PACific Crest Tour July, 2012
Everett, WA to Reno, NV
Arrive: Everett, WA Saturday, July 7th
14 riding days 1,509 miles
From Everett, Washington we ride the Mukilteo Ferry and explore the coastal region of Puget Sound. We crisscross Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands on our way north to Sedro Woolley. Crossing Deception Pass Bridge reveals spectacular views of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges.
We take the scenic Cascades Highway over Washington Pass, a high point at 5,477 feet, and the descent into Winthrop through the Methow River valley is breathtaking.
On the east side of the Cascade range we find beautiful rivers and canyons. After a nights lodging in picturesque Leavenworth on the Wenatchee river, lunch on the Columbia river at Rocky Reach Dam, and a quiet ride along the Yakima river we find our way to Selah.
Leaving the rain shadow of the Washington Cascades, we head back into the mountains toward Mount Rainier. The route passes over Blewett Pass at 4,102 feet. The long climbs make for stunning descents. Near Chinook pass many hiking trails spiral around Mount Rainer. The small town of Packwood is a welcomed sight after such a demanding day.
Our first day of cycling in Oregon is our most difficult. We meander around the foothills of Mount Hood on small forest roads with great views of Mount Hood and Lookout Mountain. We leave the moist region of the Cascades again to head east to Dufur, then south to Tygh Valley where we take the historic Barlow Road (Oregon Trail) back toward Mount Hood. Our route this day averages over 1,000 feet of climbing per 10 miles; the final 6 miles uphill to the Timberline Lodge has 2,000 feet of climbing! We'll throw a huge blow out dinner at Timberline to celebrate our most difficult PAC tour day ever!
Fly home Sunday, July 22nd.
Oregon has spectacular forest roads going up, around and over the Cascade range. Heading southeast toward Bend, we follow McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway through the highest concentration of snow-capped volcanoes in the contiguous United States. The Three Sisters Mountains dominate the landscape. Our evening destination is the fabulous McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend, Oregon, a catholic school built in 1936 and recently converted into a hotel, movie theater and pub.
The day from Bend to Diamond Lake meanders on forest roads with a short section on US 97. We circle Mount Bachelor on narrow logging roads. We sleep at a resort 22 miles north of Crater Lake. Our last day in Oregon heads up to Crater Lake National Park, then drops into Ashland--rose capital of Oregon. The twisty descent down Dead Indian Memorial Highway is a memory for everyone!
We have one last big climb on historic US 99 as we approach California. We ride along Old Stage Coach Road to Mount Shasta. The great white mountain rules the sky as you enter and leave town. This is the High Sierra region of California. Mount Shasta remains behind as we ride to Susanville. Our lunch at Hat Creek Rim overlook gives everyone time to embrace the mountains one last time. From here we predominately lose elevation to Reno. We circle the city to the southwest and jog north to our hotel near the airport.
It would be easy to extend your vacation to visit lake Tahoe, Yosemite, San Francisco, or the wine country in California's Central Valley. Instead of a Reno departure - a rental car could take you on to further adventures in this highly scenic part of the United States.
About 87,526' total climbing.
New tour this year