Chinook & White Pass Loop

Trip Date: 5-24-2009

Features:

  • Green River
  • Green Valley Rd.
  • Enumclaw
  • MT Rainier
  • Chinook Pass
  • White Pass
  • White River
  • Skoocum Falls
  • Chinook Pass (SR- 410)
  • American River
  • Bumping River
  • Old River
  • Naches River
  • Naches
  • Hyw 12
  • Whistlin Jack's
  • Louise Lake
  • Nisqually River
  • Many Road Side Falls (Spring)
  • Packwood (Elk Herds)
  • Coal Canyon
  • Randle
  • Morton
  • Elbe
  • Alder Lake

Hazards:

  • Snow Slide (Spring Opening)
  • Rock Slide Areas
  • Deer & Elk


Chinook Pass & White Pass Loop Video
MT. Rainer WA

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 19.5 MB)

Trip Details:

 

Chinook Pass & White Pass

 After a long winter I was pleased to hear the Washington state Department of Transportation had opened Chinook pass a few days ago. The Chinook Pass and White Pass look is my favorite spring ride and one I don't miss. Three riders made the last minute journey. I say last minute because this was another spur of the moment ride. The weather brought us low morning clouds that were destined to burn off and unleash a sunny day in the low 70's. Plans that where in place for another project fell through and I wasn't going to waste the day. On short notice two riders Lloyd and Dave joined me for the day ride. Dave showed at my place in Tacoma at 9:20 AM and we were off on our way. Next stop was Green River Meats in Black Diamond where we met Lloyd. The plan was to ride over Chinook and eat lunch at Whistlin Jack's then return up over hwy 12 and White Pass and Ride through Packwood, Morton and Elbe. When planning this ride we made it a point to ride the Green Valley Rd. green Valley Rd. is a great way to start a ride as it twists 7.4 miles through Green Valley lined by farms and fence line.  The speed in this area is 30 mph but wow what a neat road. You can ride it a bit faster but keep in mind this area is the residence of farmers and they may not appreciate folks speeding through their neighborhood. You also have to watch out for farm equipment entering the road way as tractors make their way from field to field.

Road-Quest.com Chinook Pass & White Pass loop Washington WA. MT. Rainier, White River, Ghost Lake. Deep snow and some great motorcycle touring roads. Motorcycle rides thoough the MT. Rainier National Forest.It wasn't long and we were at our next turn right on to 218th. The next 8.4 miles took us on to 368th into 236th, left on to 384th and then right on to 244th. This too was a nice area as it's loaded with livestock farms mostly cattle. We took a left on to 440th and then left on to Roosevelt Rd and through the town of Enumclaw. In this area we started getting some nice views of MT. Rainier. Once we made our way through Enumclaw Roosevelt turned into SR-410. Unless you have a full tank I would advise you to fuel up in Enumclaw. We rode 17.8 miles of SR-410 most of which we paralleled the White River and brought us through the Federation Forest into Green water. By now we had sunny skies and could not have asked for better riding weather. Prior to riding into Green Water we made several stops along the River. There was allot of flow to the river and in some areas they were not allowing swimming and tubing due to the heavy flow and cold water temperatures. Green Water is a good place to stop and rest as well as grab anything you may wish to eat or drink along the way. In our case we were watered and had already stopped a couple times so we just rode on through.

Road-Quest.com Chinook Pass & White Pass loop Washington WA. MT. Rainier, White River, Ghost Lake. Deep snow and some great motorcycle touring roads. Motorcycle rides thoough the MT. Rainier National Forest.The next 25.6 miles we rode paralleling the White River and into the MT. Rainier National Forest. The Roads were pretty good with just a few bad areas. Once in the forest we enjoyed the twists and turns as we made our way past Ghost lake and up towards the pass. It wasn't long and we past the turn off to Sunrise. As much as I would have loved to ride up to Sunrise it's still closed. We were just starting to see the first signs of snow and the air was a bit cooler. I still found it comfortable to ride without heavy gear. It wasn't but a few miles and we were into deep snow pack. Everything was white but the road. They did a great job on plowing the road as we did not run into any ice or slush for that matter. We took advantage of many view points for pictures. Soon we crested the pass and stopped for a rest at the rest stop up on the pass. It was sunny and the mountain was loaded with snow! If you haven't ridden Chinook when they first open it you are missing out. On the way up we found ourselves enjoying some great twisties carved out of the the snow with in some areas 10 foot snow banks on each side of the road. It was nothing short of awesome! Up on the past were several bikers who had arrived just ahead of us. We just kicked back and watched the kids sledding and enjoying what the sun would soon take away.

The stop was great but we were soon back on the road. We headed down the east side of Chinook Pass and was amazed how far down the snow level went. This was a reminder that just a week ago or so, they had snow falling in the passes. The next 27 miles we rode down the east side winding our way down the mountain and enjoying breathe taking views of the canyon and hills in the backdrop. SR-410 Parallels the American River in areas providing for many views of the river around bends as we rode on. The American River soon runs into the Bumping River giving us more opportunities for views of the heavy flowing river. As we dropped in elevation it was really warming up. I never did get the days high temp in Naches Washington but it felt near 80 degrees. We soon arrived at our lunch stop Whistlin Jack's. I was told it was a great stop. There were probably 50 bikes in the parking lot. In the same lot is a fuel station that allot of folks were taking advantage of. We went inside and was amazed at the view of the  Naches river just behind the restaurant. We were treated to a window seat to boot! The inside has that rustic log building look and feel right down to the Stuffed Elk near the doorway. I was a bit taken back by the menu. Not a big selection and no prices. They had several fish plates, pasta, stuffed mushrooms and steaks. I was hoping for some great burgers on the menu but there was only one listed. The Kobe Beef burger. That is what I ordered. It took a long time to get our food and the burger was good but not good enough to make the burger page. It definitely was not worth the $15 + price tag it came with. Their BBQ sauce on the other hand was runny but had to be home made and was delicious! I could taste the molasses used in the recipe.

Road-Quest.com Chinook Pass & White Pass loop Washington WA. MT. Rainier, White River, Ghost Lake. Deep snow and some great motorcycle touring roads. Motorcycle rides thoough the MT. Rainier National Forest. Naches Hyw 12 It soon was time to hit the road. After fueling up we made our way 20 miles down SR-410 to hwy 12 where we turned right and made our way towards Rim Rock Lake and White Pass. The next 20 miles was a fun twisting ride through the desert and hills as we rode paralleling the Tieton River following it up to the Tieton Dam. This was an amazing road to ride. very scenic and the cool air off the river felt good. Just behind the Tieton Dam is Rim Rock Lake. This was a great stop to take pictures and rest. Once back in the saddle and on the road we rode parallel to the lake for 5.6 miles on hwy 12 where we parted from the lake and headed 12 miles to White Pass. Along the way we enjoyed more twisties and past Dog Lake and Leech Lake. One of which, Dog Lake I believe, was still mostly frozen over. We didn't stop at White Pass just enjoyed the view as we rode on by. The next 20 miles took us down the west side of the pass through some great twists, turns and spectaculars views. This time of year there are many road side falls from melting snow. This made for an even nicer trip down. We soon arrived at the hwy 123 junction and continued on to the little town of Packwood. It didn't seem too little Road-Quest.com Chinook Pass & White Pass loop Washington WA. MT. Rainier, White River, Ghost Lake. Deep snow and some great motorcycle touring roads. Motorcycle rides thoough the MT. Rainier National Forest. Rim Rock Lake Tieton Dam River. as there was a street festival and thousands of people and many food venders. It was almost like a street fair right down to the Elephant Ears. Normally this time of day the Elk Herds come down into town and lay around. Due to the noise and people this was not the case this evening. It was now approaching 5 PM. We slowly made our way through town and rode west on hwy 12 for another 33.6 miles passing through the town of Randle and into Morton where we fueled up and let some blood back into our back sides. The sun was heading down but it was plenty warm. We rode through the town of Morton on hwy 7 passing the Hampton lumber mill. This is an old mill that has been in operation since I can remember. We rode 16.8 miles from Morton through Coal Canyon and on to Elbe. If you havn't visited Elbe its a tiny little town on the  East end of Alder Lake. The town is made up of a tiny grocers, Late stand, Scale Burger stand and some train cars that are actually eateries.

After passing through Elbe we rode past Alder lake as the sun continued to lower in the ski. Leaving Elbe we had 16.3 miles of fun scenic and twisting roadway. Just west of Elbe are some fun twisties that go through La Grande. I rode them but was stuck behind a string of cars, trucks and trailers. The rest of the way home was straight and filled with more 4 wheeled vehicles that just got in the way. No complaints because we enjoyed one of Washington's best spring rides! 

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Tacoma, Washington - United States (USA)
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