Today’s ride was submitted to us by Todd in Seattle. He is a software developer, dad, bike commuter, and occasional weekend cyclist.
I call this ride the Seattle to Alpental 50-50 Grinder. It’s 50 miles of roads and paved bike trails and 50 miles of gravel trails. It also involves 6000 feet of elevation gain. Here’s a link to my route map.
This ride starts at Seward Park on Lake Washington Boulevard and travels north around the lake via the Burke Gilman Trail. The route travels through Woodinville and Duvall and into the rural countryside of east King County to catch the unpaved Snoqualmie Valley Trail. This trail takes you through the towns of Carnation, Fall City and North Bend. Sandy’s Espresso in Carnation is a lovely halfway point to get food and drink. Other personal favorites include the Dairy Freeze in North Bend (great shakes) and The Black Dog in Snoqualmie (tasty turkey BLT). Be sure you’re stocked up on water and snacks at North Bend–there’s little else until you reach Snoqualmie Pass.
We have a place at Snoqualmie Pass, so I usually stay there overnight at the end of the ride and catch a ride back with my family. I have also biked back to Seattle the following day via a more direct route (70 miles) along the I-90 corridor. There are plenty of places to stay overnight in the pass area, so it’s easy to turn this into a two day ride. There are also some camping spots along the Iron Horse Trail if you want to make this a bike camping trip.
I usually try to do this ride a couple of times a year, usually between May and October. It’s a good idea to consult the Iron Horse State Park page or contact them to make sure that the tunnel at Hyak is open for the season. And speaking of the tunnel, don’t forget your light and windbreaker! The tunnel is two miles of pitch black, damp and cool riding regardless of the weather outside.
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