Washington Wine Cycle

How best to enjoy winding back roads, expansive green Washington vineyards, and a scant 12 days of rain per year? Just add a bike.

In Walla Walla, the task is easily handled by Allegro Cyclery, which rents both road bikes and hybrid cruisers from a downtown Walla Walla storefront. Then grab a Walla Walla Valley Bike Map (download another version here) for details on a half-dozen short excursions and daylong tours.

The Cottonwood Loop is an excellent sample of the city and its wineries. Once you’re saddled up, head south on Second Avenue and catch Reser Road to start a 14-mile tour through rolling wheat fields toward the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Along the way, you’ll pass several of the picturesque Palouse grain elevators.

In the Yakima Valley, in the town of Zillah, a four-mile ride ropes in visits to three wineries. Begin at Two Mountain Winery, then pedal past scenic county roads and rolling orchards to Hyatt Vineyards before stopping at Bonair Winery, where you sample award-winning wines next to a charming duck pond.

Rather just drink in the views? Near Grandview, try a ride up Snipes Mountain, a 1,300-foot bluff that rises above the Yakima Valley to reveal sublime sightlines of the Yakima River and farmland stretching as far as the eye can see.

—Christopher van Tilburg

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