ATTRACTIONS: A scenic road ride through the Lake Wenatchee environs with views of the eastside Cascadian peaks, relatively little traffic, and relatively little climbing (at least compared to most rides in Central Washington). Parts of the ride feature salmon spawning in late summer (late August through September) and brilliant foliage in fall (first three weeks of October).
DISTANCE: 65 miles as described. Heading up the Little Wenatchee River but skipping the White River leg makes the ride about 52 miles long. Doing the White River leg and skipping the Little Wenatchee leg makes the ride about 39 miles long.
ELEVATION Start: 1,860 feet. Turn around: 2,660 feet. Total gain: 800 feet.
SKILL. 2 (intermediate).
FITNESS. 2 (intermediate)
ACCESS. Drive to the gravel parking lot at the Plain Hardware store in the town of Plain and park. Plain can be accessed from Cole’s Corner off of Highway 2 or by driving the Chumstick Highway from the town of Leavenworth.
(Note: Mileages for this trip account are not done as a running log but are approximations of the point-to-point mileage.)
–Turn left out of the parking lot.
— 0.35 miles: the main road hooks left. Go straight on the Chiwawa Loop Road (there is a Thousand Trails sign here). Follow this loop road as it twists and winds.
— 8.8 miles: merge with State Highway 207 (aka Lake Wenatchee Highway). Turn right onto the highway.
–0.3 miles: turn left onto the North Shore Road
–4.75 miles: Stop sign at the end of North Shore Road. Turn left back onto the Lake Wenatchee Highway.
–0.9 miles: White River Road splits off to the right. Note this spot –you’ll ride the White River Road on the return. For now, stay on the main road which gradually takes a big hook to the left, crosses a bridge, and eventually heads up the Little Wenatchee River
–6.25 miles: A road with signs for US Highway 2 hooks off to the left. Stay on the road that keeps going straight up the Little Wenatchee River drainage.
–6.5 miles: You’ve reached the end of the pavement. Turn around and head down the way you came.
–12.75 miles: Back at the White River Road, turn left and head up it.
–6.5 miles: Reach the Napeequa River. Note: from late August to early October, check out some of the pools you pass for salmon—they’re often visible spawning in those waters that aren’t too swift and that have good river gravels.
–6.5 miles: Back at Highway 207 (or the Lake Wenatchee Highway) turn left and ride the highway.
–5.9 miles: Turn left onto Highway 209 (aka Beaver Valley Road). Note: This turn is roughly a half mile after you crossed a bridge spanning the Wenatchee River.
–5.2 miles: Follow Highway 209 all the way back to Plain and back to the hardware store.
LAND OWNERSHIP. State highways and county roads. All the roads are paved to the points described. The road up the White River is not in good shape (lots of potholes and patches) but has little traffic and, scenically, is well worth riding.
PERMITS. None needed.
HAZARDS. The usual for road riding: like death or paralysis from speeding hunks of steel piloted by judgment-impaired drivers fumbling for their cell phone, coffee, or smokes.
TRIP REPORTER. Andy Dappen, 10/14/2006
LEAVE IT BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT. This should be every user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, etc.
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.