North End of Lake Washington

North End of Lake Washington

9 photos

Route Description

Take the light rail to the University of Washington station. (Bikes are welcome on the train.) Warm up with a long spin along Lake Washington on Seattle’s famous Burke-Gilman Trail. Once you reach the northern end of the lake, turn south and climb the long Juanita Hill. Drop down to Holmes Point on a twisty, challenging descent before rolling along the water and through a park with old-growth trees. If you’re enterprising, turn left in the park and climb back up to the ridge on gravel trails (and a few stairs). The GPS route follows the paved road, which is a lovely climb, too. A long downhill into Kirkland has some traffic, but drivers are nice (and you’ll be fast). Don’t miss Zoka Coffee for a rest stop in downtown Kirkland. The route continues through Medina and the wonderful Beaux Arts neighborhood that was built 100 years ago among the old-growth trees. If you have time, explore this neighborhood on its many ancient foot/bike paths. Then return to Seattle via the I-90 bridge (with bike path), before closing the loop with another great ride along Lake Washington. 

This route can be combined with the Mercer Island Loop for added fun. This adds 11 km (7 miles). Simply turn left after crossing the water, follow the road as it twists and turns around the perimeter of the island, until you cross the Interstate again on the other side of the island. Turn left onto the trail, and you are back on course.

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Route Details

More Information

  • Distance: 69 km (43 miles)
  • 99% paved (0.2 km smooth gravel)
  • Climbing: 779 m (2,556 ft)
  • High Point: 138 m (453 ft)
  • Rideable: all year
  • Recommended tires: 23 mm+
  • FKT (Fastest Known Time): not applicable (urban ride)
  • Route featured in: many BQ bike tests