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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The climb up the 26 road to windy ridge and Spirit Lake on Mt St Helens is doable (the entire loop). We did it about 10 days ago and while the 99 road still had snow drifts, they were not that much of a problem to walk.

This is my favorite ride anywhere since the entire climb is single lane paved and both the climb and the descent down the 99 and 25 roads are epic. The scenery is second to none.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The ride starts about 6 miles South of Randle (Randle is on the White Pass highway 12). Immediately after crossing the Cispus River on highway 25 you will see a single lane road (26b road) heading up the hill in front of you. Park at the intersection (plenty of room)

If you take the short loop it will be about 5000 feet of climbing and 42 miles (memory). If you go to the view point at the end of windy ridge it will add another 15 and about 1000 vertical.

On the short ride you climb for about 20 miles before descending to the 99 road. Take a left and climb to Bear Meadows before descending back to the 25 road. Take another left on the 25 back to your car.

For the longer route take a right (instead of a left) on the 99 road and go to the end before heading back and up to bear meadows. There is no water on this ride so I would recommend the short route unless it is a cool day and you have two large water bottles.
where can I find the route/directions? What type of mileage is the ride and how much climbing?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The climb up the 26 road to windy ridge and Spirit Lake on Mt St Helens is doable (the entire loop). We did it about 10 days ago and while the 99 road still had snow drifts, they were not that much of a problem to walk.

This is my favorite ride anywhere since the entire climb is single lane paved and both the climb and the descent down the 99 and 25 roads are epic. The scenery is second to none.
I continue to see many cyclists on the Windy Ridge road that have obviously climbed up the 25 road. Why would anybody in their right mind climb the 25 road when the beautiful 26 route is available? It has no cars, excellent pavement (a few very short gravel sections) and much more interesting scenery.

Save the 99 and 25 road for the descent. I promise you that nobody who has ever climbed the 26 would ever choose the 25 route for the ascent.
 

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For the longer route take a right (instead of a left) on the 99 road and go to the end before heading back and up to bear meadows. There is no water on this ride so I would recommend the short route unless it is a cool day and you have two large water bottles.
I rode windy ridge once years ago when it was closed to cars and thought it was one of the most beautiful rides I've ever done. I'm thinking about going back and would love to do the long loop you described. I was looking at this map http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_007073.pdf
and it shows restrooms and water available at Norway Pass a little bit before you connect to 99... have you ever stopped there? At least it's in a good location... if there's water do the long version down windy ridge and if there isn't cut it short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've never pulled into the Norway pass parking lot (we usually stop at Ryan lake because Norway is so close to Meta Lake and the turn onto 99). I will check it out and let you know if there is water.

I rode windy ridge once years ago when it was closed to cars and thought it was one of the most beautiful rides I've ever done. I'm thinking about going back and would love to do the long loop you described. I was looking at this map http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fsbdev3_007073.pdf
and it shows restrooms and water available at Norway Pass a little bit before you connect to 99... have you ever stopped there? At least it's in a good location... if there's water do the long version down windy ridge and if there isn't cut it short.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just checked into the website and it claim there is potable water at Norway pass. That opens up the ride out to the end on hot days. I've completed this loop 8 times this season and perhaps 20 times previously and never even thought there might be water at Norway Pass. Thanks for asking the question!
 

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I am going to do this ride next Mon or Tues. Only reason I never have is it's a 2hr+ drive from Vancouver. I also have to do it solo (no one I ride with locally is up to the task, frankly!) which is a bit daunting given the remoteness of the area if I had a mechanical, or biomechanical... But hey, adds to the adventure. I may even bring a camera, though I will be conflicted about losing my climbing rhythm ; )
 
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