Cycling Washington State’s Top Bike Climbs
Photo: Washington’s Top Bike Climb, Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park.
We LOVE climbing by bike in Washington!!!
Photo clockwise from top left:
Mt. Baker, Sunrise Highway (Mt. Rainier), Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Constitution, and Highway 129 (center)
The top bike climbs in Washington are all in the northern part of the state, with the top climb, Hurricane Ridge, nestled in the far northwestern corner. The top five bike climbs in Washington are:
#1 of 5 (US #57)
HURRICANE RIDGE, OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK
In our opinion Hurricane Ridge is one of THE most scenic cycling climbs in the US, most of which travels through spectacular Olympic National Park in Washington state. This is an exceptional climb for many reasons including its gorgeous scenery and magnificent views, the incredible road, super fun descent, it the fact that it is heavily forested for most of the climb, and in a National Park.
23 seconds of Hurricane Ridge
Our full 3:42 YouTube Video of Hurricane Ridge.
#2 of 5 (US #88)
MISSION RIDGE, WENATCHEE
Cycling Mission Ridge, a northern Washington Top 100 US Bike Climb.
Ride 11 miles gaining 3,954’ to elevation 4,586’ at 6.5% average grade.
We begin this one smack dab in the middle of Washington in the town of Wenatchee, which is known as the “Apple Capital of the World” and, sure enough, the lower portion of this climb travels through apple and pear orchards. In spite of the moderate average temperatures during the summer, the Wenatchee area can be very hot (over 100 degrees for our climb in August), so be prepared for that -- although the temperature will be 10-20 degrees cooler at the top of the climb.
Sections of this climb are very steep --11% for a full half mile at mile 8.
#3 of 5 (US #114)
MT. SPOKANE, SPOKANE
Come for the climb, stay for the descent. We don’t usually lead with this, but for this one it’s appropriate -- this is a Top 10 US descent. The perfect serpentine smooth roadway for much of the upper descent, along with the steep grade, makes for a very exciting and fun descent – one of the best for technical descending. There are fantastic views to the south along the switchbacks beginning after turning onto summit road at mile 9.4 (unfortunately, our visibility was diminished by a significant haze in the distance when we climbed the mountain in August 2015).
#4 of 5
McNEIL CANYON, CHELAN FALLS
Ride six miles, gaining 2,393’ at 7.5%.
Along with Mission Ridge and Badger Mountain Road, the McNeil Canyon bike climb is one of three top Washington climbs within 40 miles of each other. This six mile ride has an average of 7.5% gradient throughout.
#5 of 5
SHERMAN PASS, KETTLE FALLS
Ride from the Columbia River to Sherman Pass, Washington
22 miles gaining 4,484’ at 3.6%.
This 22 mile bike climb begins right on the banks of the Columbia River, in Kettle Falls, Washington and has an average 3.6% gradient throughout.