Seattle to Leavenworth

The sun begins to break through the fog early morning between Monroe and Sultan.

Both the most ambitious and most beautiful single-day ride I’ve ever done, this route takes you out from Seattle toward Woodinville along the Burke-Gilman, but then peels off to the North, through the Northern Snoqualmie Valley through Duvall and Monroe, before paralleling and ultimately joining US-2 up and over the 4,061′ summit of Stevens Pass.

The portion of the Old Cascade Highway over the pass was closed, but I found the shoulder along US-2 wide and serviceable this early in the season. Much later and I’d worry much more about snow occupying the shoulder.

It’s certainly not a ride for the faint-of heart, with significant portions along fast-moving US-2 where the shoulder is scarce and even snow-covered in the winter, but if you’re willing to brave it, the scenery is spectacular, with great river views of the Skykomish along the way, a wonderful break from the noise and traffic of US-2 along the Old Cascade Highway, and the reflective waters of the Tumwater River on the home stretch to Leavenworth.

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