Yacolt Burn State Forest Road
Length: 57 Miles
Direction: Counter Clockwise
Elevation Gain: 4520 ft
Highest Point: 1878 ft
Recommended Gearing: 39X27 or lower
Having ventured down various forest roads over the years, I now look back at how poorly prepared I was had I ever gotten lost or had a bike mechanical. So for the first time in nearly 20 years of riding, I placed a phone call to ask about the Yacolt Burn road. I was given a heads up that the road is reasonably bumpy but passable on a bike. Armed with my GPS unit, I drew the ride online and downloaded it so I would have a map ready to follow. I was glad that I had this little piece of technology. It sure beat my old strategy of placing sticks at various turns as a sort of ‘leaving breadcrumbs’ trick. The other aspect I considered was to attempt to create a route around the area instead. However a quick view of the map showed little to no options. Upon completing the ride, I was quite pleased with the chosen route. Although the forest road can be difficult at times, it was quite worth doing to enjoy the magnificent roads both before and afterward. Recent comments however do indicate that my desire for the extreme may not be as well appreciated by others. So I would sincerely recommend wider tires or a cross bike. Or a detour of the route to skip the gravel here:
This ride takes in over 4500 feet of elevation gain and there is really no harm in having a low gear such as a 39X27. There is a considerable amount of climbing to do before you even get to the Yacolt Burn forest road. That being said, there is a pretty amazing descent to enjoy down to Washougal River Rd as well.
Start this ride on the I-205 bike path and Marine Dr. Cross the Columbia River via the bike path and then head east on the Evergreen Hwy. This little beauty runs you into Camas and then through Washougal. As soon as you turn off onto Sunset View Rd, the climbing begins. Take note that there are little to no water filling options on this ride once you turn off of Evergreen Hwy. You may wish to consider topping up your stores to get you back to Camas, approximately 30 miles later.
One you’re through Yacolt Burn and off of the forest road, Boulder Creek awaits with smooth pavement. Turn onto Lessard Rd and face one more major climb on the day. Then, for the most part, you’ll drop back down to Washougal River Rd. These roads through here, such as Ireland and Stauffer, are incredible and give you a sense that the effort of climbing all day was all worth it. Washougal, a road worthy of its own ride destination, then takes you back to Camas, where you’ll retrace your original path back to the start.