Rockies Tour 2002: Overnight Ride to Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams & Mt. Rainier

Monday & Tuesday, July 22 – 23

  • Seattle, WA to Goldendale, WA and back
  • 522 miles

The ride to Windy Ridge in the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is very possibly the finest ride in Washington State; the forests, the twisty roads and the absence of traffic, the 3 volcanoes and the blast zone are as good as it gets. 

Spirit Lake, once a postcard perfect scene, is still, after 20 plus years, a desolate landscape. The volcano exploded to the north and as the lake lies directly north of the cone, it took the full brunt of the blast. The lake is still filled with debris and the ridges are devoid of any substantial vegetation. 

After descending from Windy Ridge, we continue south and east through the forest, skirting Mt. Adams while we head for the town of Trout Lake. The twisties seem to go on for hours and we see no one else on the road for a long time. We gas up and take a break in Trout Lake and then head south for the Columbia Gorge. From there, we head upstream to the town of Goldendale where we spend the evening eating good Mexican food and drinking microbrews.

The next morning, we head north through Satus Pass and over the Toppenish Ridge to Yakima. From there, we head up Hwy 410 to Chinook Pass. After the hot, arid climate east of the Cascades, it’s fun to climb back up into the fir forests and to find snow on the ground up at Chinook Pass.

We motor down into the White River valley between the crest of the Cascades and Mt. Rainier on our way back to Seattle. We stop for the obligatory espresso at Wapati Woolies in Greenwater, WA, a great end to yet another fine tour of the Pacific Northwest.

Our Tucson brothers leave for home the next day and ride from Seattle to LA in less than 24 hours on their H-D Road Kings. These guys are real Iron Butt material!

(click a photo to launch slideshow)

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