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Old 09-28-2014, 08:23 PM   #1
esteener OP
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Located in Tacoma, where to ride?

This seems like a vague question, one that I may get responses like, "use the search button." I think it's specific enough though.

Day trips from Tacoma, WA, as I often don't have the time to dedicate more than just two days at a time to riding. Even the chance to camp out for just the night is rare.

What are your favorite spots? I have no problem finding good places to RTE. I like destination rides where the ride is good and and yet I also have something to look forward to seeing. Current interests are fire tower lookouts, or just cool vista's. New to the PNW and it's really overwhelming, with so much to see it's hard to narrow it down.

So where too? Maybe if this doesn't get buried it could become a resource to people new to WA looking for some nice rides.

Thanks!
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:54 AM   #2
TwinDuro
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Hey Esteener,

Welcome to Taco-Ma; lots of great places to ride to close by, especially if you like gravel forest service roads! Plum Creek up near Wilkeson, WA has some great gravel to ride.




Just up the road from Plum Creek, the forest service roads right before the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainer National Park (the NW park entrance) have some great riding as well, including a ride up to Coplay Lake.



You can also ride up to Mowich Lake (which is near the Carbon River Park entrance), and depending on how dirty and technical you like to get, ride at the Evans Creek ORV area which has some great trails.



All of these spots are on the way to each other and are only about an hour from downtown Tacoma. There's a neat bar in Wilkeson, an interesting one in Carbonado and all sorts of other compelling things nearby.

A little bit farther away (2.5 hours total) is the ride up to the trail head (#266) for High Rock Lookout. An awesome ride on gravel with lots of side spurs to explore. You've gotta stop at the Copper Creek Inn restaurant in Ashford for some food; you won't regret it. The hike up to the lookout itself is about 1 mile strait up and down and offers some of the most spectacular views I've ever seen. Here's a photo I took from the trail about 2 years ago:



Have fun and even if you are only limited to day trips, it will take you a long, long, l-o-n-g time to get bored here!
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Old 09-29-2014, 06:23 AM   #3
STED9r
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FS 70 off of hwy 410 east over Naches trail. Drops you out south of the town of Naches and Whistling Jack's food stop.
From there take a right and head over Chinook pass and back towards Tacoma or take a left and head on over to Bethel Ridge which will drop you out onto hwy 12 and from there it's left to Yakima or right to Packwood.
Naches an Bethel is a full on full day ride without to much exploring, toss in a few miles of sightseeing and photo ops will make for full day.
Wilkinson riding is pretty much shut down now due to gate has been fixed and now patrolled, the forest road that hangs along champion property is a joke and full of the drunk local kids and Evans creek is, well full of drunk kids.
If your going to do a run off 410 or bethel, do it quick as hunt season is here and modern deer opens in 2 weeks with elk following right on its heels.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:19 PM   #4
Pokey66C23
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Fs70, fs73,

FS road 73 will take you to Sun Top Look Out. Nice views, lots of FS roads to choose from. FS 70 is fun with many off shoots to choose from. What are you riding? When do you do your riding? Weekdays are nice, less traffic....

pm me, I can show you some stuff south to the Columbia River on FS roads. Snow comes early on some of these due to the elevation. A Washington Gazetter and FS maps + a GPS would be handy. I'm in Puyallup.
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:30 PM   #5
scrminbanshee
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Hey how about a ride? I would be in to show somebody around? Come on pokey66c3 I'm in and i know you will be in as long as it works with your schedule. Anyways to the originally poster shoot me a pm and lets arrange something. (also paging sandy peat)
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Old 10-03-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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He's a C17 dude at McChord, probably on a trip right now. If we can, let's take him south to Gifford. Kinda depends on what he's riding. Are you open to another outing soon? I'll be home after 5 pm, dropping Josh off for a camping trip.

Call me and let me know your schedule for the next week or so.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:03 PM   #7
scrminbanshee
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Im totally in for a ride down to gifford. Ill give you a call tomorrow but deer season is just around the corner. I also want to see if my buddy who owns the drz in my garage is interested.
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Old 10-05-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
esteener OP
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thanks!

Hey folks thanks for the great replies! I ride a 1200GSA but can throw her around pretty good off road if it's not extensive single track. So far I have been enjoying Capitol State Forest, North Cascades Hwy and surrounding NF, and I did a trip down through Gifford Pinchot via NF-25 and that area, camping out.

I would love to get together with some of you guys for a ride sometime, I live right in Tacoma, Puyallup is a short ride away. I usually just wonder aimlessly on the dirt when I ride until i have to get home, then GPS it to the door. So thanks for providing some destinations to ride too, it is always nice to look forward to a cool view or spot after a few hours of riding. I will PM ya'll the next time I have at least a full day to devote too riding.

Keep the ideas coming if ya got em!

To keep it entertaining, a few pictures from my ride through North Cascades HWY, down to Ellensburg, back to Tac Town.




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Old 10-14-2014, 12:21 PM   #9
esteener OP
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Pokey, thanks for the suggestion of 73, and the Suntop MTN lookout. I rode up there on Sunday, unfortunately the road was closed a little ways down from the fire tower, so I could't take the bike all the way up there. It was good to get off the bike and hike a bit though and the view at the top was nothing short of incredible.

It was only 1:20 from my door to the fire tower as well, any other suggestions of things to check out in that are of the national forest? Some pictures...




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Old 10-15-2014, 10:08 AM   #10
STED9r
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Head out to Elbe and towards Mt Ranier, take Skate creek road and about a mile down it takes a sharp left turn, go straight and explore from there. Theres a few roads off Skate creek road but plan on hunt camp set up.
From Packwood, or Randall, take the FS road to Walput lake, a good number of off shoot roads and main road takes you to Randall.

I'm off 2 wheels unit end of Nov, hunting.
But, was the firts BMW to ever run the ridge up on Blewett this past wknd Mule deer hunting. Was tight and hairy at times but the guys on fat tired 200cc bikes and atv's was shocked to see a large bike running around, got more than some funny looks riding freeway in orange with a rifle on the back.
Which, is another good place to ride. Either at the top of pass or off the old Blewett pass highway(Scotty creek road)
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:26 PM   #11
Str8lin
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Some good dirt n gravel up around FS59 rd - copper creek or off mowich lake road (Evans Creek) both near Rainier. Check out Tahuya over near Belfair, i run my Tacoma there, looks like some good big bike challenges w/o getting into too much trouble.

I'M Auburn, ride 12GS, be interested in connecting for some exploration. Ride year around.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:53 AM   #12
DRONE
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First of all, subscribe to THIS THREAD. Those guys will take you places.

I don't know the roads well enough to give directions, but nobody's mentioned Wynoochee Lake in the Olympics -- an easy day ride from Tacoma. Over the Tacoma Narrows then west across the Key Peninsula then south on SR 3 to Shelton (all enjoyable paved roads) then forest service roads to the lake. There's other gravel roads around there to explore too.

There are many other Olympic destinations that can be looped in a day from the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. If you've never been to Hurricane Ridge, even though it's a paved ride, it's sorta de rigeur to do it at least once. There are lots of guys on here who know all the gravel rides in that area.

In Post#2 above, Twinduro talked about the gravel roads around Plum Creek. I'm not sure, but I think maybe he was talking about the roads around South Prairie Creek southeast of Wilkeson. Most of the land between Wilkeson and the NF is owned by the Plum Creek Timber Company which maybe is the confusion. If you like views, from Wilkeson follow FR 7720 to the top of Three Sisters Ridge just west of Cedar Lake (47.072501, -121.848442) -- from there you can see 100 miles in every direction except south. If it's a hot summer day you can hike down to the lake (pristine) and go for a swim. It's about 500 vertical feet below the ridge line, no trail but easy enough to scramble.

Cedar Lake


Another day ride is to go up to Snoqualmie Pass on your big pig, then get off Exit 62 and take gravel roads over Stampede Pass and follow FR 54 down to Lester, then up the other side on FR 52 to FR 7036 to FR 7040 that'll take you up to the top of the ridge (47.141433, -121.362602). From there you take a right along the ridge line to Windy Gap, then drop down into the Greenwater River drainage, then home on Rt 410. All good gravel/dirt roads doable on a 12GS. Plenty of places to get lost up there though if you're not good at route finding. Also, snow blocks a lot of these roads up high 8 months of the year.

Somewhere near Windy Gap
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Old 11-28-2014, 01:56 PM   #13
esteener OP
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Anyone interested in riding tomorrow? No particular plan on where to go.
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Old 11-28-2014, 05:18 PM   #14
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News report say up to 1" of snow in the south sound tomorrow maybe more up north
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Old 11-29-2014, 10:37 AM   #15
esteener OP
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It did indeed snow, and I wimped out. I am going to hit Capitol State Forest tomorrow, PM me if you are interested!
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