July 4, 2011
Type of activity: Road Cycling
Location:Â Mt. Rainier
Getting there: Â I-5 to Rt. 18 East; Rt.18 to 164 towards Enumclaw.Â In Enumclaw take Rt. 410 East.Â Turn left at around mile post 57, which is the entrance to Crystal Mtn. Ski Resort.Â Take your first right into an over flow dirt parking lot.Â Ride starts at Mt. Rainier sign spanning the road on 410.
Guide books and Maps:
10,000+ of elevation gain
5+ hours in the saddle
5 passes climbed
What to expect: Climbing and lots of it.Â The only consolation is you get to descend a ton too.Â So much in fact your neck will hate you by half way through the ride.Â Make an appointment for a massage pre-ride with your favorite masseuse. Rt. 123 down Cayuse Pass to the guard station for Paradise is a chip-seal road so its a bit rough.Â Traffic will be your biggest concern unless you dislike descending at speed with large drop offs on the side of the road.
The ride is not for the meek as its a long 5+ hours and 1/2 is climbing.Â Water and restrooms can be found at the bathrooms just after the guard station upon entering Stevens Canyon Road.Â After this pit stop you will not find any facilities until you reach the Paradise at the top and it’s a long way.Â Food, restrooms and water can be found at Paradise as well as crowds.
Current Conditions: All roads traveled on this ride were clear of snow.Â Towards the top we did have some water on the road from melting snow banks.Â Other than that we only had 4 goats in the middle of the road and one rock slide to deal with.Â (my riding partner had baseball size rocks whiz by him as he descended at close to 40 MPH coming down from Paradise).
There is a $5 fee for entering the park by foot or bike.Â If you have a season pass you can get one other person in for free.
What to bring:
Lots of food
There is a bike shop in Enumclaw in case you forgot anything. Greenwater general store is your last chance for food, gas and a post ride beer.
Get out there!