Overall Route Rating
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3.75 out of 5 Rider Rating 3.75
5 Reviews

Motorcycle Route Author

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By Guest (0 McR Points) on Aug 31, 2008

Rider Reviews

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darksideducati
2 McR Points
February 21, 2012
I ride this route regularly I live close by great…
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Guest
July 15, 2010
We love to take a ride up to the Carbon River…
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Written Directions

The route starts in Sumner, Pierce County. Take Hwy 410 east. Take a right on to South Prairie Road and head southeast. In South Prairie, hang a left on to Hwy 162 (head east) and shortly after that you will come up to Hwy 165 where you want to take a right (head south). Take this past Carbonado, take the left fork (staying on hwy 165) to Carbon River Ranger Station.

Scenery

This route starts in Sumner and follows Hwy 410 on to Hwy 165. The route is very scenic through the Orting valley, running beside and crisscrossing the Carbon river and ending at the Ranger Station. It passes through small logging towns of Wilkeson, and Carbonado. Hwy 165 forks past the town of Carbonado and goes into the Mt. Rainier National Park ending at Mowich Lake but this road is pretty steep and unpaved, gravelly and very dusty. The left fork runs beside Carbon river and in the spring the river can be running full from the melting snow. There is a beautiful bridge that crosses a deep ravine and is worth stopping at.

Drive Enjoyment

The road is both straight and windy and has hills and flats. The road is a single lane well paved road. When I road it last month (Aug 2008), it was in good condition most of the way. Near the end, one side of the road has washed away and barriers and signs are up to direct traffic in a single direction at a time.

Tourism Opportunities

Wilkenson and Carbonado are the two small towns on the way. Wilkenson has a nice coffee shop / deli. There is a gas station on the way. You can camp at Carbon Ranger Station but need to get a permit.

Top Images

Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
Carbon River - Hwy 165
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darksideducati
February 21, 2012
2 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Sport
I ride this route regularly I live close by great open road limited distractions (except occasional deer) can be chilly since a lot of the route is forest.
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Guest
July 15, 2010
0 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Cruiser
We love to take a ride up to the Carbon River bridge around the first weekend in November (first picture). We do an annual dropping of the pumpkins from the bridge (it hits the water, breaks up and feeds the local deer etc). We all look very interesting with pumpkins attached to the back of our bikes! The Carbonado Saloon has been closed for a year or more but recently opened and is a great historical place to stop for lunch!
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Grizz_BIA
June 14, 2016
13 McR Points
Motorcycle Type : Touring
This is an outstanding route. YOu don't have to go to Sumner to start it, thought the roads through South Prairie are nice as well. WA-165 starts in Buckley, WA and runs up the side of the Mountain. Both Wilkenson and Carbonado have good food and drink stops on the way up or down.
WA-165 forks after the Fairfax Bridge (cool spot). The left fork remains paved until the Ranger Station where there is a small leg stretch 1/3 mile nature trail (also has longer trails up to waterfalls if that's your deal). Also you can access the Carbon River at this point, but a washput past the ranger station has closed off access to deeper in the park (by vehicle) permanently.
The right fork goes to Mowich Lake, but is unpaved and frequented by 4x4s which usually stop at the ORV park half way up. The unpaved section is approx. 16 miles, and both twisty and heaviliy gouged, so expect to be slow to get to the lake.
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