The Best Guide to Motorcycle Roads, Rides & Events

Highway 20 Washington Pass + ADD NEW ROUTE


1   in Washington Washington87 Miles

By Captain Jeff Martin
on December 1, 2003

4.8out of 5

26 Riders rated

 Scenery

 Road Quality

 Roadside Amenities

Written Directions

Start your route in the small town of Marblemount, WA. If you don't know where Marblemount is, either visit this electronic map showing how to get there (zoom in and out as much as you need) or just look on a Washington map and follow I-5 about 65 miles north of Seattle and then follow state route 20 about 40 miles east.

Start your route in Marblemount and simply follow route 20 east all the way through the incredible North Cascade National Park, taking 20 all the way to Winthrop, WA. Enjoy!

Note: If you continue the ride around the north cascades scenic hwy (you'll go from state route 20 to US route 97 and then to US route 2) you will see the spectacular Lake Chelan and return to I-5 via Stevens Pass near Everett Washington.

Scenery

You'll be amazed by 65 miles of old growth forest thru a national park with alpine vistas climbing from sea level to 8000 ft. and ending up in a great town Winthrop Washington. This is truly one of Washington's hidden secrets!!! Eastern end of Northern Cascades near Winthrop, WA

Road Quality

A VERY twisty road with some rock falling danger and of course plenty of deer to watch out for. Excellent road quality and never boring however this road is only open from April to October.

Photo contributed by visitor in July 09: "Picture taken on top of Diablo Dam. The access road is near the pull-out viewpoint along Highway 20"

Roadside Amenities

No amenities from Marblemount to Winthrop however, the ride has many pull outs with overlooks of some breath taking views of the cascade mountains over 40 waterfalls that can be viewed from the road.The North Cascade National Park is one of the best national parks in the US and has plenty of outdoor activities to offer.

Photo submitted by DeDe in Aug 09.

Photo submitted by DeDe in Aug 09.

Photo submitted by DeDe in Aug 09.

Photo submitted by DeDe in Aug 09.

Additional Info

- Jun 14 update: Check out this great article about test driving a Triumph Rocket III on Highway 20.

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather . - Washington State Parks - Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

Nickname (optional) : Captain Jeff Martin

What Riders Say About this Route Add Review & Rating

By GJRonK
on September 12, 2014 3 out of 3 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2000

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I would start this ride from Twisp (Don't you love that name? It comes from the Okanagan word meaning wasp or yellow jacket.) Head west 141 miles all the way to Burlington. From Twisp, the "heart of the Methow Valley" you first pass through local farmland and along the banks of the Methow River. Vegetation here is diverse including maple, cottonwood, aspen, sagebrush and even Ponderosa pine.

Washington Pass is not real high at 5,477' but even there the trees are mostly conifers like cedar, fir, spruce and pine. Closer to the riverbanks are willow and birch.

You'll follow along several rivers most of the balance of the trip with spectacular scenery along the way. The last half of the route has wide sweeping curves and smooth pavement. Possibly the best riding curves I've ever been on.

All the bikers I talked to rank this as their favorite ride in Washington. I do too.

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By MW Klingensmith
on July 18, 2013 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2012

Motorcycle Make Suzuki Vstrom 650

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

This is possibly the finest ride in the Pacific Northwest. From Sedro Woolley to Winthrop, this route is both beautiful and curvy. Mountains, lakes, rivers, wildlife, and much much more.
Last time I rode it, nearly came face to face with a Black Bear!
Winthrop is a rustic town seemingly meant for the motorcyclist.
If you are in Washington, don't miss this one.

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By pakratt
on October 5, 2011 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2011

Motorcycle Make Triumph

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

One of my favorite rides, luckily right in my backyard.

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By Guest
on July 5, 2009 2 out of 2 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2006

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

One of the best roads anywhere. I would add that you must resist the urge to fly by Diablo Dam just because you are mesmerized by the awesome twisties and are in a hurry to get to Winthrop for an ice cream cone. What you want to do is slow down and make the north( towards the dam) turn onto the DAM road and putt out ONTO the dam itself. Yep, they let you drive across it on a one lane road with cool art deco street lights and the most impressive view over the dam spillway to the gorge below. There is a gate which is open during the daytime only. You can ride up the lake a ways and turn around for some great mountain views and the Dam in the foreground. Well the top of it with the street lights anyway. Oh, and when you get to Winthrop and want to find a place to camp? Shoot straight through the main intersection and climb the hill, turn right and go by the Shafer Museum ( worth a look after you get your tent up) and find the "Pine Near Campground" waiting for you in the shade of big trees, biker friendly and they even have a big moble home they rent out for your tentless friends. You can walk over to the museum, an outdoor display of mining equipment, and drop down the stairway/trail to the main street of Winthrop with lots of great places to eat, drink and be merry. My fav is the "Duck Brand" for oatmeal in the morning. Their other food is good too.

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By Grizz_BIA
on October 23, 2014 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I have taken this trip several times. The North Cascades is a majestic place, so the trip up from the south sound is well worth it. Usually I went through from west to east and coming back US2 or I90. This year however I had the ability to go east to west. The mountain views from Winthrop up to the Pass are even more breathtaking (while on the road) then coming from Marblemount. But even from Marblemount, this is an outstanding scenic route.

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By Guest
on July 24, 2010 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

Im from Canada. I have ridden this rte several times, have found it most enjoyable....never a bad day!!!!

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By Guest
on July 21, 2010 1 out of 3 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I forgot to mention how smooth the road is! The curves are so well designed that while I was riding i realized I was taking the curves without even having to think of the next move, just so fluid and relaxing and natural. I will never forget the feeling!

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By Guest
on October 26, 2009 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2004

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

I agree! Top 10!!! I grew up in Washington State and rode this road many times! The Dragon and Blue Ridge are the only 2 rides that can come close to this ride! If you ever get a chance to get to WA and ride this area and a lot of the state, do so! You won't regret it! My sport-tourer did great on it!

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By Guest
on July 17, 2009 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I began the ride in Maple Valley, WA at 6:00AM. Rode to Burlington and headed west on 20. The ride through Sedro-Wooley was marked by fog and clouds, but that soon cleared as I motored east. The climbing ride past Diablo Lake was fantastic; not a cloud in the sky and the views were fantastic. Riding on a Wednesday definitely gives a rider a chance to be alone on the road! The road is in great shape and the experience unforgettable. This is a definite must on any rider's list!! I was constantly amazed by the tremendous forests and the geology; the vast spaces, which give one perspective, are awe inspiring. My ride took me through Winthrop, Twisp, Chelan, Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Monroe, Duvall, Carnation, Fall City and back to Maple Valley; about 490 miles! This will now be an annual ride for me.

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By Guest
on June 16, 2009 1 out of 1 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Yamaha

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Hwy 20 starts in Newport WA running East to West ending at Hwy 101, Discovery Bay; 425 miles. Newport to Winthrop is approx. 230 miles of beautiful scenery and twisting mountain passes (Tiger to Colville/Run Along The Pend Oreille). Winthrop to Marblemount: 89 miles of non-stop twisting fun; world class scenery; frequently changing weather; Wonderful road surface. We rank it as equal to Hwy 12, Lolo Pass, ID. Hwy 20 has made the “must ride every year” list.

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By chief181
on July 9, 2016 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2014

Motorcycle Make Victory

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

This is one of my favorite rides in any state...luckily it is right in my back yard. In my opinion the best way to enjoy this ride is from east to west, starting in Winthrop and working toward Burlington. Incredible views of the mountains as you are climbing Washington and Rainy Passes. A stop at Diablo Lake is well worth your time, and the short detour to ride across Diablo Dam is a great side trip.

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By RainorShine
on June 23, 2016 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Triumph Bonneville SE

Motorcycle Type Standard

Had an awesome run from Anacortes to Winthrop in mid June 2016. The weather was perfect. Roads were unpopulated. They're twisty enough to be super fun and not so tight that I had to spend my whole day gearing up and down. Scenery was incredible. I'm a pretty new rider so I don't have a vast pool of experience to draw from, but this was by far the best road I've ever been on.

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By Stephen DeCourcy
on March 17, 2016 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Honda NT700v

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

Beautiful ride....rode it in the middle a huge forest fire, I was the only vehicle on the rode

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By rdb
on January 11, 2015 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Have ridden this numerous times and each one has been awesome. Some absolutely great vistas up high in the mountain looking down on the valley below. Beware of the one hairpin turn though. Have a momento Harley air cleaner cover from one of the crashes from people that took this corner way too fast. You will know if when you see it..

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By Grizz_BIA
on October 23, 2014 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

4.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2008

Motorcycle Make Harley Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I have taken this trip several times. The North Cascades is a majestic place, so the trip up from the south sound is well worth it. Usually I went through from west to east and coming back US2 or I90. This year however I had the ability to go east to west. The mountain views from Winthrop up to the Pass are even more breathtaking (while on the road) then coming from Marblemount. But even from Marblemount, this is an outstanding scenic route.

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By avocet55
on October 15, 2013 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2010

Motorcycle Make Triumph Thunderbird

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Beautiful ride, plenty scenery to see along with sweeps and twist to make the ride.

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By ruffjeepster
on November 9, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2002

Motorcycle Make HD

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

They call the North Cascades 'The Alps of America', I've been to the Alps and this is pretty darned close. Definitely the best Alpine ride I've been on.

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By Rick_TN
on November 4, 2011 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2006

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Touring

This road was one one of the highlights of our trip this real. We rode SR 20 from Colville to Burlington. As we ascended up Washington Pass, we traveled into the clouds and when we exited on the other side, the grandeur which was presented took our breath away. This pass closes every year and we where on a email watch list from the Washington State DOT which announced the opening of the road, which was none to soon for our trip. Great Road!!!

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By Guest
on July 21, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2009

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I did this amazing road on a week-end road trip flying from Montreal, QC with a rented Street glide '09 from Seattle. We had the perfect weather, t-shirt riding in June, I will always remember this perfect road trip! Loved the mountains, glacier views and crystal turquoise waters from the river canyons.

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By Guest
on June 21, 2010 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year

Motorcycle Make

Motorcycle Type

Took this beautiful ride in 9/09. Breathtaking. Seriously advise you ride in the morning, or take it going east as the winds are pretty stiff out of the west. Especially strong around Ross Lake. But a few miles east of Ross Lake, you go over the pass, and the winds are minimal. Lots of pullouts for some very cool pics.

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By Guest
on September 17, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2005

Motorcycle Make Honda

Motorcycle Type Sport-Touring

This is one of the best rides in Washington state. While I have driven this route several times, last Saturday was the first time that I rode it on my motorcycle. The scenery is gorgeous and the leaves on the trees were just starting to turn to beautiful colors. I plan to make this trip one more time this year before the pass closes for the winter.

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By Guest
on September 8, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2002

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

Loved this road! Came back across this road in 2006 after traveling up the coast on 101, heading back to Maryland. Can't stop telling people how beautiful it is, a waterfall at each bend in the road.

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By Guest
on September 3, 2009 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

5.0out of 5

Motorcycle Year 2001

Motorcycle Make BMW

Motorcycle Type Other

This route we do every year. One of the best. We also have some great routes in British Columbia. Comeout and check us out.

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By Guest
on November 19, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 2007

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Touring

I road this for the first time this Aug. I went from East to West staying in Winthrop the first night of the trip. Great place to people watch,meet people, and relax. The tip up Washington pass is fantastic. Be sure and stop at the rest area at top and walk out to the lookout. If you are afraid of heights, you might want to CRAWL out to the fence there. Fantastic views. The West side of the pass is nice long slow sweepers.

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By Guest
on June 11, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 1986

Motorcycle Make Kawasaki

Motorcycle Type Cruiser

I/we have ridden this route many times. If the traffic is light it is a great ride. And like the Captain, I prefer to spend the night in Winthrop or Twisp. The name escapes at the moment but there is a great Bar/cafe in Twisp just off main street that has great steaks and breakfast meals.Then I/we head south to Wenatchee and take Highway 2 back across Stevens Pass to Everett which is also a very nice scenic ride.

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By Guest
on January 20, 2008 0 out of 0 members found this review useful.

No Rating Provided

Motorcycle Year 1993

Motorcycle Make Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Type Standard

We ride this highway with our friends every summer and stay for the weekend in Winthrop or neighboring Twisp. It is a fantastic ride, the road itself is probably not for beginners but isn't too difficult to navigate. The road crews do a fairly good job of keeping the highway clear of rocks and debris but the danger is always there. All in all it is an incredibly beautiful and relaxing ride and you will thoroughly enjoy it, just keep an eye out for the deer.

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