ATTRACTIONS. This ride is one portion of a tough but scenic century ride put on by the Lake Chelan Rotary Club each June. That event is called the Chelan Century Challenge. If you combine this ride with the Chelan-Navarre Coulee Loop and the Manson Loop (also listed in this guidebook) you’ve got the century ride covered. Most riders will find this loop an adequate workout without adding the other two loops. They’ll also find the ride very scenic. It exposes you to a small portion of Lake Chelan, orchards, a crossing of the Columbia River, volcanic lava flows, and elevated views looking down upon the ribbon of the Columbia and across at the snowcapped Cascades. It also exposes you to a tongue-hanging climb up McNeil Canyon and a brake-melting descent once you turn around and plunge downward.
DISTANCE: 40 miles.
ELEVATION GAIN: 4,000 vertical feet.
SKILL. 2 (intermediate).
FITNESS. 3- (strong intermediate to advanced).
ACCESS. At the town of Chelan, follow Highway 150 north and west toward Manson. On the north end of town, park at Don Morse Park.
- Ride Highway 150 back into the town of Chelan, turn left on 97A, and head east out of town. Soon the road hooks around and heads NE.
- After about 3 miles, branch left (north) on Apple Acres Road and ride about 7 miles to Highway 97.
- Here, turn right and ride south along Highway 97 for about 10 miles to the Beebe Bridge.
- Cross the Beebe Bridge across the Columbia River and, on the far side of the bridge, turn left (north) onto the McNeil Canyon Rd.
- Now pop some veins in your brain as you climb for 7 miles up McNeil Canyon. Some parts of the climb are a 15-percent grade and if you don’t have thunder thighs, you might enjoy having a triple chain ring. The intersection with Canyon Road makes a good turnaround point.
- Scream back down McNeil Canyon, cross the Beebe Bridge again and, on the far side of the bridge, turn left on Highway 150.
- Follow Highway 150 about 5 miles (yup, mainly uphill) back to Chelan and then through town back to Don Morse Park.
CONS. In late spring and summer afternoon winds and heat can be unpleasant. Many riders will enjoy the route more if they tackle it early in the morning.
MAPS. See our map.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Click here for information about the Lake Chelan Century Challenge ride.
LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. This should be every outdoor 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.