| Whiskey Dick Warm-Up

Please read the Rules. This is an unsupported route. You need to be self-sufficient and are solely responsible for your actions.

Big views, some “techy” dirt roads, desert flowers in bloom, and hopefully dry & sunny weather. That’s the idea behind this ride in mid-April in the shrub steppe near Vantage, WA. It should appeal to those who like the desert, feel comfortable being out in remote places, and are mindful of critters (snakes) that wake up in the warm sun.

The entire route, except for a couple short portions along the Whiskey Dick, is on pretty tough double-track dirt roads. There are actually 2 routes for this ride: one short and one long. Choose what makes you happy – or change your mind half-ways through.

Old ranch gate near Skookumchuck creek.

Old ranch gate near Skookumchuck creek.


Saturday, 30 April, 2016
Long loop: 9 am
Short loop: 11 am

Anticipated finishing times: 3-7 hours depending on your loop and your post-winter condition.


Start/Finish is at the trailhead on Recreation Drive, just north of Vantage. A Discover Pass is required for parking.

Whiskey Dick Start/Finish

Whiskey Dick Start/Finish


Short: 20 miles, 3100 ft. elevation, Ride with GPS link to gpx track file
Long: 37 miles, 5800 ft. elevation, Ride with GPS link to gpx track file
– Go on Export, then select TCS, GPX, or KML file format.
– No warranty, express or implied, use at your own discretion.
– Test that the file loaded correctly on your GPS device before attempting to ride.
– Do not rely solely on the GPX file. Bring maps and know how to use them.

Both, the short and the long loop stay together for the first 11 miles. The ride starts by going up  the mellow Rocky Coulee, past an abandoned ranch, but then takes a right up a steep hillside. Cacti should be in bloom and make the hike-a-bike go by much too quickly here.

From the top of this first hill you should have great views of the Columbia River and the Wildhorse windfarm behind it. Next, it’s down to the Whiskey Dick creek where a bit of route finding skills are necessary in the beginning. Follow the GPX track carefully in this portion or else you may end up in head-high thicket. The Whiskey Dick drainage tees into a bigger road after 3 miles where Long Loop riders turn left, upwards, while Short Loop riders head down towards the Columbia River – which makes a good lunch spot.

The long loop goes up the dirt road north, eventually riding west on the very rocky Jacknife Ridge road overlooking the Skookumchuck creek drainage. From there, you’ll loop south and join the first portion of the route going again through the Whiskey Dick drainage.

Short loop
Screen shot 2016-02-29 at 9.23.47 PM.png

Short Loop overview.

Total elevation gain of short loop is ~3100 ft.

Total elevation gain of short loop is ~3100 ft.

Long loop

Long Loop overview


Total elevation gain of the Long Loop is 5800 ft.


Water / resupply points

Water: There’s probably some water in Whiskey Dick Creek that you cross just before the Columbia river. Then, there is the Columbia River itself. And, best of all, there’s a spring at the east end of the Spring Cayuse Creek, about 25 yards in on the road from the Y-intersection. There are many big horn sheep and deer everywhere – so filtration is strongly advised.

Bring some food, beverages and folding chairs for a post-ride gathering in the parking lot (the start/finish). In Vantage, near I-90, are a couple restaurants and a couple convenience stores.


By signing up for a ride you are acknowledging that you are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with this activity, and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Washington Endurance Series website maintainers against any and all liability arising from your participation in the activities.

This ride is limited to only 28 people according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife regulations.

As of 4-29-2016, 6 / 3 riders are signed up for the long/short loop. Please register only once. The only confirmation that you will get will be the message “Thanks, your response has been recorded.” You will not get a link to see who else is signed up. You will also not get an emailed confirmation. If you need to make changes, fill out the form again and edit your Action.

16 responses to “| Whiskey Dick Warm-Up

  1. Hello, I’ve never ridden in this area, but am interested in the event and have a question about the roads. Are the roads smooth enough to not be miserable on a dropbar bike with 50c tires? My other bike choice is a singlespeed hardtail, but I tend to spin out on that bike unless the roads are really rough. Any tips or additional info is appreciated! Thanks!

    • Those are rough, and often rocky, dirt tracks. Last year’s fastest guys were on full-suspension bikes. Though, I’ve seen people out there with rigid plus-bikes.

  2. Ugh, work is getting in the way, and I won’t be able to make this. I registered, but can’t figure out how to get in touch to let you know I can’t make it.

  3. Are you guys up for riding the short loop this weekend? April 15 or 16?

  4. Pingback: Late March in the Quilomene | A Path of Intentional Discomfort

  5. Interested… how bad are the snakes?

  6. Thanks for the video Pablo. Looks fantastic, can’t wait!

  7. Would love to do the ride, but feel better riding with others. I’m in for either the short or long loop, so would like to know how many (or who) is doing which loops?

  8. Thanks Martin for a terrific course and such perfect weather.

    I’ve shared my cellphone pics and videos here (bring up info pane to show the map location.)


  9. Curious if there is snow on the ground right now on this trail..?

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