– Ben Martens

Cascade Loop

Ever since I arrived in Seattle with a motorcycle, I’ve been told about the Cascade Loop. It covers some of the most beautiful roads in Washington, but it’s also a big trip for one day. Today, I set out to conquer the loop.

You can see my basic route below. The actual Cascade Loops includes a run down Whidbey Island, but that would make a big day even bigger and I’ve traveled that road many times anyway. The highlight of this ride is going to be the northern stretch along Highway 20. That 5500 foot high pass is closed all winter long, and I’ve never been there.

The route is about 450 miles. I average about 50mph on long trips due to the need for frequent stops so that puts me at 9 hours. Factor in some extra sore muscles from a full day on the bike and I’m hoping to tackle this in 12 hours. I’m planning to Twitter my progress along the way so you can watch for updates on my feed.

I’m still undecided about whether I will come back through Stevens Pass or Snoqualmie Pass. Stevens is more scenic and gets me out of the hot weather on the east side of the mountains. Snoqualmie is 70mph interstate. I’ll make the call when I get near Cashmere. Interestingly it’s only 1 mile extra to go through Stevens than Snoqualmie, but I expect it’s about 15-30 minutes longer.