Ride Around Washington

Event date: 
Sunday, August 2, 2015 - 7:00am to Saturday, August 8, 2015 - 5:00pm

17th Annual Ride Around Washington

Roll on, Columbia 

Ilwaco to Walla Walla

August 2 - 8, 2015

The 2015 edition of Ride Around Washington (RAW), the second of our four-year RAW Cyclereprises one of the annual tour’s most popular and iconic routes – the Columbia River.

The Roll on Columbia tour will begin at Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco WA, where last year’s RAW ended. We’ll journey from the end point of Lewis and Clark’s cross-continental expedition upriver along some of the Pacific Northwest’s most scenic and historic landscapes, finishing in the heart of Washington wine country in Walla Walla. 

RAW is a fully supported bicycle tour with overnight camping accommodations. The tour includes: three meals per day; hot showers; daily ride support (snacks, water and mechanic services); daily luggage transport to each overnight camp; and gear and bike transportation to the start and from the finish.  

Member Registration opens in early January. 

Check out this video from RAW 2014, courtesy of Andrea Fox and Rhonda McKinney.

Route overview

Beginning Sunday Aug. 2, the Roll on Columbia route will cover 425 miles in six consecutive days of riding, averaging about 70 miles per day. We’ll overnight in Walla Walla after the final day’s ride and return to Seattle on Saturday, Aug. 8. 

Day 1: Sunday, Aug. 2
Ilwaco to Skamakowa | 54 miles | 2,106 feet of climbing 

The optional bus ride rolls out from Seattle on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. sharp. The actual Roll on Columbia RAW tour commences in Ilwaco, WA, at the mouth of the Columbia River, where we ended last year’s Olympic Peninsula & Coast route. The tour will start at approximately 11:30 a.m. at the Ilwaco High School staging area. Putting the Pacific to our backs, we will trace the north bank of the Columbia with views of the Astoria-Megler bridge and the river, along the historic Lewis and Clark Trail Highway. We will end at the first of several venues on the banks of the river at Vista State Park in Skamakowa. This short day is mostly flat with small hills but a few miles out of Skamakowa we will summit KM Mountain (760 feet) for our first notable climb of the week.  

Photo courtesy of Roger Salstrom

Day 2: Monday, Aug. 3
Skamakowa to Vancouver | 88 miles | 2,135 feet of climbing

This long but relatively flat stretch continues inland towards our overnight venue in Vancouver, WA, across the river from Portland, OR. As we pass through the port cities of Longview and Vancouver you are sure to catch glimpses of ocean going cargo vessels and river barges along this stretch of the river. We will stay at Vancouver Lake Park for the night.

Day 3: Tuesday, Aug. 4
Vancouver to Stevenson | 58 miles | 1,971 feet of climbing

Most of Day 3 will be spent cycling along the Historic Columbia River Highway on the Oregon side of the river. This beautiful stretch of road was the nation’s first scenic highway – built in the early 1900s so that drivers of the newly invented automobile could enjoy the beautiful vistas and landscapes along the way. Though this is a short day in terms of mileage, you are likely to want to pause to enjoy the many photo opportunities along the way, including: the Portland Women’s Forum Viewpoint, Crown Point Vista House and numerous waterfalls before crossing the “Bridge of the Gods” to our campground in Stevenson on the Washington side of the river.

Photo courtesy of Roger Salstrom

Day 4: Wednesday, Aug. 5
Stevenson to Maryhill State Park | 77 miles | 4,347 feet of climbing

Crossing back into Oregon for the morning’s ride, we’ll roll through wind and water sports hotspot Hood River, OR. Blowing winds are like “surfs-up” in this town. If flags are flying, be sure to check out action on the river, or just stop for a pastry or hot beverage before continuing. We’ll soon be riding a picturesque off-road bikeway featuring tunnel passages and even more spectacular views up river. At The Dalles, we will cross back to the Washington side, enjoy rolling terrain and perhaps make an impromptu winery stop on the way into camp. Just above Maryhill State park, take a moment at the Stonehenge War Memorial and gaze back across the river to see imposing Mt. Hood in the distance.

Photo courtesy of Roger Salstrom

Day 5: Thursday, Aug. 6
Maryhill to Plymouth | 84 miles | 2,446 feet of climbing

This day’s route has a reputation for tailwinds. And while we can’t guarantee the wind will be at your back, with any luck today may be simply a matter of cruise control. After a morning wake-up climb, we’ll trace the northern bank of the river and Lake Umatilla along this part of the Lewis and Clark Historic Byway, through wide open spaces and golden hills, punctuated here and there by wineries and cattle crossings. It doesn’t take too much imagination to consider what this place may have looked like 200 years ago for the pioneers making the journey west.

Day 6: Friday, Aug. 7
Plymouth to Walla Walla | 64 miles | 2,056 feet of climbing

We will leave the last of our riverside campgrounds and head north to cycle through the rich agricultural region around Walla Walla, passing through rolling hills and farmland along the way. The city has gained popularity as a weekend getaway for cycling and wine tasting. Our Friday arrival allows us time to familiarize ourselves with some of the highly regarded Walla Walla wine region’s vintages before we overnight and travel back to Seattle the next morning.

Day 7: Saturday, Aug. 8

After a sensible breakfast, you will have the option to hop a ride on a bus (ticket purchase necessary) or transport yourself back to Seattle after an amazing week in the saddle!

 

Contacts: 
Registration help
Kim Thompson
kimt@cascade.org
206-526-1677
Event Director
Peter Verbrugge
peterv@cascade.org
206-517-4826
Register for RAW
Raw apparel (sidebar)