Packwood “Un-Meeting” Route Sheets

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Next weekend is the Bicycle Quarterly “Un-Meeting” in Packwood. The weather forecast is great: warm during the days, a little cooler at night, sunshine. Bring sunscreen! Here are a few things about logistics:

Getting there: Here is a route from the nearest train station in Centralia to Packwood.

For those riding from Seattle, there are several routes, either via the Green River Trail, Enumclaw and Cayuse Pass, or via Sumner, Eatonville and the Nisqually valley. We’ll probably take the latter, so we may see you out there on Friday.

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Meeting is at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13,  at the Packwood library (above, right in the center of town, across the street from the Hotel Packwood and the Packwood Campground).

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Here are three rides in the area that we plan to do. Please be aware that the terrain is very mountainous and challenging. Don’t overestimate your capabilities! There is no cell phone service, and nobody to pick you up if you cannot make it.

  1. Packwood, Skate Creek Road, Longmire, Paradise (Mt. Rainier National Park). A scenic road, all paved except a short stretch of smooth gravel to get into the park (through the backdoor). 52 km/ 33 miles round-trip. Extension to Paradise (4500+ ft climb) possible, for a total of 90 km/60 miles round-trip. Lunch available at Longmire and Paradise lodges (sit-down restaurant). Return the way you came (preferred), or by descending to Box Canyon, Ohanapecosh, Packwood (last 8 miles on busy highway). Click here for map, and here for route sheet.
  2. Packwood, High Rock, Longmire, Paradise (Mt. Rainier Natl. Park). Same as 1, but going over the top of the ridge at High Rock, rather than in the valley at Skate Creek. Adds beautiful views, and gravel. 76 km/48 miles round-trip. Extension to Paradise (4500+ ft climb) possible, for a total of 117 km/73 miles round-trip. Lunch available at Longmire and Paradise lodges (sit-down restaurant). Return the way you came (preferred), or by descending to Box Canyon, Ohanapecosh, Packwood (last 8 miles on busy highway). Click here for map, and here for route sheet.
  3. Packwood, Walupt Lake, Babyshoe Pass, (Trout Lake), Randle. A long gravel climb, a beautiful mountain lake, Babyshoe Pass. Plenty of gravel. Possibility to turn around at Walupt Lake (73 km/45 miles round-trip). 145 km/90 miles with no services for most of the ride. Extension to the remote Trout Lake with its diner famous for blackberry shakes offers services, but full distance is 223 km/140 miles. Click here for map, and here for route sheet.

Please print the route sheets for the rides you plan to do, since we’ll only have a few at the start.

On Saturday night, there will be a campfire at the Packwood Campground. On Sunday, we’ll ride back to Seattle.

About the Bicycle Quarterly “Un-Meeting”: The “un-meeting” isn’t an organized event. There is no entry fee, no services will be provided, there are no rules, and there is no insurance or liability of any kind. The goal is to meet like-minded cyclists and to have a good time. We hope to see you there!

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into high-performance components for real-world riders.
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10 Responses to Packwood “Un-Meeting” Route Sheets

  1. Mike B. says:

    Unfortunately, I won’t be making it out for the “Un-Meeting”. However, I would love to travel to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest so hopefully I will make it in the future.

  2. Andrew Squirrel says:

    I heard rumor you might be reserving a block of tent-sites at the Packwood RV park? Is this true or should we continue with reserving our own individual spots ahead of time?

    See you in Packwood

    • We don’t know how many people will come to the “un-meeting”, so everybody should make their own arrangements. For camping, there should be no problem – even if the campground is full, you can camp legally in the National Forest just a few kilometers out of town.

  3. Guy Wailson says:

    Sadly, I have had to bow out. FYI, my room at the Hotel Packwood has come available.

  4. Bill Gobie says:

    For the Packwood-Walupt Lake route I recommend nosing into the campground at Takhlakh Lake at 40.8 km for the classic view of Mt. Adams reflected in the lake at the day use area. For example: Mt Adams from Takhlakh Lake. You might be able to get water from the campground host.

    On this route you might want to carry a water filter to get water from streams. I biked through this area last month. The pump at Blue Lake Creek campground is definitely shut down due to contamination despite the Forest Service page that states water is available. I would not trust the FS pages for other campgrounds in the area. Ditto the FS office in Randle; they told us Blue Lake had water. Adams Fork has water but that campground is not on this route.

    • I’ve never stopped there, since it’s always on a downhill, just as you hit pavement again. Thanks for pointing it out! Takhlakh is at 65 km, which is when you’ll probably need water. Is there water at the day use area?

      • Bill Gobie says:

        I spoke with one of the campground hosts Monday. Drinking water is not guaranteed. She expected a water delivery this week, but it was not certain. They try to have some water in reserve for folks who do not realize that campground has no water source. You might have to ride the short campground loop to find a host if they are doing maintenance. My mistake — the RWGPS route is in miles, not km.

  5. David Pearce says:

    I hope you, Jan, and everyone who joins you has a great, great time. My heart is with you all!

  6. Andy Speier says:

    Jan: Very nice job with the cue sheets. I’m looking forward to the weekend. I’m taking the train down to Centralia with Steve DeGroot and cycling home on Sunday.

    Andy

  7. Jeff Angeley says:

    Thanks so much for the great experience and connection to some very special terrain. That is a grand country. The rundown from paradise then onto the drop and windout of skate creek road was definitely brilliant. Good people great community – I will be looking forward to the next meet up. Be well.

    Jeff

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