Just moved to WA

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by csmoore, Jun 10, 2021.

  1. csmoore

    csmoore Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
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    Location:
    New York
    Another east coast transplant. Living in the Mount Vernon Area, Walker Valley ORV is basically my backyard. Zero experience on dirt and no friends that ride out here, not super interested in getting stuck out there alone. Anyone in the area that would maybe want to go on a ride? I'm on a cb500x, not the nimblest but not the worst for some moderate trails.

    I know things are super crowded so people don't want to give up their spots, but would also be appreciative for any hints on good rides/views for day trips and camping. I'm a photographer, so the reward for showing my noob ass around could be some cool photos.

    Thanks!
    #1
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  2. PNWet

    PNWet Long timer

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    Puget Sound, WA, USA
    Welcome!

    Walker Valley is no joke. I've ridden there once and I found the trails rideable on a small bike. They can be very rutted with hidden roots sticking out that'll rip your foot off if you're not careful.

    I talked with one former pro MXer (raced out of Washougal in the early 80's) who said it's the only place he had to be taken out of by ambulance... A root grabbed his foot peg and flipped him over, the one and only time he rode there.

    I would not ride trails there if new to dirt. I also would not take a street oriented bike on the trails there.

    If you do ride there, stick to the gravel roads.
    #2
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  3. chopyourown

    chopyourown Adventurer

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    Woodinville, WA
    I'm a fairly new rider, but would be happy to join you for some forest road exploring - there's supposedly some good roads up off 530 near Swede Heaven. I'm also on a CB500x.
    #3
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  4. BobcatSig

    BobcatSig Fresh Off The Couch Racing

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    Walker is not a place to take a street bike off the gravel roads. If that's something that interests you, look for a sorted used dirt bike. It's a whole separate discussion.

    The upside of being in the PNW is the abundance of National Forest land, and with it, thousands of miles of broken pavement, gravel, and fire roads - all of which are great for your CB. So while you may find some routes out at Walker, I encourage you to look bigger at the surrounding national forest for great rides and photo ops. They abound, I assure you.
    #4
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  5. KojiKP

    KojiKP Been here awhile

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    Location:
    WA State
    I'm just a bit south in Stanwood. I've got a KTM 790Adv as well as a sportbike and dualsport. Even my WR450 is quite the handful up at Walker. Your CB would be fine on the logging roads but I can only think of maybe one or two trails to take it on although I'm not real familiar with Walker.
    I'm up for exploring random logging roads and such!
    #5
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  6. csmoore

    csmoore Adventurer

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I figured most trails at walker would be a no go for my cb, damn! To everyone that was interested in riding, sending you a PM. I followed the skagit river along the south highway and ended up in Concrete for a bite to eat today, had a blast. Would definitely be down for cruising around some logging roads/national forest land.
    #6
  7. Captain Hobo

    Captain Hobo Complete Bastard Supporter

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    A friend of mine can keep up with my GSAall day and does huge distances on his 500x. You'll have no problems going anywhere you want, here IMG_20210530_120120460.jpg
    #7
  8. FoxScrambles

    FoxScrambles Adventurer

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    just north of mount vernon off hwy 20 here. fell free to hit me up if ya need someone to ride with as well. there are many many places out here close besides Walker also.
    #8
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  9. Sabre

    Sabre Prêt? Allez! Supporter

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    Search for posts by @Sedro Tom. He's a local who knows the logging roads like the back of his hand and often posts up his rides.
    #9
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  10. ObiJohn

    ObiJohn Screaming Banshee Supporter

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    Yes, the logging roads around Darrington are great for your CB500X. You could spend several days before riding them all. Even the Mountain Loop Highway. These are great for ADV bikes... lots of fun on reasonable gravel roads. I agree with the other posters... the single-track at Walker is not the place for an unskilled rider to bring a 430 lb road bike with 80/20 tires.
    #10
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  11. peterman

    peterman cop magnet Supporter

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    Just a note of trivia,,there are 11 times more gravel roads (mileage) than paved roads in Oregon. I expect Warshington to be much the same. I lived in the Skagit in the late 70's early 80's,,awesome places to ride! There are tons of roads that follow ridge tops above Lyman, lots of them connect to other areas, go get lost!
    Or get the Benchmark maps atlas and study your day ride options.
    https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=benchmark+maps+washington
    #11
  12. offthewallds

    offthewallds Confused Travolta personified

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle-ish
    As others have suggested, take in the scenic routes since you're new to the area. Go ride 20 over the pass, or the 530 loop, or shoot down the Mountain Loop Hwy. Going a little further south from Granite Falls, Menzel Lake Road to Woods Creek Road and down to Monroe is an absolute blast. I'm a little further south in the Duvall area, used to work up in Arlington. It's also worth catching the Anacortes - San Juan ferry. The ferry system is great on a bike, half price and you get to skip all the lines.

    Welcome to the area!
    #12
  13. ADV206

    ADV206 Vrooming on a 2019 Versys 650

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    @chopyourown and @csmoore I'm in Seattle on a '19 Versys 650; happy to connect to share some tips on good dirt & street riding for mid-weight ADVs like we have...and always down for a ride.
    #13
  14. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer Supporter

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    As Peterman suggests, get a Benchmark atlas and find FR17 off the South Skagit Hwy. Connect that to FR18 or Finney Crk and you'll come out at Swede Heaven or loop back to South Skagit Hwy near Rockport. If you throw in Iron Mt, Gee Point and FR1705 you'll need a "Whole Day" kitchen pass. dd
    #14
  15. Mikeyfromgr

    Mikeyfromgr Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm in everett on a gs. Not much off road experience but, im open to some easy forest service roads or, on street rides. Hit me up!
    #15
  16. Rider1807

    Rider1807 Love To Ride

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    Location:
    Seattle
    Just a quick heads up, Mountain Loop Hiway is currently closed. Can't get to the pass from either end. There is a ton of great riding in the Darrington area though.
    #16
  17. BillMoore

    BillMoore Long timer Supporter

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    Snohomish, WA
    According to the USFS road conditions page, it was scheduled to open this afternoon. I don't know if that happened though...
    #17
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  18. FoxScrambles

    FoxScrambles Adventurer

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    Skagit Valley
    Brother in-law and I will be riding out on/near fr17/18 (june 26/27) prob gonna try to camp out by gee lake if anyone is interested in meeting up and checking the area out
    #18
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  19. mtbdemon

    mtbdemon Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2007
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    Location:
    Sweet Home, Oregon I need a home
    I have been spending more time on whidbey island and would love to ride with you or anyone else. I can use the 690 or if needed, I can toyhauler my 250 xc and do the OHV and perhaps spend the weekend.
    I’m an amazing riding and often win races…….in my dreams…………
    #19
  20. FoxScrambles

    FoxScrambles Adventurer

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    Skagit Valley
    Yeh we don't go out and thrash on the bikes or ourselves anymore. Hip can't take it no more
    #20