Chinook Pass (Rt 410) + ADD NEW ROUTE
- Trip Toolbox
**Usually Closed December through June** The ride starts in the small town of Greenwater, WA. A decent pub and restaurant, a small convenience store and gas station other wise this town is pretty dead in the spring through fall. The ride begins deep in the woods near Mt. Rainier National Park, along the bank of the white river. you ride out of the town and follow a winding wooded road up towards Mt. Rainier, the only sign of civilization is the occasional car or cabin along the way. There are several optional turn offs to admire the views, and hike around some of the lakes, if that's your thing. After 25 miles or so you come to a fork in the road, heading right takes you to a ride already listed that goes around the other side of Mt. Rainier toward Eatonville, WA. Stay left and head up the hill into the Mt. Rainier National Park and up through the Chinook Pass. Here there are incredible views of rivers, lakes, wildlife and the Cascades all around you. There is hardly any traffic on the road and the speed limit is a 55 or 60 through most of the trip. You quickly reach the apex of your ride and begin the decent into the Yakima Valley. as you come out of the pass the terrain begins to turn more arid, although still lots of pines all around (You are in the Evergreen State after all). You cross several small bridges over creeks and rivers and continue through the woods. Most of this time you are weaving along with the Naches River. You come to a good end of your ride just past where Highway 410 ends into US 12 in Naches, WA. There are a few gas stations in Naches, so if you loved the ride as much as I do, you could always refuel and head right back the way you came.
I can't speak enough about the scenery, but I am partial to the beauty of Mt. Rainier, she is one of the most Iconic symbols of the Northwest and the forest, lakes, rivers and canyons around you are also incredible. Everything is green, well except the Mt., she always has snow on her. It is truly breathtaking and there are several spots that almost compel you to stop and snap a picture.
Going up into, and your journey through the pass tosses some curves your way, but nothing that is terribly difficult. If I counted correctly you have a nice "triple s" curve as you climb to the top of the pass and start to head back down. Once you exit the pass your running through a valley and the only reason to keep going is for food, gas, or to hit up the river gorges north of Yakima.
There are usually a few pot holes along the way, so be aware of the road, they are almost always easy enough to avoid with minimal effort. For the most par though since the road receive little traffic, it is in fairly good condition.
If you enjoy hiking or camping, you could take days getting from Greenwater to Naches. There are hundreds of great camp site to pitch a tent, or if your a little less outdoorsy, to rent a cabin and take in the scenery. Food wise you are on your own from the moment you leave Greenwater until the moment you arrive in Naches. So unless you hunt and/or fish, plan accordingly. In Naches there is a little restaurant called The Woodshed that has some awesome food, and being right outside the Yakima wine country, some pretty awesome wines as well.
Nickname (optional) : The Top Dog