With its famously mild climate, Washington is one of the best states to ride through on a motorcycle tour. Washington also has some of the nicest, even-paved roads that climb sky-high mountains and descend right down to the Pacific coast. So, no matter if you’re simply looking for a quick weekend jaunt or saddled up for a long trek through the Evergreen State, this list has a motorcycle ride for every type of rider.
#5. Spirit Lake Highway
Spirit Lake Highway is a scenic ride that winds up the western side of the of the iconic Mount St. Helens. There is no better way to survey the destruction caused by the explosion of St. Helens than this snaking stretch of highway. The view may seem barren at times, due to the sooty ash covering the region, but you can see for miles and miles on a clear day. If you are at all interested in experiencing the Mount St. Helens blast zone firsthand, a motorcycle ride up Spirit Lake Highway should be at the top of your bucket list.
#4. The Olympic Peninsula Loop
Mile per mile, you won’t find more to see atop your motorcycle than you will on the Olympic Peninsula Loop. The highway loop encircles over a million acres of dense forests, crystal green lakes, and even a temperate rain forest full of rare and exotic flora and fauna. The Olympic Peninsula is so rich with experiences that you’ll want to take a few days just to explore it all. There are so many great towns to visit along the route as well, from the small-town vibes of Port Angeles to the suburbs of Olympia and onward to frenetic metropolis of Seattle, you’ll likely meet people of all walks of life. Trust us. A motorcycle ride around the Olympic Peninsula Loop will be hard to forget.
#3. The Columbia Gorge Forest Route
No surprise that many motorcyclists consider the Columbia Gorge to be a world-class motorcycle route. Not only do you get to ride along the banks of the Columbia River, you will also experience lush farmlands, majestic forests, and idyllic views of both Mount Adams and the infamous Mount St. Helens. Without question, the best path to take is through the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The road quality in the Columbia Gorge area is pristine and there are plenty of roadside restaurants and hotels to stop at if you’re looking for a little R&R or just want to spend extra time exploring the region. And trust us. There is plenty to explore.
#2. The North Cascades Highway
There’s no two ways about it. State Route 20 is a marvel. Otherwise known as the North Cascades Highway, SR 20 is chock full of beauty and grandeur. The highway is actually a part of the greater Cascade Loop that extends throughout the entire Cascade mountain range and it’s only open during the warmer months of the year. A motorcycle ride over SR 20 will provide you with a smorgasbord of visual delights from the Pacific Ocean to the so-called ‘American Alps’ and onward to hydroelectric dams, multiple rivers, including the Skagit, and more valleys than you can shake a camera at. The North Cascades Highway Highway is certainly a trip of a lifetime.
#1. Mount Rainier National Park
It’s no surprise that the Mount Rainier National Park tops our list. Mount Rainier is an astounding spectacle to behold from the back of a motorcycle. The best way around Mount Rainier is to do the entire loop around the mountain, stopping both at Paradise, Washington and the Sunrise Visitor Center, which sits at an astounding 6,400 feet in the sky. On the way you’ll see plenty of waterfalls, crystal rivers, deep valleys, emerald green lakes, exposed volcanic rock, and even a chipmunk or two. Words are truly unable to capture the majestic beauty of Mount Rainier, especially atop a motorcycle. The roads are kept in perfect condition and are always exciting to navigate, with plenty of hairpin turns for the daredevils out there. And nothing beats speeding along the steep cliffs towering above the valley below. Simply put, Mount Rainier is out of this world and not to be missed.