Mt. St. Helens Road Conditions - Kawasaki Ninja 1000 Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-16-2019, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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Mt. St. Helens Road Conditions

Heading out on an Idaho, Oregon, Washington loop in a couple weeks, and we were thinking of coming back through Mt. St. Helens. Its been about 5 years since I rode through there, and at that time it was pretty chewed up. Not uncommon for the rider in front of me to be shooting sparks as he bottomed out. It was fun 10 years ago, 5 years ago....not so much, almost bucking me off in to the skunk cabbage a few times.


If anyone has ridden there recently, has it gotten better, or worse? Any new pavement?

NFD25
NF23
503 to Cougar
Meadow Creek Road
Wind River Road



Thanks!

Last edited by cooldaddygroove; 07-16-2019 at 12:02 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-16-2019, 01:05 PM
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Just came through there a month ago. NF-25 is still the most horrible piece of pavement in the state for about 10 miles. If there's any new pavement I didn't spot it.

Didn't go out to Windy Ridge on NF-99. We were at the tail end of a 3k mile trip and were a bit tired. We came up the Carson side, WindRiver, Meadow Creek & Curly Creek are great. Still it was nice coming up and cutting east on 12 to 123 to 410. But plan on slow going past Mt. St. Helens on 25. Also, they're logging up there but the logging truck we came up behind almost immediately pulled to a stop on a short straight and motioned us around. But it also means the pavement was a bit dusty from the truck traffic.

All in all, I think the route is worth it *but* plan on a few miles of absolute paved crap in the middle.

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-16-2019, 07:36 PM
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Sometimes I kind of get why ADV bikes are so popular.

Even here in California, some of our backroads away from any freeways/interstates/major thoroughfares, can be pretty bumpy from lack of attention and the ground underneath just moving around. My last trip in the Central Coast, I kind of wished I had an ADV in a few areas wherein I could just plow through any bad roads without worry. Last year I took my Suzuki DR650 dual sport through many of these same roads and I remember being miserable as hell on the highway, but smiling like a clown on the back roads, even the bad ones. And if I felt like pulling over on some dirt/gravel ridden shoulder, I didn't even think twice about it. I kind of felt, almost comfortably invincible on any road except the major highways on my DR650.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-17-2019, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenors View Post
NF-25 is still the most horrible piece of pavement in the state for about 10 miles. If there's any new pavement I didn't spot it.
We did this last summer......I kind of liked NF25. Just sort of roll with the frost heaves. The other two people with me didn't agree............

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenors View Post
Didn't go out to Windy Ridge on NF-99.
We went to Windy Ridge via NF99. About 2/3's to 3/4's of it was relatively good asphalt. The rest was broken up corners and loose rock. Not that bad though, we still had fun. Only saw three other vehicles on the road.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-17-2019, 01:30 PM
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I think it's been "neglected: intentionally. A fraction of the motorcycle traffic that there used to be. I decided to give it a skip on my way home to Portland last week. I told myself I'd catch it when I was out-bound one day, though the last time I rode it I said "never again".
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-17-2019, 03:16 PM
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Most of the folks I ride with believe that the road is left that way as a way of self-regulating the speed limit. I've been riding it for 30 years and seen it go from pretty nice to the mess it is today. When there have been wash-outs and landslides they've done just the bare minimum of repairs on it. Much of the bad stretch is just patches upon patches. Given the way it's failing I think they'd have to redo the entire road substructure to stabilize it. The earth up there moves and there isn't a lot that can be done.

Going out to Windy Ridge use to be an all out boogie road and every spring they use to go out and sweep up all the winter debris that got on the road. Not so much any more. It's more dangerous now I think because much of it is still great but then you hit a corner all covered with crap. I know more than a few folks who've gone down on that road.
If I hit it when I'm fresh it is kind of fun. I just pick a comfortable pace near the speed limit and know what to expect. The difficulty is the topology of the road BEGS you to pick up the pace while your seat is pounding your balls every 100' saying "Isn't this fun?" But it's only a few miles and if you go out to Windy Ridge the payoff is a spectacular view of Mt. St. Helens. If you continue south the roads are awesome whether you go east to Carson or West to Cougar. I'll do it again since it's only 100 miles away.

Crispy, stop off in Randal and drink a quart of your favorite drink then head out. Fun fun fun!

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