WA: Skagit County-Three Rivers Century

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

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The century ride for today begins in the town of Arlington and goes north for a scenic clockwise loop on WA-9, SR-20 and WA-530 through the Skagit County towns of Big Lake, Clear Lake, Sedro-Woolley, Lyman, Hamilton, Concrete, Rockport and Darrington. Much of this route snakes around the beautiful country and Cascade Mountains landscapes along three rivers; Skagit, Sauk and Stillaguamish.

We begin from the Legion Memorial Park in Arlington and exit town on N Olympic Ave and E 4th St to WA-9.

WA-9 takes us across the Stillaguamish River out through the farmlands and ranches of Snohomish County to the town of Bryant.

The road continues north to the Skagit County line at the Historic Nakashima Farm/North Centennial Trailhead and into the small town at Lake McMurray.

We continue on WA-9 out to Big Lake; this is a beautiful area along Walker Valley with spectacular views of the Cultus Mountains!

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The road follows an old railroad grade out through the country side to the outskirts of Mount Vernon. It continues north with a fast ride in and out of the old lumber town of Clear Lake.

We cross the Skagit River into the next town of Sedro-Woolley; it sits at the junction of WA-9 and SR-20 in the eastern section of Skagit Valley. The volume of traffic dramatically increases as you ride through town with scores of logging trucks passing by! Minkler Rd goes through the rich agricultural farmlands of the valley and reconnects to SR-20 at the other end.

Lyman Hamilton Rd is a nice detour off SR-20; it takes us through the scenic Skagit Valley into the town of Lyman.

The road changes to 1st St and Maple Rd as you enter the next small town of Hamilton. The stretch along Water St leads us to the Hamilton Boat Launch area. I take a short walk down the gravel boat ramp to the shoreline of Skagit River. The river views are fantastic as is the dense trees surrounding the Mt Baker National Forest!

Shangri-La Dr and Cape Horn Rd follows along Skagit River through a scattering of ranch homes with open green meadows.

Cape Horn Rd continues through the dense woods of Skagit River Woods Country Club and Rasar State Park to another scattered residential area before connecting back to SR-20.

We stay on SR-20/Cascades Hwy for the next 4.6 miles east into the town of Concrete.

Our lunch stop is at Cascade Burgers right off SR-20 at S Superior Ave.

We continue on SR-20 for the next 8.8 miles along the Skagit River towards Rockport State Park into Rockport for a stop at the Howard Miller Steelhead Park.

We cross over the Skagit River on WA-530 and head south for 18.4 miles. This road goes through the dense Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and along Sauk River out to the Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe in the Sauk Prairie region.

WA-530 leads us back to Snohomish County into the lumber town of Darrington; it’s located near the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and Wilderness area. The magnificent Whitehorse Mountain is a gorgeous backdrop to this small mountain town!

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The next 27 miles on WA-530 takes us along Stillaguamish River between the tree-lined Boulder and Segelsen Ridges. It continues through the farmlands and ranches of the valley with open meadows and beautiful mountain views.

We cross the Stillaguamish River near Twin Rivers Park onto E Burke Ave in Arlington and hop onto the Centennial Trail back to Legion Memorial Park.      

 

 

Riding along WA-9, SR-20 and WA-530 was not bad at all, the flat to gentle rolling terrain on these roads has pretty low traffic and conditions ranging from narrow roads with no shoulders to roads with wide shoulders. On the narrow sections, the vehicular traffic and even logging trucks gave us wide berth as they passed us by!

This is a very scenic century that goes through the towns along the foothills of the Cascade Mountains with its gorgeous tree-lined ridges, dense forests and serene river views! The miles are worth every pedal stroke!

Garmin Stats:
108.06 Miles with 2851′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 404′
Max grade: 7%
Terrain: Mostly flat to gentle rolling hills

Weather: GREAT! Lingering early morning fog turning to brilliant sunshine. Temps ranged from the high 40’s to the mid 80’s. SSE winds with 100% humidity

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Adventure is out there!
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Click here to view the interactive route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:

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