ATTRACTIONS: This is the advertised route of the Apple Century ride. The ride up the Entiat River Valley is very beautiful. The river is close by through the entire ride. Scenery changes from scattered homes and farms near the bottom of the river, to forest at the upper end. Silver Falls itself is a wonderful sight. Always the possibility of wildlife–I nearly ran into a mule deer when it walked out of the trees a few yards ahead of me.
DISTANCE: 100 mile round trip from Walla Walla Point Park at the north end of Wenatchee, or 60 mile round trip from Entiat to Silver Falls Campground and back.
ELEVATION: 1800 ft elevation gain from Walla Walla Point Park, 1700 ft gain from beginning of Entiat River Road.
SKILL: 2 (intermediate).
FITNESS: 3 (advanced)
ACCESS: Start point in Wenatchee is at Walla Walla Point Park, off of Walla Walla Street in north Wenatchee. This is the start point for the 100-mile round trip. For a scenic 60-mile trip, park in Entiat, and ride the Entiat River Road. If starting from Entiat, drive 97A north to Entiat and park at City Park (0.5 miles north of the Entiat River Road), or at the Food Center (1.3 miles north of the Entiat River Road) if you need to purchase any food for the ride.
From Walla Walla Point Park, follow ‘The Loop’ bike trail upstream along the Columbia River. Cross the foot/bike bridge over the Wenatchee River to Confluence Park. Where the Loop intersects the paved road leading into Confluence Park, turn left off of the bike trail and ride uphill.
At the stop sign, turn right on Old Station Road and stay on this arterial as it bends to the left and becomes Euclid Ave north. At the next stop sign, turn right on Penny Rd. This bends left and then goes straight and after 0.5 miles merges seamlessly into Highway 97A. For the next few miles, 97A borders commercial properties with significant truck and auto traffic. Use caution. Once out of the commercial area, the wide shoulder offers smooth riding and generally gentle grades.
Follow 97A for about 15 miles. Shortly after crossing the bridge spanning the Entiat River, turn left on the Entiat River Road. There is a sign indicating distances to various campgrounds and other points ahead. Silver Falls is about 30 miles from the start of the Entiat River Road. The shoulder on this road varies from good, to almost nothing. It is generally wide enough for comfortable riding, but the road and shoulder surface itself tends to be a little rough.
Ten miles up the Entiat River Road is Coopers Store and Cafe at Ardenvoir. This is your last chance to buy food and you should refill the water bottles (depending on the season you may not always be able to get water at the campgrounds farther up river). Beyond Ardenvoir, the road continues to climb, following the river up the valley. At the start of National Forest land, the grade steepens.
The turn-around point is Silver Falls which has a campground near the river and, slightly beyond the turn into the campground, a trail to the falls. If time and energy allows, it’s worth hiking to the falls (a roundtrip distance of 1.5 miles).
RECOMMENDED SEASON: Spring or Fall are best. There is no shade on highway 97A for most of the day, it can be a long, hot ride back to Wenatchee from Entiat along the highway.
HAZARDS: The Entiat River Road is scenic, winding, and lightly traveled. That said, many of the drivers are not accustomed to finding bicycles on the road. There have been car/bike collisions on this road — one that even resulted in a death. Make yourself visible and use caution.
LAND DESIGNATION: Initially most of the land alongside the Entiat River Road is private. The upper stretches of the road are bordered by Forest Service lands.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Coopers Store in Ardenvoir provides the last stop for services while heading up the Entiat River Valley. The little café here serves good sandwiches and great milkshakes.
ISSUES: Sometimes there is no water avail at Silver Falls Campground. The pump was not functioning on my trip, May 2006. Consider carrying iodine tablets or Aquamira (drops) in case you need to purify stream water.
BUSES: Our local bus system (Link Transit) has bike racks on the front of its buses. This gives cyclists of all abilities the chance to enjoy part of this ride without driving to Entiat. Take the bus (Route 21) to the Entiat Park ‘n Ride and carry on, or catch the bus home later in the day from the Entiat Park ‘n Ride. Buses run Monday through Saturday (no service on Sundays); it costs 75 cents to ride between Wenatchee and Entiat. Check the current bus schedule at Link’s website.
TRIP REPORTER: Guy Miner; May 17, 2006
LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT: This should be every user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings, throw branches over unwanted spur trails…
DISCLAIMER. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.