ATTRACTIONS: This convenient bike ride leaves right from Wenatchee and allows riders to get quickly out of town on a road that, on weekends, is not very heavily traveled. Once you’re past the Alcoa plant, the traffic really thins, the road grows ever narrower, the setting feels ever more remote, and the scenery keeps improving.
DISTANCE: 40 miles.
ELEVATION: About 1,700 vertical foot gain.
SKILL. 2 (intermediate).
FITNESS. 2 (intermediate)
ACCESS: Park in the little parking area at Lincoln Park (in Wenatchee) on the corner of Methow and Crawford.
- Ride 0.3 miles downhill toward the Columbia River and turn right (south) on Wenatchee Avenue. Wenatchee Avenue turns into the Malaga-Alcoa Highway. The highway has a good shoulder until the Alcoa Aluminum plant. The shoulder narrows a little ways after Alcoa but there is very little traffic beyond the plant.
- Some landmarks you’ll pass along the highway: the turn to Stemilt Creek Road. (Milepost 3), Malaga Market (Milepost 5.4), and entrance to Alcoa aluminum plant (Milepost 8.8). The traffic will thin significantly after Malaga, and even more so after Alcoa.
- At Milepost 13.6 reach a Y in the road. The left fork is the Tarpiscan Road and goes another 3 miles (quite flat) before turning to gravel. Take the right fork (Colockum Road) which will start climbing steadily (sometimes steeply). The last mile of the road is the steepest.
- Milepost 19.6 the pavement ends. The gravel road ahead climbs up to Colockum Pass and then drops down into Ellensburg.
- Retrace your route and return to Lincoln Park.
RECOMMENDED SEASON: Almost any season is good for this ride. This is hot, open country in the summer, so ride late or early in the day. This route is a good November ride when the seasons are changing and many other forms of outdoor recreation are on hold.
LAND DESIGNATION: State and county roads.
FEES / PERMITS: None required.
TRIP REPORTER: Andy Dappen, November 2005.
LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. This should be every user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others and pull a few noxious weeds along your route.
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.