Washington Backcountry Discovery Route

Map not loading? For best performance and experience, use the latest web browser version of Chrome or Firefox.

This 575-mile route thoroughly explores the Cascade Mountains beginning in Stevenson, WA and making it to the Canadian border at Night Hawk. Views of the massive volcanic mountains from the dense forest in the southern part of the route are stunning and the open arid pine forests of the central part of the route showcase the diversity of Washington. The route just seems to get better each day as you head north and into the high-mountain areas beyond Lake Chelan.

It takes most people about 5-6 days to complete the route and there are some easy alternate sections to get around difficult stretches. There are many great camp spots along the way for those looking to rough it. The route also works well for those looking to stay in hotels or to do a little of both.

Best time of year: June through September is the best window for the Washington route. Snow in the mountain passes can block riders from completing the route early and late in the season.


Additional Route Resources

In addition to the Interactive WABDR Map on the right, SheADV.com hosts an interactive BDR Map that shows current weather conditions, estimated snow levels, and forest fires for all BDR’s.

For ride reports, current WABDR conditions and route updates, and to join or organize BDR rides, please visit the WABDR thread on www.ADVrider.com and the Americas thread on www.advrider.com.

The WABDR film is available for streaming or download.

WABDR LODGING

Squaw Rock Resort & Mountain Momma’s Restaurant (Naches, WA) (WABDR)

Squaw Rock Resort
15070 State Route 410 (about a 1/4 west of Rock Creek Road), Naches,  WA  98937.
Resort Tel. 509-658-2800
Restaurant Tel: 509-658-2111
Lodging (campsites and rooms for rent), Gas Station/Convenience Store, and Mountain Momma’s Home Cooking Restaurant on the same grounds.

Visit Website »

Rodeway Inn (Stevenson, WA) (WABDR)

40 N E Second St, Stevenson, WA, 98648

Tel. (509) 427-5628

Nestled in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest off Highway 14 and Interstate 84 near the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

Visit Website »

Rivermist Mountain Top Estate B&B (Stevenson, WA) (WABDR)

Stevenson, Washington
Tel. (509) 427-4810

Nestled on five wooded acres catering to those seeking relaxation surrounded by natural beauty and spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Columbia River from the cedar lodge with over 5,000 square feet and a 23-foot ceiling.

Visit Website »

Columbia Gorge Riverside Lodge (Stevenson, WA) (WABDR)

200 SW Cascade Avenue, Stevenson WA 98648

Tel. 509-427-5650

The Lodge offers eight themed studios in four modern log cabins. No TVs or in-room phones. Cell service and free Wi-Fi are available in guest rooms as well as around the city.  Fully-oufitted kitchenettes, gas fireplaces, shared and private heated soaking pools, outdoor decks facing the river, and low rates ( $89, $109, and $219.)

Visit Website »

Conconully - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Conconully has a lot packed into a small mountain town. They have a general store with fuel, a few restaurants, lodging, camping, and access to two fishing lakes.

Visit Website »

Winthrop - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Winthrop is a small town with western facades and several food and lodging options. This is a side trip from the WABDR.

Visit Website »

Cashmere - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Cashmere has all the services you’ll need before heading up Nahahum Canyon toward the Entiat Mountains.

Visit Website »

Rimrock Lake Resort - Food & Lodging (WABDR)

Rimrock Lake has several campgrounds and cabins for rent on the north shore just off Highway 12. This resort is open year-round and has a restaurant and a small grocery store with camping items.

Visit Website »

White Pass - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

White Pass has a campground and a resort on Leech Lake just north of Highway 12 at the crest of the pass. The inn is open year-round and they have a gas station with coffee, groceries, and deli food.

Visit Website »

Packwood - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Packwood has gas stations, stores, restaurants, and lodging.

Visit Website »

Stevenson - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Stevenson is the southernmost town on the WABDR and a great place to get fueled up for the long trip to Packwood. You’ll find several restaurant and lodging options in town.

Visit Website »

WABDR FOOD

Iron Horse Brewery (Ellensburg, WA) (WABDR)

412 N. Main St
Ellensburg, WA 98926
(509) 834-7838

Visit Website »

Squaw Rock Resort & Mountain Momma’s Restaurant (Naches, WA) (WABDR)

Squaw Rock Resort
15070 State Route 410 (about a 1/4 west of Rock Creek Road), Naches,  WA  98937.
Resort Tel. 509-658-2800
Restaurant Tel: 509-658-2111
Lodging (campsites and rooms for rent), Gas Station/Convenience Store, and Mountain Momma’s Home Cooking Restaurant on the same grounds.

Visit Website »

Backwoods Brewing Company (Carson, WA) (WABDR)

An ideal location to celebrate either the beginning or the end of the WABDR. The pub is open 7 days a week, and will soon be open 11:30 AM – 9 PM every day. They have outdoor and indoor seating, are family friendly, dogs welcome, and they serve delicious pizza, salads, sandwiches and, of course, beer!

1162 B Wind River Hwy, Carson, WA 98610

Mon – Th 3-9 PM

Fri – Sun 11:30 AM-9 PM

Visit Website »

Loomis - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Loomis has a Kwik Stop with fuel and provisions if needed. Oroville is another town near the north end of the WABDR that has more services.

Visit Website »

Conconully - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Conconully has a lot packed into a small mountain town. They have a general store with fuel, a few restaurants, lodging, camping, and access to two fishing lakes.

Visit Website »

Winthrop - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Winthrop is a small town with western facades and several food and lodging options. This is a side trip from the WABDR.

Visit Website »

Ardenvoir - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Tiny Ardenvoir has an important gas station, cafe, and store. Without this fuel the WABDR would be much different. Be sure to stop in and grab some goodies in addition to a gas tank fill-up.

Visit Website »

Cashmere - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Cashmere has all the services you’ll need before heading up Nahahum Canyon toward the Entiat Mountains.

Visit Website »

Nile - Food & Gas (WABDR)

This pit stop in Nile has a gas station and mini-mart. Unfortunately the restaurant has closed.

Visit Website »

Rimrock Lake Resort - Food & Lodging (WABDR)

Rimrock Lake has several campgrounds and cabins for rent on the north shore just off Highway 12. This resort is open year-round and has a restaurant and a small grocery store with camping items.

Visit Website »

White Pass - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

White Pass has a campground and a resort on Leech Lake just north of Highway 12 at the crest of the pass. The inn is open year-round and they have a gas station with coffee, groceries, and deli food.

Visit Website »

Packwood - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Packwood has gas stations, stores, restaurants, and lodging.

Visit Website »

Stevenson - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Stevenson is the southernmost town on the WABDR and a great place to get fueled up for the long trip to Packwood. You’ll find several restaurant and lodging options in town.

Visit Website »

WABDR FUEL

Squaw Rock Resort & Mountain Momma’s Restaurant (Naches, WA) (WABDR)

Squaw Rock Resort
15070 State Route 410 (about a 1/4 west of Rock Creek Road), Naches,  WA  98937.
Resort Tel. 509-658-2800
Restaurant Tel: 509-658-2111
Lodging (campsites and rooms for rent), Gas Station/Convenience Store, and Mountain Momma’s Home Cooking Restaurant on the same grounds.

Visit Website »

Cooper’s Cafe & General Store (Ardenvoir, WA) (WABDR)

Gas station, cafe and a general store.

Visit Website »

Loomis - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Loomis has a Kwik Stop with fuel and provisions if needed. Oroville is another town near the north end of the WABDR that has more services.

Visit Website »

Conconully - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Conconully has a lot packed into a small mountain town. They have a general store with fuel, a few restaurants, lodging, camping, and access to two fishing lakes.

Visit Website »

Winthrop - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Winthrop is a small town with western facades and several food and lodging options. This is a side trip from the WABDR.

Visit Website »

Ardenvoir - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Tiny Ardenvoir has an important gas station, cafe, and store. Without this fuel the WABDR would be much different. Be sure to stop in and grab some goodies in addition to a gas tank fill-up.

Visit Website »

Cashmere - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Cashmere has all the services you’ll need before heading up Nahahum Canyon toward the Entiat Mountains.

Visit Website »

Nile - Food & Gas (WABDR)

This pit stop in Nile has a gas station and mini-mart. Unfortunately the restaurant has closed.

Visit Website »

White Pass - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

White Pass has a campground and a resort on Leech Lake just north of Highway 12 at the crest of the pass. The inn is open year-round and they have a gas station with coffee, groceries, and deli food.

Visit Website »

Packwood - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Packwood has gas stations, stores, restaurants, and lodging.

Visit Website »

Stevenson - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Stevenson is the southernmost town on the WABDR and a great place to get fueled up for the long trip to Packwood. You’ll find several restaurant and lodging options in town.

Visit Website »

WABDR DISCOVERY POINTS

Canadian Border (WABDR)

The Chopaka US-Canadian Border crossing is the official northern end of the WABDR. Taking photos near the crossing is prohibited.

Nighthawk Ghost Town (WABDR)

Nighthawk is a privately-owned former town on the Similkameen River that you ride by on the Loomis-Oroville Road. No services here.

Visit Website »

Loomis - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Loomis has a Kwik Stop with fuel and provisions if needed. Oroville is another town near the north end of the WABDR that has more services.

Visit Website »

Chopaka Lake Camp (WABDR)

A short side trip leads to two lakeside campgrounds (one is DNR and the other BLM). Chopaka Lake is popular with fishermen (fly-fishing only).

Visit Website »

Cold Creek Camp and Viewpoint (WABDR)

This hilltop clearing is where the original WABDR geocache was stashed. Even though this is a longer side trip and the views aren’t spectacular, it is still fun to ride.

Visit Website »

Skull & Crossbones Corral and Cabin (WABDR)

Check out the old log cabin and corral near the top of Skull and Crossbones Ridge

Visit Website »

Lone Frank Pass (WABDR)

Lone Frank Pass crests a ridge at about 6700 feet. 

Visit Website »

Salmon Meadows Camp (WABDR)

Salmon Meadows has room for many campers on the east side of Thirtymile Ridge.

Visit Website »

Conconully - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Conconully has a lot packed into a small mountain town. They have a general store with fuel, a few restaurants, lodging, camping, and access to two fishing lakes.

Visit Website »

Ruby Townsite Historical Marker (WABDR)

Read about the historic mining town of Ruby at the bottom of the steep Ruby Grade.

Visit Website »

Arlington Mine Site (WABDR)

Look for evidence of the old mining operations on the hill above Loup Loup Canyon on this optional side trip.

China Wall of Loup Loup (WABDR)

China Wall takes some searching around to find and the coordinates provided are approximate. These tall granite stone walls were part of Loup Loup, a thriving mining town in the late 1800s.

Visit Website »

Leader Lake (WABDR)

Leader Lake is a slight side trip with a campground and is a good place to cool off in the water. It’s a popular fishing hole.

Visit Website »

Winthrop - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Winthrop is a small town with western facades and several food and lodging options. This is a side trip from the WABDR.

Visit Website »

Carlton General Store - Food & Gas (WABDR)

The Carlton General Store has been around for over 100 years. Stop in to get groceries, drinks and homemade treats. They have premium non-ethanol fuel on hand most of the time. If they don’t for some reason, Twisp is just up the highway.

Visit Website »

Cooper Mountain Summit (WABDR)

Cooper Mountain is one of the most important stops along the WABDR. Ride out to the summit to enjoy the views.

Visit Website »

Chelan Lakeside Park (WABDR)

By now you’ve earned a rest and should take a dip in Lake Chelan. This park has shade trees for taking a siesta and docks for jumping off.

Visit Website »

The Jungle (WABDR)

The Jungle is an abandoned road that’s fighting to stay open. If it’s too overgrown, take the newer main road. But if you have a saw, chop down a few branches as you descend the old road.

Slide Ridge Views (WABDR)

Slide Ridge has many viewpoints of Lake Chelan and beyond. Play it safe and stop to enjoy the views.

Visit Website »

Steliko Lookout Tower (WABDR)

A worthy side trip to a fire lookout tower directly above Ardenvoir.

Visit Website »

Ardenvoir - Food & Gas (WABDR)

Tiny Ardenvoir has an important gas station, cafe, and store. Without this fuel the WABDR would be much different. Be sure to stop in and grab some goodies in addition to a gas tank fill-up.

Visit Website »

Grotto Corral at Entiat River (WABDR)

This hidden shaded spot is a good for a rest and to put your feet into some cool water. Mad River flows through here on the way to its confluence with the Entiat River nearby in Ardenvoir.

Sugarloaf Lookout Tower (WABDR)

Sugarloaf is one of the longer side trip options, but if you like lookout towers and have the time, it’s probably worth it.

Visit Website »

Chumstick Mountain Summit (WABDR)

This is one of the best summits on the WABDR. Ride up a short side road to the top. Don’t miss these 360 degree views.

Visit Website »

Cashmere - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Cashmere has all the services you’ll need before heading up Nahahum Canyon toward the Entiat Mountains.

Visit Website »

Beehive Reservoir (WABDR)

This is a great spot to rest at before descending down into Wenatchee.

Visit Website »

Lion Rock Viewpoint (WABDR)

The side trip out to Lion Rock is a must. It’s usually cool at this point jutting out from a long steep cliff.

Visit Website »

Reecer Creek Twisties (WABDR)

A twisty paved backroad ascends up to the top of Table Mountain from the Reecer Creek gulch below.

Umtanum Ridge Durr Road Crossing (WABDR)

More views await from the top of the Durr Road which descends into the Ellensburg area.

Baby Head Hill (WABDR)

Baby Head Hill has round rocks the size of baby heads to challenge riders. Stop above the hill to enjoy the distant views.

Cleman Mountain Summit (WABDR)

The WABDR passes over the top of Cleman Mountain to the site of a former lookout tower (since replaced with radio towers) and rewards riders with great views.

Visit Website »

Nile - Food & Gas (WABDR)

This pit stop in Nile has a gas station and mini-mart. Unfortunately the restaurant has closed.

Visit Website »

Bethel Ridge Rocky Point (WABDR)

Riders should take a quick ride out to more viewpoints along the Bethel Ridge cliffs.

Visit Website »

Bethel Ridge Hidden Viewpoint (WABDR)

Try to find this hidden spot that has views and makes a cool camping area.

Cash Prairie Camp (WABDR)

It’s a fun two mile ride out to the group camp spot at the end of Cash Prairie Road (NF 199). This is also the trailhead for Ironstone Mountain Trail which enters the William O Douglas Wilderness. You’ll want to hike along the ridge from camp to gain even better views.

Visit Website »

Rimrock Lake Resort - Food & Lodging (WABDR)

Rimrock Lake has several campgrounds and cabins for rent on the north shore just off Highway 12. This resort is open year-round and has a restaurant and a small grocery store with camping items.

Visit Website »

White Pass - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

White Pass has a campground and a resort on Leech Lake just north of Highway 12 at the crest of the pass. The inn is open year-round and they have a gas station with coffee, groceries, and deli food.

Visit Website »

Packwood - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Packwood has gas stations, stores, restaurants, and lodging.

Visit Website »

Walupt Lake (WABDR)

Walupt Lake has a campground just a short ways off the WABDR.

Visit Website »

Horseshoe Lake (WABDR)

A short side trip leads to a campground on the shore of Horseshoe Lake.

Visit Website »

Takhlakh Lake (WABDR)

Takhlakh Lake is one of the last places to melt out each spring. Here you’ll find a campground with a hiking trail that loops around this small lake.

Visit Website »

Babyshoe Ridge Viewpoint (WABDR)

A short ride up this side road leads to an open area with views.

Guler Ice Caves (WABDR)

On this side trip you can cool off in the Guler Ice Caves which have ice year-round. With a flashlight you can explore inside the caves.

Visit Website »

Trail Peak Viewpoint (WABDR)

As you ride up Trail Peak look for a spot to stop and take pictures of Mt Hood to the south.

Visit Website »

Walking Man Brewing (WABDR)

We recommend eating and having a brew at the Walking Man Brewery if you are staying overnight in Stevenson before starting the WABDR

Visit Website »

Stevenson - Food, Gas, Lodging (WABDR)

Stevenson is the southernmost town on the WABDR and a great place to get fueled up for the long trip to Packwood. You’ll find several restaurant and lodging options in town.

Visit Website »

Oregon Border - Bridge of the Gods (WABDR)

This steel truss bridge spans the Columbia River and the state border between Washington and Oregon. This is the official southern end of the WABDR.

Visit Website »

WABDR PACKING LIST

This packing list serves as an example and is not intended to be a complete list for your backcountry riding needs. Feel free to customize this list to work for you.

Gadgets
  • Map holder / map case
  • GPS unit
  • GPS mount
  • Compass
  • Cell phone
  • Phone charger
  • Plug adapter: auto to BMW plug
  • Camera
  • Spot II
  • Notebook
  • Pencil/pen
Clothing
  • Rain shell
  • Riding socks (2)
  • Zip pants/shorts
  • Short sleeve (base layer shirt)
  • Swim suit
  • Flip flops/sandals
  • Riding jersey / long-sleeve (base layer shirt)
  • Fleece jacket
  • Underwear
  • Wool beanie
  • Ball cap
  • Socks
Motorcycle
  • Engine oil
  • Clip-style master link
  • Fuses
  • Chain lube
  • Spare inner-tubes
Riding
  • Helmet
  • Boots
  • Goggles
  • Gloves (2 sets)
  • Protective gear (pressure suit, Leatt brace, knee braces)
  • Jacket
  • Pants
  • Balaclava or neck gaitor
  • Water bladder or bottle
  • Hydration pack
  • Ear plugs
Personal
  • Toiletries
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush & Floss
  • Towel (MSR Pack Towel)
  • Razor
  • Toilet paper
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Pain reliever
  • Allergy meds
  • Wet Wipes
  • Sun Glasses
  • Passport if going into Canada
  • Money (credit cards & cash)
Camping Gear
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Roll pad
  • Tent
  • Dry bags (2) for tent, sleeping pad & sleeping bag
  • Water storage (Dromedary Bag)
  • Folding hand saw
  • Water filter
  • Eating utensils
  • Lighter / waterproof matches
  • Can opener
  • Pots & pans
  • Coffee brewing device
  • Coffee cup
  • Headlamp (2)
  • Kitchen set & spices
  • Stove
  • Stove fuel bottle
  • Folding camp chair
Books & Maps
Tools & Misc
  • Tool roll / tool set
  • Tire levers
  • Tire patch kit
  • Air pump
  • Tire gauge
  • Quicksteel
  • Leatherman tool
  • Swiss Army knife
  • Large inflation CO2 (for tubeless tires)
  • First Aid kit
  • Zip ties
  • Duct tape
  • Wire
  • LocTite
  • WD-40
  • Tow strap
Food
  • Energy bars
  • Coffee
  • Oatmeal
  • Other ingredients based on meal plan

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Below are answers to some Frequently Asked Questions about the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route.

Are BDR routes suitable for a 4x4 vehicle?

For the most part all of BDR routes are doable by 4×4’s with adequate tires and clearance. The roads are all public roads and do require a street legal vehicle.  One thing to keep in mind – the routes conditions can change dramatically due to rain and flash floods which cause the roads to become difficult or impassable.

The UTBDR probably will be the most challenging route in a 4×4 if you take the expert sections. Lockhart Basin is the hardest section of all the BDR’s.

What is the WABDR?

The Washington Backcountry Discovery Route (WABDR) is a mostly off-road route from Oregon, USA to British Columbia, Canada. The South to North route winds through the Cascade Mountains and some arid landscapes in the foothills of Eastern Washington. The roads include dirt, gravel, and pavement surfaces and may include rocks, ruts, sand, mud and snow depending on time of year and conditions. The route can be completed in 4-6 days depending on pace, and is also accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles, as the entire route is at least double-track.

How far between gas stops?

The longest gap between gas stations is approximately 122 miles from Packwood to Ellensburg, unless you stop for gas in Nile Valley on Hwy 410. The next longest section is 120 miles between Stevenson and Packwood. Premium fuel is available in Stevenson, Packwood, Ellensburg, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan, Twisp, Omak and Oroville. Low octane gas is available in Carlton, Nile, Ardenvoir and Conconully. The elevation chart on the WABDR Butler Map includes all the mileage details and fuel locations.

Can I have a camp fire?

Check with local Ranger Stations to determine if campfires are allowed before you build one. Forest fires are a threat during parts of the year and the rules that manage this risk must be followed. Be sure to fully extinguish fires so they are DEAD-OUT. Use water to ensure a fire is fully extinguished and the ground is left cool and wet.

Where do I camp?

There are many campgrounds and suitable dry camping locations along the route. The Butler Motorcycle Map for the WABDR has a tent icon showing campgrounds on the route and many near the route. The WABDR Butler Map is available through Touratech-USA and Butler Maps. In addition, the WenatcheeOkanogan, and Gifford Pinchot National forest maps show a tent icon for all campgrounds. These maps are available at www.naturenw.org and local Ranger Stations. Make sure to leave all camp locations clean and safe for the next user.

Do I have to camp?

No, you can complete the WABDR using hotels and restaurants fairly easily. Hotels, restaurants and grocery stores are available in Stevenson, Packwood, Ellensburg, Cashmere, Leavenworth, Chelan, Twisp, Omak and Oroville. Limited accommodations are also available in Conconully.

Is there water on the route?

You can find potable water in the towns along the way, or use a filtration system and source the water from creeks and springs along the route. The National Forest maps are a good resource for finding suitable creeks and springs. Choosing a camp location close to a water source is a good idea. It is strongly recommended to have a water filtration solution with you at all times in the backcountry. A filtration solution will allow you to carry less weight on the bike since you don’t have to haul your water. It’s also more flexible if you run into delays or have a mechanical issue along the way. Here is a video on water filtration filmed in the Oregon Backcountry: http://youtu.be/vqOFZAoZdTU

Why do I need paper maps when I have GPS tracks?

Always bring a complete set of maps for the area you plan to ride. They have good information about roads, water sources, and are an indispensible resource when the GPS doesn’t work, or is giving questionable advice. Unplanned events can occur and having paper/synthetic maps of the area can be a life saver. National Forest maps are available at www.naturenw.org and local Ranger Stations. WABDR Butler Motorcycle Maps are available at Touratech-USA and Butler Maps.

What GPS should I use?

Any GPS unit capable of displaying 10 track logs with a minimum of 500 points each is suitable for use on the WABDR. Garmin models that work best for this application are: Zumo 665/660, GPSMap 60, 62, 76, 78 and 276. Other GPS manufacturers may have units that will work. Check the technical specs to determine suitability.

Where can I find the GPS tracks for the WABDR?

The tracks for the route can be downloaded free of charge online at https://ridebdr.com/download-tracks/ .

What time of year can I do the WABDR?

The WABDR is best from July-October depending on snowpack and weather.

What is the ideal bike to use?

Any bike that has a license plate, can run knobby tires and is set-up to carry the gear you plan to bring, and has the fuel range to make the distance between gas stops. Most adventure or dual sport motorcycles will be suitable for the trip.

How difficult is the route?

The WABDR route is designed to be ridden on adventure and dual-sport motorcycles, as well as driven in 4×4 vehicles. There are no single-track style trails on this route. Many of the roads are in remote areas and reach high elevation areas where road maintenance is minimal or non-existent. You can expect to cover sections of road with deep ruts, loose rocks, sand and other challenges. There are also sections that have steep grades combined with rough surfaces. You may also encounter sections that have trees or branches over the road. Some of the roads are overgrown with foliage, but are passable by both motorcycle and 4×4 vehicles. There are alternate “easier” routes around a few of the most challenging sections. Depending on time of year and weather, there may be a few small shallow water crossings, but none worth worrying about. Certainly nothing like the Malheur River on the OBDR (Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route)

Are there any gates on the route?

Yes, there are several gates on the route. Please make sure to close all gates that you pass through.

What tires should I use for the WABDR?

DOT approved knobby tires are strongly recommended. Our team members used either Continental TKC 80 or Dunlop 606 tires when we rode the route.

How long does it take to run the WABDR?

Most people average 150 miles a day on a backcountry motorcycle trip. Plan on doing this route in 4-6 days depending on how fast you want to travel and how early you want to roll out of camp.

What is the highest elevation on the WABDR?

The highest elevations are reached in section 6 where Lone Frank Pass reaches nearly 7,000 feet. The route starts at nearly sea level and brings riders up to 5,000 to 6,000 multiple times on each section.

How do I get information on current road conditions?

For the latest information on current roads conditions and closures, check our News section, as well as rider accounts on www.ADVrider.com.

Is there cell phone coverage on the route?

Much of this route is remote and out of reach for cell phone towers. There will be long sections with no coverage. Your best bet to talk or text is in the towns or on top of mountains. You will be surprised where you get coverage and where you don’t. A satellite communication device is a good idea in the backcountry.

When is the border crossing at Nighthawk open?

The Nighthawk border crossing is typically open 9am – 5pm seven days a week. The nearby border crossing at Osoyoos just north of Oroville is open 24 hours a day. The US Border Office phone number is (509) 476-2125. Remember to bring your passport if you plan to cross into Canada.

Can I ship my bike up to the NW?

South Sound BMW provides a safe and convenient location to have your bike shipped to the Seattle/Tacoma area. They will allow you to use their shipping dock and warehouse to facilitate the shipping of your motorcycle. In most cases there is no charge for the receiving service. Email service@southsoundbmw.com or call (800) 303-1838 for more information.  Additionally, Motorcycle Shippers provides shipping services within the US.

What medical supplies should I carry on a BDR trip?

This advice comes from Rob Watt, BDR Board and Expeditions Member, and Wilderness EMT.

We carry items for wound management, breaks, basic meds and dental.  You can buy a good first aid kit at one of the outdoor stores online or Touratech-USA.  Get one that is an Extended Day Backpacker or 3-4 person kit.  These kits usually have the basics for a motorcycle trip.

They usually don’t have a SAM splint, so pick one of those up along with a couple ace bandages.  One other thing that we do for every multi-day trip, is to gather important information about each rider: allergies, medications, medical issues, emergency contacts, etc.

Then we put that on a master sheet for each person, so if something does happen we have that information handy incase that person can’t speak.  Another good practice is to do a little research of where medical facilities are along your planned route.  Is there a “flight for life” in the area? Where are the hospitals, Medical clinics, etc?

Here is a list of some items that you should have in your medical kit:

  • Bandages: Assorted sizes for small cuts, blisters, etc.
  • 4-inch closure strips or butterfly closures: For closing large wounds. 4-inch strips are more effective than butterfly.
  • 4 inch by 4 inch sterile dressing pads (5 to 10): To apply pressure to a wound and stop bleeding
  • Non-adherent sterile dressing (2 inch by 2 inch): Use these or Second Skin to cover blisters, burns or lacerations.
  • Gauze roll: Holds dressing in place.
  • Small roll of 1-inch adhesive tape: Holds dressings in place.
  • Multi-use tool or knife: Should include knife, scissors. A scalpel and blade are also useful for first aid.
  • Forceps or tweezers: For removing splinters, ticks, and removing debris from wounds.
  • Scissors: Trauma scissors, which have a blunt end to protect the patient, can be used for cutting away clothing from injury, cutting medical tape, etc.
  • Thermometer: Digital is generally more accurate, but batteries do wear out.
  • Malleable splint: Lightweight foam-covered aluminum, such as a SAM splint.
  • Irrigation syringe (35 cc): Used to flush and clean wounds.
  • Suction syringe (65 cc): Used to clear mouth of fluids when giving CPR.
  • Safety pins: Can help remove splinters, fasten arm sling, or make a whole in a plastic bag for improvised wound irrigation.
  • Cotton-tip swabs: For removing  foreign objects from eye, or applying antibiotic ointment.
  • Resealable plastic bags: Many uses, including icing a swollen joint or creating wound irrigation device.
  • ACE, Coban, or other rubberized bandage: Can be used as outer wrap on splints, wound dressings or support for joint injuries. Be careful not to wrap too tightly.
  • Antiseptic towlettes: For cleaning small wounds.
  • Cleansing pads with lidocaine: For cleaning. Includes a topical anesthetic for abrasions, stings, etc.
  • Topical antibiotic ointment: For application to wounds. Simple Vaseline can also be used in dressing a wound.
  • Moleskin: Prevents blisters. Cut and apply a section to your foot as soon as you discover a “hot spot.” Duct tape also works for this purpose.
  • Povidone Iodine USP 10 percent, 1 oz.: For preventing infection. Bottled PVD iodine 10 percent solution should be diluted to a ratio of 1 percent or less for flushing wounds.
  • Aloe vera gel: Found in packets or small bottles for relief of minor burns.
  • Pain relievers, including aspirin and Ibuprofen: Provides relief for minor aches and pains, reduces fever, helps reduce inflammation of sprains and other injuries.
  • Antihistamines: For relief of pollen allergies, or to reduce reaction to bites and stings.
  • Immodium 2 mg capsules or tablets: For relief of diarrhea from intestinal infections.
  • Pepto Bismol or antiacid tablets: For relief from general diarrhea, abdominal upset.
  • After Bite or hydrocortisone cream USP 1 percent: Relieves skin irritation from bites, poison oak, stings, or allergic reactions.
  • Latex or nitrile gloves: Protects against blood-borne diseases and infection.
  • CPR microshield mask: A compact flexible barrier with a one-way valve for rescue breathing, which protects user from blood, vomit or saliva.
  • Oral rehydration salts: Packet of electrolyte salts and glucose for treatment of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or loss of fluids from vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Space bag/blanket: Lightweight emergency shelter. For treating hypothermia victims.
  • Paper and pencil: For recording medical data such as body temperature, pulse, time and date of symptoms, injuries, medicines administered, etc. Most repackaged kits include accident report forms.
  • Wilderness First Aid booklet: Many prepackaged first aid kits contain one. An excellent pocket guide is the Wilderness Medical Handbook

Do I need a Discovery Pass?

A discover pass is required on street legal vehicles when using state recreation lands. For more information visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov/faq

Which BDR is the easiest? Which one would you recommend for a rider that hasn’t done a long trip on dirt before. I have just taken an intro level training course and I ride a 1200GSA?

We get this question all the time. Here are some key things to consider as you put together your plan.

All of the BDR routes include intermediate to advanced terrain. If a person is on a large bike twin-cylinder bike like an R1200GS Adventure or Yamaha Super Tenere, the routes can be very difficult. If a person’s skills are not advanced level, they may consider taking a smaller bike or choosing the easier options when possible. A BDR is something a person should build up to and it shouldn’t be their first overnight trip on their ADV bike.

Although, WA and CO are less difficult than UT and AZ,  they all contain difficult sections. We suggest looking at the Butler Map and take the optional easier routes to avoid the difficult sections. Even taking this approach there may be difficult stretches depending on changes in road conditions, weather, construction and the unknown. This is part of what makes it an adventure. Regardless of its description on the map or in the film, no section of a BDR should be underestimated.

Do some shorter overnight trips as practice and ride increasingly difficult terrain to build up your skills and confidence. Also remember that riding with a fully-loaded bike should be practiced prior to tackling a BDR. Lastly, always ride with a group so that you have a team to help overcome any obstacles whether it’s terrain, mechanicals, navigation, medical emergency, etc…

In summary, take baby steps and work up to doing a BDR. Don’t make it your first adventure motorcycle outing on a full-sized twin-cyclinder bike.

Rating the Routes by Difficulty

We get a lot of requests to provide difficulty ratings. The difficulty of a route can change from day to day depending on weather, changes in the road conditions and road damage caused by a variety of forces including wind, storms, flooding, snow, logging, forest fires and more. The difficulty experienced by an individual also depends on their off-road skills, level of fitness, bike size and amount of weight carried on the bike. For these reasons we can’t provide a rating system like a ski resort. We can help you a bit by ranking the existing BDR’s from most difficult to least difficult. Here is the list: CA, AZ, UT, CO, WA, NM, ID, MA. So CABDR South is the most difficult especially if you ride the expert sections and Mid Atlantic BDR is the easiest in general terms. Although MABDR is the easiest there are still a few challenging rocky sections and the several water crossings that can get very difficult if the water is high. Also mud can be very challenging if it rains heavily. We hope this helps you in your planning. Be sure to also review the FAQ’s for each route prior to planning your trip.

General Disclaimer; Limitation of Liability

YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT THE USE OF UTBDR AND THE WEB SITE IS ENTIRELY AT YOUR OWN RISK AND THAT THE WEB SITE AND THE SERVICES ARE PROVIDED TO YOU “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES. COMPANY DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT MATERIALS IN THE SITE OR THE SERVICES ARE ACCURATE, COMPLETE, RELIABLE, CURRENT OR ERROR-FREE. COMPANY DOES NOT REPRESENT OR WARRANT THAT THE SITE OR ITS SERVERS ARE FREE OF VIRUSES OR OTHER HARMFUL COMPONENTS.

IN NO EVENT SHALL COMPANY, ITS DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES OR AGENTS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, SPECIAL, INDIRECT OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, OR ANY OTHER DAMAGES OF ANY KIND, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF USE, LOSS OF PROFITS OR LOSS OF DATA, WHETHER IN AN ACTION IN CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO NEGLIGENCE) OR OTHERWISE, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE WEB SITES, THE SERVICES, THE CONTENT OR THE SITE MATERIALS CONTAINED IN OR ACCESSED THROUGH THE WEB SITES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY DAMAGES CASED BY OR RESULTING FROM RELIANCE BY USER ON ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED THROUGH THE WEB SITES OR THAT RESULT FROM MISTAKES, OMISSIONS, INTERRUPTIONS, DELETION OF FILES OR EMAIL, ERRORS, DEFECTS, VIRUSES, DELAYS IN OPERATION OR TRANSMISSION OR ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AGGREGATE LIABILITY OF COMPANY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, WARRANTY, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE, WHETHER ACTIVE, PASSIVE OR IMPUTED), PRODUCT LIABILITY, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER THEORY, ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE EXCEED ANY COMPENSATION YOU PAY, IF ANY, TO COMPANY FOR ACCESS TO OR USE OF THE WEB SITES.

TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL COMPANY OR ITS LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, CONSEQUENTIAL, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES OR LIABILITIES WHATSOEVER ARISING FROM OR RELATING TO THE DATA, THE SITE, OR SERVICE, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHER THEORY, EVEN IF COMPANY HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

THE GPS TRACKS ARE PROVIDED TO YOU FREE OF CHARGE. ACCORDINGLY, THEY ARE PROVIDED “AS IS,” WITH ALL FAULTS, DEFECTS AND ERRORS, AND WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, COMPANY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, ARISING BY LAW OR OTHERWISE, REGARDING THE APPLICATIONS, THE SITE AND THE SERVICE AND ITS PERFORMANCE OR SUITABILITY FOR YOUR INTENDED USE, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, OR NONINFRINGEMENT. WITHOUT LIMITING THE FOREGOING, COMPANY DOES NOT WARRANT THAT THE GPS TRACKS, THE SITE OR THE SERVICE WILL BE FREE OF BUGS, ERRORS, VIRUSES OR OTHER DEFECTS, AND COMPANY SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY OF ANY KIND FOR THE USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE APPLICATIONS, THE SITE OR THE SERVICE OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT OR SERVICE ASSOCIATED THEREWITH.

Governing Law; Jurisdiction

These Terms of Service are governed by the laws of the State of Washington and the United States of America, without regard to any conflict of law principles to the contrary. You agree that any action at law or in equity arising out of or relating to the Site or the Service shall be filed only in the state and federal courts located in King County, Washington and you hereby irrevocably and unconditionally consent and submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of such courts over any suit, action or proceeding arising out of these Terms of Service.

YES, I AGREE
Backcountry Discovery Routes is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation. © 2012 - 2019 Backcountry Discovery Routes, Inc. All rights reserved. Terms of Use.