It’s been awhile since we’ve highlighted great scenic motorcycle rides. But since it’s summer and the best time to travel, we needed some new motorcycle trips. The U.S. south is too hot this time of year, so we’re headed to the Pacific Northwest.
Highway 20 Washington Pass, Washington
Washington state has arguably the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the United States. Highway 20 is no different. This 65 mile ride starts in Marblemount and ends in Winthrop.
The route takes you through North Cascade National Park, and you’ll climb up to 8000 feet in elevation. The lookouts feature mountains, old growth forests, and many waterfalls. This is a trip for experienced riders: the roads are twisty with rockfall warnings.
The Devil’s Tail, Oregon
The Devil’s Tail in Hells Canyon is one of the most famous motorcycle roads in the world. Hells Canyon is 2000 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon. The Hells Canyon Scenic Byway starts in Baker City, but the 22 mile Devil’s Tail is the best part of the ride.
There are hundreds of twists and turns. Watch for rock falls and tar snakes. The scenery is jaw-dropping. The canyon forms the base of the Seven Devils Mountains, and you’ll cross Snake River into Idaho.
The Klickitat Loop, Washington
Another great Washington ride is the 80 mile Klickitat Loop. Starting in Bingen, you’ll head west, then ride north and loop around to Klickitat. The best part of this ride is the lack of traffic, cops, and tourists.
The scenery is great, and the roads are fun. There are small lakes and mountains along the ride. Be sure to stop at the replica of Stonehenge. The roads feature wide sweeps and nice curves.
Mount Rainier, Washington
Another national park in the Cascades features the dormant volcano Mount Rainier. Start your ride in Elbe and head east to Sunset Park road in the national park. This road is by far the most scenic in the park.
Your scenery will take you through lakes and rivers, mountains and canyons, waterfalls and dropoffs. The roads are well maintained and feature many sharp turns and zig-zags. You’ll climb high, as Mount Rainier sits at 14,411 feet above sea level.
Aufderheide Memorial Drive, Oregon
This 60 mile ride takes you from Oakridge, through the Willamette National Forest, and north to Rainbow, Oregon. The views are stunning, and the roads are well-kept.
The forests are filled with old Douglas Firs. The rivers are brilliant blue, and the lookout at Cougar Dam is worth stopping. There’s camping available, too, just make sure you’re not there in the winter.