfaced backroads, and outright dirt-track, usually finished with a gentler, smoother last stretch back into town to be able to look up at the scenery again and think about how good that post-pedal refreshing beverage will be.

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, June 18, 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. All registrants will receive a 40% coupon on Grayl products and every tenth rider will receive a Grayl water bottle and bottle mount.

100 rider limit.


Routes subject to change. Please wait until the day of the event to download the map.

Each day offers a shorter loop that cuts off a third to half the ride.

Event Schedule

Friday Opens Closes
Rider Check-In 8:30 a.m. 9 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Social Gathering at Methow Valley Ciderhouse 4 p.m.  
Rider Check-In 8:30 a.m. 9 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Social Gathering at Methow Valley Ciderhouse 5 p.m.  
Rider Check-In 8:30 a.m. 9 a.m.
Course Support 9:30 a.m. 3 p.m.
Friday | Patterson Lake – Thompson Road – Blackpine 

Turning south out of Winthrop across the Spring Creek Bridge onto Susie Stephen’s Trail, we’ll wind up Twin Lakes Rd to reach Patterson Lake. Once around it, we climb on up to the infamous Thompson Road Nordic Ski Trail, a favored off-road route along the ridge down from Sun Mountain once the snow is gone. A drop to cross the Twisp River leads up Buttermilk Creek through more darkly forested backcountry up and around Blackpine Lake, then back down to the Twisp Valley again before ascending Elbow Coulee and tracing our way back to the Winthrop Trail to return to town.

Saturday | Pearrygin Lake – Beaver Creek – Loup Loup

The hills to the East of Winthrop look smoother and sparser, but winding around and over ridges eventually carries the intrepid up to Loup Loup Pass, the choice ski bowl in the winter, but should be snow-free by June.

Options abound on the way back down. Crashing through past years’ burn zones and back up along Beaver Creek, there’s a touch of real roadways before veering off on Bally Hill to get down to the Eastside Rd paved return. Or, take the Bear Creek turn up to the single-track that brings you back to Pearrygin Lake and the easier downhill cruise back to finish.

Sunday | Cub Creek - Banker Pass - Rendezvous Pass

Just 36 miles — but what a twisted route we ride. Lots of forested dirt road climbing up along Cub Creek to the 4700' high point of Banker Pass, then turn back down until just a touch more up to Rendezvous Pass for a spectacular lunch vista.  Returning via the view side of the ridge, check your brakes before you bump down rocky Gunn Ranch Rd and Rendezvous Rd back into Winthrop.  A very fun, almost relaxing final day to convince you to return to this lovely land.


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.

Join us for social gatherings at local establishments on Friday and Saturday evening.

Where to Stay

Preferred Partners

When you register for this tour lite, we'll send you instructions for booking a room with our preferred partners.

Camping Options

Support During the Ride

This ride is supported by Cascade staff and volunteers.

Riders must check-in in the morning, at lunch, and at the end of the riding day so that we know everyone has made it safely off the trails and forest roads.

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.


June weather can bring many things: rain, extreme heat, and lots of sun. Morning temperatures may vary drastically from midday temperatures. Wear or bring layers to have available on your bike with you,

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


E-bikes are permitted on most of this ride. We are currently investigating alternate routes for e-bikes along some stretches. Methow Community Trail, Winthrop Trail, and Pearrygin Single Track do not allow any classes of e-bike along them. Alternate paved roads will be supported by SAG vehicles and represent only 14 miles out of this 144-mile tour, meaning that e-bike riders get to experience much of what non-e-bike riders do.


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 building 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.