Sad news for PNW riders
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  1. #1
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    Sad news for PNW riders

    FS road 26 up to Windy Ridge and Spirit Lake on Mt St. Helens has been damaged and is likely irreparable. I doubt that we'll ever see another car get past mile post 8's massive washout.

    Maybe, we will be able to get bikes around it after a lot of work. Currently, there is a steep hike around it. It's hard to tell, however, if the forest service will be motivated to keep the road clean on both sides of the washout.

    This was arguably one of the finest climbs in the PNW and an integral part of a great loop.

  2. #2
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    That road had been closed to cars for years, though I continued to enjoy it for bikes for a few years. I hadn't realized that they had repaired the old washout from about 20 years ago.
    Life is short... enjoy the ride.

  3. #3
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    It's been open for cars (summer) for a couple of years. Washouts have always been a problem,off and on, but not usually for bikes.

    This one is huge. Once the 99 opens for the season we'll get an idea if the FS will still clean the road on both sides of the washout. If so, I think cyclists will soon clean/carve a rational path around it.
    Quote Originally Posted by bradkay View Post
    That road had been closed to cars for years, though I continued to enjoy it for bikes for a few years. I hadn't realized that they had repaired the old washout from about 20 years ago.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    It's been open for cars (summer) for a couple of years. Washouts have always been a problem,off and on, but not usually for bikes.

    This one is huge. Once the 99 opens for the season we'll get an idea if the FS will still clean the road on both sides of the washout. If so, I think cyclists will soon clean/carve a rational path around it.
    Gifford Pinchot National Forest - Recreation
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for posting that. It took a while to realize that your point is that the road is open from the top (99 road). With rumors of a foot path around the big washout it sounds like this ride should go again.

    I hope to get down there before the snow closes everything.
    Quote Originally Posted by bahueh View Post

  6. #6
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    Really good news. I've been doing this ride with the double/difficult hike-a-bikes around two major washouts. About two weeks ago I met the guy who owns the company that has been charged with fixing the damaged FS roads near Randle--including the 26 road.

    He said that some work has started and that we may have a temporary road around both washouts by the end of this month. But, they will be kicked out of the area by the FS on September 30th until spring due to owls (don't ask).

    By mid summer the fs26, 99, 25 loop from Iron Creek to Windy Ridge and back should be a go again.

    For those who like a challenging ride with little traffic and spectacular scenery, this loop is about as good as it gets. For those who've not been on this loop, always do the climb on the 26 road and the descent on the 99 and 25 roads.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SwiftSolo View Post
    Really good news. I've been doing this ride with the double/difficult hike-a-bikes around two major washouts. About two weeks ago I met the guy who owns the company that has been charged with fixing the damaged FS roads near Randle--including the 26 road.

    He said that some work has started and that we may have a temporary road around both washouts by the end of this month. But, they will be kicked out of the area by the FS on September 30th until spring due to owls (don't ask).

    By mid summer the fs26, 99, 25 loop from Iron Creek to Windy Ridge and back should be a go again.

    For those who like a challenging ride with little traffic and spectacular scenery, this loop is about as good as it gets. For those who've not been on this loop, always do the climb on the 26 road and the descent on the 99 and 25 roads.
    Almost need to change the thread title! I've only ridden Windy Ridge once and it was the 25/99 out and back from Iron Creek Campground which I still thought was a great ride despite getting dumped on during the descent. I saw your post about this loop ride on another thread only after that and have always wanted to return.

    The drive from Seattle is a bit long for a day trip, 5+ hours RT without heavy traffic, so an overnight is probably the best way. We camped at Iron Creek CG which is nice but there aren't any showers to get cleaned up after the ride, we ended up going to one of the RV parks near Packwood that let us use their showers on Sunday afternoon since most of the people had cleared out.

    I've been thinking that the way to go is to drive down Saturday and get a room in Packwood, do this ride on Sunday and then ride Stevens Canyon to Paradise on Monday before driving home.

    I'm glad to see this road is getting repaired so hopefully it will be ride-able next year.

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