Walla Walla Valley Road Routes
Perhaps one of the more known outdoor recreation opportunities in the area, cycling is loved by locals and tourists alike. Our Road Routes page compiles all sorts of information regarding what to expect, a narrative of the six main routes identified on the Walla Walla Valley Bicycle Map, information about where to find a group ride, events, and more. As part of the information shared about the road routes, we are working on detailed galleries and video of the main routes, expanding our coverage to other more popular rides, to give cyclists a sneak peek of various options. Call it a scouting report. The Road Routes page is unique to the site, built especially for the cyclists, and we are working diligently to add additional resources we think you will love.
Within 1.5 Hours
Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Average of 950 feet
- Your Public Lands
Walla Walla County, City of Walla Walla, Washington State Department of Transportation
- What To Do
Visit our Road Routes page for more detailed information. Noted on the map are six routes: Mill Creek Route, Cottonwood Loop, Milton-Freewater Loop, Whitman Mission Route, North Wheat Fields Loop, and Harris Park Route. In addition to those named routes are suggestions for city routes, area rides, and expert-level rides. When you open the map, it will be overly clear that if you are hanging out for the weekend and want to try a route, you’ll have plenty of options. Guess you better start planning the return trip. If you are from the area, you have some peddling to do.
When To Go
Cycling the Walla Walla Valley is a four season sport. If you are local, grab your helmet anytime the mood strikes you. Since it is already a destination location, Walla Walla has many opportunities available at various price points for lodging, dining, and shopping. Its historic downtown is easy on the eye, and its local cuisine is even better on the tummy. Protected by the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, the climate allows for an year-round cycling. Dodging the wet, marine air from the west and cold, Arctic air from the east, it is not unheard of to ride each month of the year. Cycling through the seasons also means different looks at the same viewscapes.
What To Expect
Part of what makes these rides so special is the fact that they wander through rolling fields of wheat, barley, peas, and garbanzo beans to name a few crops–not to mention the backdrop of the Blue Mountains, as if the view wasn’t impressive enough. In the spring, the sprouting plants are so deliciously green, and, as summer fades, the golden hues of a bountiful harvest really steal the show. As magical as that seasonal promise of routine and tradition truly is, it also means there is some really, really big farm equipment on the road. The share-the-road mantra is next level in the Walla Walla Valley.
This warning is not to deter your inner cyclist, but rather prepare you for the fact that during certain parts of the year, wheat that was casually blowing with the breeze finds itself in the back of a large truck going at least 50 miles an hour. As someone who can put harvest driver on her resume, I implore you to realize that it is incredibly hard to ask a fully loaded truck to respond in a timely fashion. Enjoy those more agricultural-centric rides, but please stay safe. Realizing that seasoned road cyclists likely face such challenges on a daily basis, let’s talk about the fun stuff–the routes.
The State of Washington considers those on a bicycle a vulnerable user of a public way. Washington does not mandate helmets, but please wear a helmet. The state does not define which lane riders use, but if slower than the flow of traffic, ride as far to the right as possible. Perhaps of most use is the vehicle detection error law that allows riders to proceed through a traffic signal if that signal fails to respond to the rider. For more light reading, visit the Washington State Legislature website on the Revised Code of Washington, specifically Chapter 46.61.760. Impress all your cycling buddies with your newfound knowledge.
With many of these routes traveling through towns sprinkled throughout the Walla Walla Valley, consider refueling at any number of establishments before the return trip. Visit our Explore page for more information on Small Towns, Big Adventures.
Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.
Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.
Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.