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Offline flaldrider

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Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« on: December 02, 2018, 07:36:59 PM »
I am planning to take my '12 Explorer to the Pacific Northwest this summer. I am looking for some suggestions as to the best time of year.....not much rain.

Also looking for some route info. I am planning to ride in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and maybe Northern California.

Thanks for your input.
Mikie

Offline JG_XRT

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2018, 07:42:55 PM »
It has been a long time, but when my Dad and I used to take our motorcycle trips, we always started the weekend after Labor Day weekend.

The weather is still good to excellent, and everybody else is back at work or school so you don't have the summer vacation traffic.

I enjoyed the Pacific Coast Highway and the redwood forest if you get that far down into California.

Hard to go wrong anywhere in the hills and mountains of the PNW.
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Offline Graybush

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 03:54:43 AM »
I rode the Idaho BDR in August and loved it if you have any questions about that area. 

If you are a member at advrider, there is a Tenere rider from Panama City who recently rode up to Seattle, did parts of several BDRs, then rode back to Florida.  I can shoot you his user name if you want it.

Offline Deep6blue

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2018, 05:27:20 AM »
As a resident here in the Cascade foothills in Washington, I can tell you this is an awesome place to ride.  Last summer I put 15,000 miles in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon. There are tons of routes to take. 

As for the timeframe, June-August, maybe into September depending on weather.  One thing to remember, we have multiple mountain passes. This means you will have to dress for the changing weather.  One year I left the house at 41 degrees, the mountain pass at 26, then to eastern Washington at 96 degrees.  All in the same day. 

That said, traveling west, I’d take 90 into Missoula MT.  Then head northwest on 93. Just follow the backroads west to route 2.  Route 2 will take you into Spokane WA. Continue on route 2 west over the Cascade Mountains via Steven Pass.  When you reach Monroe, head south on 203. Keep heading south until reach Snoqualmie and reach highway 18.  Continue south to Enumclaw and catch 410 to go around Mt Rainer. Once up in the Cascades again, you go east or south.  East takes you near Yakima.  South takes you near Mt St Helens.  Both routes will take you eventually into Oregon. 

From either direction, head into Mt Hood national forest.  South toward Bend Oregon, then East toward Boise.  You must head north through Salmon-Challis national forest.  Wind your way toward Blackfoot ID. From there, north to Bozeman MT.

There are many many backroads to take along this route. It just depends on your timeframe. Just look at the map.  The mountain passes are incredible.  North of Boise, the town of Clayton was cool, there are some hot springs along the way.  Highway 142 in Southern WA is amazing, it’s way out in the middle of nowhere and is a picture perfect canyon/river road.   Northeast of Cour d’Lane goes through gold mining country.

How long are you planning for the trip?


Offline Triumvirate

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2018, 07:05:59 AM »
Hello Flaldrider, thanks for thinking about coming here to the Northwest. You are asking a question that is so broad in scope that it's a little hard to answer.

The Northwestern US is extremely varied in both climate and terrain.  The western coastal areas of Washington and Oregon do experience quite a bit of rain, and usually have mild temperatures year-round.  The Cascade Mountain range runs down the length of Washington and Oregon cutting the states in half.  Western coastal areas are very different from inland areas of eastern Washington and Oregon. They are different not only in terrain, but also weather and politically. 

The eastern half of Washington and Oregon are semi-arid and range from dry forest conditions, volcanic areas and desert.  Temperatures can range from very cold (-8 F) in winter and very hot in the summer (108 F) but these temperature extremes are brief, usually.  Safe weather bets in Eastern Washington / Oregon are June through the first week or two of July, and then again in September.  April and May can be cool but the bigger problem is wind.  The wind does not reliably go away until late May or June when the snow is finally gone from the mountains.  October can be very nice but it is unpredictable.  Forget about November through March.

As far as what route you might want to consider, the Oregon coastal highway US 101 is a must see.  If you are riding your bike here from Florida you can arrive in the Northwest on interstate 80 or 84 and hook up with US 101, but expect an average speed of only about 35 mph on 101.  Beware of very large Elk in roadway.  Unless you enjoy extremely heavy traffic, I suggest you avoid the Seattle area and just stay on 101 until you get to Port Townsend Washington.  Mind the speed limit in Washington.  From there take the Washington State ferry system across Puget Sound to Camino Island.  Don't fear our state ferry system it's reliable, motorcycle friendly, and dirt cheap. 

From there go to State Route 20, the "North Cascades Highway".  This highway is not open year round due to snow and avalanche danger.  The scenery is spectacular pretty much anywhere you go and the people are friendly.  Beware of large mule deer in roadway.  Follow SR 20 eastbound to US 97 southbound.  Stop by Wenatchee for lunch at my house, then go eastbound on US Route 2 to Glacier National Park at the Idaho / Montana state line (good Triumph dealer in Spokane).  From there you can go up to Banff Canada, or start drifting back home on Interstate 15 southbound.  Or, you can stay on route 2 until you get to Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada.  Now that would be a trip, and just happens to be what I want to do next summer.

I hope this helps, have a great trip.


PS:  I thought a Floridian might want to know-  No mosquitoes in many areas of Eastern Washington!  (*but we do have bears, cougars, rattle snakes and a few scorpions that are apparently lost)


Offline JG_XRT

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2018, 07:49:16 AM »
The current issue of Rider Magazine has a "Favorite Ride" route through part of Washington.  If I remember correctly they that have had several over the last few months in Washington or Oregon.
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Offline CaptainTrips

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2018, 04:36:06 PM »
*Originally Posted by flaldrider [+]
I am planning to take my '12 Explorer to the Pacific Northwest this summer. I am looking for some suggestions as to the best time of year.....not much rain.

Also looking for some route info. I am planning to ride in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and maybe Northern California.

Thanks for your input.
If you skip coming up into BC, then you are missing some of the best riding and scenery.  :002:
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test."   --   Robert M. Pirsig

Offline Triumvirate

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2018, 05:35:03 PM »
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
If you skip coming up into BC, then you are missing some of the best riding and scenery.  :002:

What he said!  :0461:

Offline RaglandT

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2018, 07:28:40 PM »
*Originally Posted by CaptainTrips [+]
If you skip coming up into BC, then you are missing some of the best riding and scenery.  :002:

And it is only a short jaunt through the Kootenays into Alberta and the Icefields Parkway up to Jasper ... One of the most beautiful rides in the west.

Offline RaglandT

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Re: Route and Time Suggestions 2019
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2018, 07:33:20 PM »
On the way to Idaho, it is worth the detour to take Beartooth Highway from Red Lodge MT into Yellowstone  ...

 


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