Orchard blossoms in the spring and apples in the fall, plus sweet cherries, apricots, pears and peaches in season. Vineyards grown in the bio-dynamic manner and organic wine. This 29-mile circle driving tour (great bicycle or motorcycle ride) takes a little over an hour, starting at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center, then circling through Naches Heights to the City of Naches, returning via the Old Naches Highway to Downtown Yakima. This tour is popular in apple blossom and harvest time, as well as the excellent vistas of the area at any time of the year.
Starting at the Yakima Valley Visitor Information Center at 101 North Fair Avenue:
- Turn right out of the parking lot onto Fair Avenue, which becomes Lincoln Avenue, a one way street, continue on this route all the way to 40th Avenue.
- Turn right at 40th Avenue, proceeding about 1.2 miles.
- Turn left onto West Powerhouse Road and proceed on this road west for about 2.4 miles.
- Turn left up the Naches Heights Road.
- At 5 miles, continue straight after stop sign on the Naches Heights Road.
- Traveling 6.2 miles further, at the stop sign, turn right onto the Naches-Tieton road to begin the steep drop down into the valley below. Looking north across the valley to the lower hills, you will discover the many layers of sedimentary material resulting from the time when this area was under water. Mt. Cleman rises to almost 5,000 feet elevation to the northwest of the town of Naches.
- Naches Grade joins the Naches-Tieton Road. Bear to the left and continue across the Naches River to the City of Naches and the junction with Highway 12.
Continue on the Old Naches Highway from about 9.5 miles to a stop sign with its intersection with Highway 12. Turn left onto Hwy. 12.(bicyclists may perfer to go straight at this interesection, to connect with Powerhouse Road again.) As you proceed south and east, you may take the 40th Avenue exit, turning right and continuing to Summitview Avenue, returning the way you came. Or, you may continue on the freeway, bypassing the 40th Avenue exit, merge into the I-82 freeway, and take the Yakima Avenue exit 33B to return to downtown Yakima.
Bicycling to Naches, WA:
The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.