Cooper Lake

Trip Date: 5-17-2008

Features:

  • Hyw 18
  • I-90
  • Hyw 903
  • Snoqualmie Pass
  • Snoqualmie River
  • Keechelus Lake
  • Easton Lake
  • Cle Elum Lake
  • Roslyn
  • Cooper Lake
  • Snow - Early Spring
Hazards:
  • Snow and Ice (Snoqualmie Pass and Cooper Lake)
  • Deer

 


Cooper Lake Video

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Trip Details:

A solid week of training in Beaverton Oregon left me with a bit of cabin fever. The temperature was supposed to be in the upper 80's so I decided to ride east. There is a little lake called Cooper Lake I had heard about. It's just past Roslyn and I hoped since the few days of warmer weather, we might be able to make it up to the lake. The location of the lake is at higher altitudes so riding it means you really have to watch the weather and time of year. I called my buddy and got him roped into the ride as well. After a hour of prepping and packing I was on the road heading towards Maple Valley on hwy 18. My first stop would be at Lloyds place. It was 11 AM and it was already getting hot.

After the stop at Lloyds we both saddled up our Goldwings and headed up hwy 18 towards I-90.  was looking forward to riding over Snoqualmie Pass. This time of year there is usually snow on the road side and hills. On a hot day the cooler air is welcome. As we made our way up I-90 I was amazed at the amount of water flow on the Snoqualmie river. We crossed over it a couple times and the air around the river felt 15 degrees cooler. We have gotten allot of snow fall this year and have had cooler temperatures this spring. Now that it's heating up the snow is melting very quickly and the rivers are very high. As we got closer to the summit we rode by many road side waterfalls. Normally the don't have heavy volume of water but due to the late spring and sudden higher temps they were really flowing. Snoqualmie Summit soon appeared Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers I-90 frozen lake Washingtonon our right as we started down the east side of the pass. We pulled off the road for a rest at the turn out by Keechelus Lake. The lake still had areas still frozen. The shoreline and hillsides  on the south side were snow covered and the view was spectacular. We snapped some photos and I cleaned a few bugs off my screen and we continued on our way. After seeing the amount of snow up and down both sides of the pass I was starting to wonder if we were going to be able to get up to Cooper Lake. As we approached Lake Easton I could feel the cooler air coming off the lake. I was getting a bit warm so the cooler air was just what I needed. There is a little park area next to the lake called Lake Easton State Park. It looked like a nice place to stop on a hot day. We rode on to the Bullfrog Rd exit. We turned left on to Bullfrog Rd. and headed north. Bullfrog Rd took us about 4 miles to where it intersected with hwy 903. It has been some time since I have been on hwy 903 or since I have been to Roslyn for that matter.  As we rode into Roslyn I thought it was just like I remembered it. There is a Tavern/Eatery on the left side of the road. The parking in front of the building was lined with motorcycles so it looks like Roslyn was a popular ride today.

Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Cooper Lake Goldwing Washington4.5 miles past Roslyn we came up on Cle Elum Lake on our left. We pulled off in a view point rest area to check out the lake. The lake had a green tint to the water. It also was a popular place as the east end was ringed with cars, trucks a boat trailers. As we rode on we encountered several camping areas near the lake. I also noticed several new homes going up. Not a bad place to live if you can handle the snow during the winter months. We followed hwy 903 another 9.8 miles to our next left turn on to nf-46. As we crossed the bridge over the river a guy let us know we were heading for snow. I was afraid of that! We pushed on to see how far we could get. As we climbed in altitude we maybe went another 3 miles or so and we encountered a large patch of snow covering the road. I could see clear road on the other side so I navigated through a rut in the snow from someone's truck tire. I had to drag my feet like skis to remain up. Lloyd however, didn't remain up. His engine guard dug into the snow on the left side and caused the rear tire to kick out and he went down. It was a soft graceful dump if there is such a thing.  His wing landed on its left side with the rear tire in one rut and the front in another. We took a few minutes to laugh about the little mishap  and take a few pictures for historical purposes... :-) Then we picked the 900+ lbs. bike up to then deal with the awkward position it was in. Now this looks allot worse then it is. Road-Quest.com WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Cooper Lake Goldwing WashingtonGoldwings will land on two small areas under their two crash guards without the road touching any other part of the motorcycle. In this case we did have snow touching the luggage but we were in snow not on a dry road. There was no damage to the bike! I have seen these bikes tip over before and they are fairly simple to pick back up. Just turn your back to the bike and grab the bar and handle on the seat and then lift with your legs. It's a bit more difficult in the snow as traction is at a minimum. Once righted we ended up with a wheel in each rut and very little traction could be made on our part. I climbed on his wing and began feathering the clutch and throttle and started rocking the bike back and fourth spinning the rear wheel as he pushed the rear end over to the center section of snow and soon we had both tires in one rut and were able to get his wing out of the white cold stuff. We tried to press on by navigating through another patch just like the last one. Soon we approached solid snow that was fairly deep. There was a truck stuck in it and an jeep trying to get him out. It was clear as day light we were not going any further. We turned our wings around and headed back without getting to see Cooper Lake. We came all this way and were stopped exactly 2.2 miles short of the lake. That's ok because I now have a reason to return soon. We made the journey home riding the same roads we came over on. The view of the snow covered hills and waterfalls that lined the hillsides crossing the pass was even better then the trip over. Another great ride and another opportunity to see some roads I have not seen prior. Note to self... "Turn around on first site of snow on the roadway!"

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