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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 presents the second year of this 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. Ridership is capped at 150 riders, making for a delightfully social and close-knit experience.
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.
Join us on February 10 at 10 a.m. at Cascade Bicycle Club in Magnuson Park in Seattle for a Tours 101 Info Session and learn more about this tour!
Registration opens: Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. Pacific.
Registration closes: Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.
Register in advance online. Registration is not available the day of the event.
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.
Click through to see the full map on Ride With GPS.
|Social Gathering at Methow Valley Ciderhouse
|Social Gathering at Methow Valley Ciderhouse
Friday | Patterson Lake – Thompson Road – Blackpine Lake
Turning south out of Winthrop across theMethow River, 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 biking 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 lower, but winding around and over ridges eventually carries the intrepid up to Loup Loup Pass, the choice ski bowl in the winter, which should be snow-free by June.
Options abound on the way back down. Crashing through past years’ burn zones and Finley Canyon, there’s a touch of real roadways before veering off on Balky 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 pastoral downhill cruise back to finish.
Sunday | Cub Creek - Banker Pass - Rendezvous Pass
Just 42 miles — but what a scenic 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 along Goat Creek, and finally switchbacking down the ridge North of the Winthrop Valley to discover the popular Methow Community Trail.
After lunch at the now-historic Tawlks-Foster Suspension Bridge, we cross to the South side of the Methow River to skirt the base of that mountain you climbed on Day 1. 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
Partnering Hotel & Campgrounds
- AbbyCreek Inn 1006 Hwy 20, Winthrop. 98862. We're holding a block for riders. Instructions for booking are in your registration confirmation email.
- Pine Near Park 326 Castle Ave, Winthrop 98862. Closest to the start/finish line. Campground offers a diverse range of accomodations, from RV spots, tent camping, cabins, and tipis.
- Methow River Lodge & Cabins 110 White Ave, Winthrop, WA 98862
- KOA Winthrop 1114 State Rte 20, Winthrop, WA 98862
- Pearrygin Lake 561 Bear Creek Road, Winthrop, WA 98862
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.