Fall Motorcycle Riding Ideas for the Pacific Northwest - Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, British Columbia

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Fall Riding Ideas

Labor Day came and went. Was that it? The end of riding season? Time to put the bike away until next year?


The best weeks of riding are yet to come as Fall is coming on. And with it, there's less traffic on the roads, cooler temperatures and some colors already beginning to happen. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, here's a few trips to consider, whether you have a day, a weekend or a week to slip in a ride. Additional links to more information are provided. Some go to material you can purchase in our online store, which helps support the work we do here at Sound RIDER!

One Day Rides

North Clark County Scenic Loop

While the masses get in their final ride around Mt. St. Helens, this scenic loop is indeed the road less traveled for Portland/Vancouver metro riders. Search for the route map online, then pick up and end anywhere along the route.

Available resource: North Clark County Scenic Drive Map and Highlights

ABTOR (Anywhere but the Oyster Run)

While thousands of Puget Sound area residents will head to Anacortes the 4 th Sunday of every September, some of us loathe the idea of getting caught up in the circus. Instead, come up with your own ride in the opposite direction and pat yourself on the back for not being a number.

Moon Pass (DS/ADV)

If you live in the Spokane/Coeur d' Alene metro and you've got a dual sport or ADV bike, you really need to knock this one off your bucket list. Head for Wallace Idaho, then ride up to the ridge line on the south side of town on CR456 and pass through eight, count 'em, eight old railroad tunnels. One of the most bizarre ADV experiences you'll ever encounter. Depart early enough, and you could be enjoying lunch at Casa de Oro overlooking the St. Marie Municipal Golf Course by early afternoon.

Available resource: Benchmark Idaho Atlas, pp 32-33

2-3 Day Rides

The Palouse

Washington/Idaho's Palouse region is a great destination when you've got a few days to kill. Highlights of course are the Starbuck Highway, Palouse Falls and Steptoe Butte, but hey, pick just about any road with a broken yellow line and you can't go wrong out here.

Available resource: Cuttin' Loose in the Palouse

US/Canadian Cascade Blast

Using US 20, CA 3 and US 97 as your anchors, explore the many side roads along this route, like old US 97 and the Loomis-Oroville Road. There are plenty of towns with accommodations and camping along the route. Do a little pre-planning and you're all set.

Destination Siletz

Who doesn't romanticize the Oregon Coast? But beyond 101, there are numerous roads that parallel the coast highway's, and some are an absolute hoot. A favorite of ours is the Siletz River Road that runs between Toledo (a.k.a. Mulletville) and Lincoln City. Ride it south to north, then enjoy lunch overlooking the ocean at Mo's.

Available resource: Benchmark Oregon Atlas, pp 44,58

5-9 Day Excursions

Vancouver Island

This destination isn't on a lot of riders' radars, and for good reason. What appears to be the logical approach to touring the island is far from the best. In 2018, we dove in to determine just how to do it right. As a result, our book for touring Vancouver Island will open your eyes to the possibilities while guiding you to some of the lesser known "fun-roads" and keeping you out of the deep-fried pub rut that will otherwise send your triglycerides soaring.

Available resource: Road Trip: Vancouver Island

Northern California

Now's the time when the fires are receding, the air is cooling down and a trip to the California coast right about now is perfect. Be sure to toss in a little Napa and Sonoma, some Redwood Forest stuff and find your way off the beaten path on roads like SR96, SR299 and SR36.

Available resource: Road Trip: Northern California

Volcano Tour

Create your own excursion to as many volcanoes in the Cascade Range you can get to before the snow sets in (typically not until November, but you never know). Favorites include Mt. Lassen, Crater Lake, McKenzie Pass, Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, St. Helens, Mt Rainier and Mt Baker. The possibilities are endless. Be advised, there are a number of domesticated Hot Springs to relax at throughout the Cascades.

SR!/September 2019

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