Day 1: Kent to Auburn to Enumclaw to White River Valley
59 miles, aprox 2,750 feet elevation gain
Friday is our chance to find our pace, get our bodies moving, and log a few miles before the big climb over the mountains the next day. Beginning in the early afternoon, we'll start with a short section on a bike trail and then follow back roads through the farmlands of the Green River Valley and Enumclaw Plateau. The day will finish with several forested miles on Highway 410 as it parallels the White River toward Mount Rainier. Except for one short, steep hill, the climbing will be gradual.
Day 2: White River Valley to Chinook Pass to Yakima
84 miles, aprox 2,800 feet elevation gain
Saturday will be a beautiful day of contrasting scenery marked by a hefty climb and a well-deserved coast into Eastern Washington. After several miles of gentle riding through old growth forest, the real climb (3,000' in 13 miles) begins shortly after entering Mount Rainier National Park--this is what all that training is for! If the weather is good, we will have spectacular views of the mountain and the surrounding alpine high country of meadows, lakes, and waterfalls. Chinook Pass at 5,436 feet elevation is the high point of the ride! Now the fun begins: sixty-plus miles of downhill riding. The descent from the Cascade Crest will take us from alpine meadows through forests to the ranchland and orchards of the Naches River Valley.
Day 3: Yakima to Tri-Cities
92 miles, 1,150 feet elevation gain
Sunday will be a nice break from the previous day's climbing as we tour the lower Yakima River Valley down to its confluence with the Columbia River. We will trek through several small towns, and pass vineyards, orchards and wildlife areas along the river. We've made it to Tri-Cities! A special treat will be starting and ending the day with short sections on paved bike trails. We can expect plenty of sunshine from here on out.
Day 4: Tri-Cities to the Palouse
105 miles, aprox 3,300 feet elevation gain
On Monday we will stretch ourselves to ride a full century: 100 miles! The day starts by crossing the mighty Columbia River and then climbing onto the Columbia Plateau. We'll cycle along beautiful, low-traffic, two-lane roads through wide open country crossed by dramatic coulees and dotted with tiny towns. The final miles of the day will bring us to the edge of the lovely rolling hills of the Palouse.
Day 5: The Palouse to Spokane
Tuesday will be the last day in the saddle as we push through the final miles to Spokane. We'll begin the day crossing a portion of the Palouse, a region known for its hundreds of rolling hills and expansive wheat fields. The landscape changes gradually as we head north, shifting to open ponderosa pine forest with scattered lakes. The route will follow mostly back roads as well as some sections of paved trail. There will be a fair amount of up and down through rolling hills, but the final stretch will be mostly downhill or flat. We'll celebrate as we roll into Spokane: just imagine the sense of accomplishment as we finish off 400 miles across the state of Washington for a fantastic cause!