Green Vally Rd. & Carbon River Park

Trip Date: 8/15/2008


  • Hyw 18
  • Green River
  • Green Valley Rd.
  • Hyw 410
  • Buckley
  • White River
  • Wally's White River Drive-In
  • Hyw 165
  • South Prairie Creek
  • Wilkeson
  • Carbonado
  • Carbon River
  • Historic Fairfax Bridge Built in 1921
  • Carbon River Park
  • MT Rainier


  • Deer

  • Narrow bridges (1 lane)

  • Slide Area (near park entrance and beyond)


Carbon River Park Ride Video

16:9 Widescreen (400Kbps 17.1 MB)
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Trip Details:

After  a couple very wet weeks we have been treated to a beautiful dry spell. In fact the temperatures are in the mid 50's which mad for  a very nice day for riding. Today's trip is a small group ride consisting of Tim, Tim, (there are 2 Tim's) Jeff, Lloyd and myself. We had a pretty diverse set up bikes. Tim (delta88) from our forum was riding his Suzuki V-Strom 650. Lloyd (also from out forum was riding his Goldwing. Tim #2 I think was riding a Suzuki Boulevard. Jeff was riding a Honda VTX and I was riding my Suzuki B-King. We all met at Green River Meats on Green Valley Rd. Will we waited for all to show, another small group of riders pulled in to pick up some meats. I can't remember the names (it's an aging thing) but I do remember the bikes. A victory, Ducati and a Honda Valkyrie. The Ducati was a newer version of the old school bike right down to the bar end mirrors. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say a Ducati GT 1000 with modifications like pipes, bars, seat etc. They were a pleasant few and had the same passion for riding as we do. After a little jaw jacking we mounted our bikes and headed down Green Valley Rd. This is a great back road loaded with 7.2 miles of twisties running through farm land. We turned right and crossed the Green River and headed up 218th for .7 miles and on to 236th.  236 ran through more farm land for 5.6 miles. So far the ride was very relaxing and the weather was defiantly in our favor. Our next left was on to 436th for a short block and then right on to 244th St for another 2 miles to the intersection at hwy 410. We turned right on hwy 410 and followed it for a short 1.2 miles as we were drawn to a left hand turn in to Wally's White River Drive-In in the town of Buckley. For some reason my bike always wants to turn in to that place. I always figure that since I'm in the lot it would be a shame not to enter the building. Since I've gone that far I might as well order one of there great burgers and some onion rings. That said... Today I tried the Turkey Club with Onion Rings. It was great but I still prefer the burgers much more. We sat around one of the booths and told stories in between mouth full's of food and drink.  Since this was a short ride there was no hurry to get back on the road. We enjoyed the stop as well as the food. Turns out everyone had the same problem with their bikes turning left in to the lot as I did. Go figure!

Once fed and watered we turned back on to hwy 410 for about a mile or so where we turned left on to hwy 165. The first 1.6 miles of hwy 165 is strait as an arrow but still enjoyable. From that point on the next 2.9 miles had some nice sweeping turns and  some nice country side that led us into the small town of Wilkeson. Wilkeson is a cool rustic little town founded in 1909. I did some research but could only find census data from 2000 at which time the population was 390. There are a couple eateries, tavern, gas station and the post office. That's it! The town stretches for about a few blocks. What makes Wilkeson interesting is the old cars and A giant Tree section. It's just a fun town to ride through. After Wilkeson we rode another 2.3 miles though some sweeping turns and into the tiny town of Carbonado. Once a booming coal mining town which was founded in 1880, our town grew in population to over one thousand people by 1900.  Today Carbonado is a small bedroom  community of approximately six hundred people. With a blink of my eyes we were already through the tiny town. We rode on for another 2.8 miles through some nice twisting turns with sheer rock faces to our left and guard rail and steep drop offs to our right. We soon approached the historic Fairfax Bridge. You have to stop once across and walk the bridge. You will be amazed by the view. I dug up some history on the old bridge. On December 17, 1921, Pierce County opened the Fairfax Bridge over the Carbon River at Melmont and names it after County Commissioner James R. O’Farrell. The bridge crosses the river about three miles south of Carbonado and provides the first highway access to the town of Fairfax via the Carbon River-Fairfax Road. Known today as hwy 165. The span cost an estimated $500,000 to build and is said to be the highest bridge in the state.

After an amazing walk on to the old bridge span I started up the B-King and played catch up to join the other riders. I rode another 8.4 miles until I reached the other riders who were parked near the park entrance which was closed due to mud slides. This is common in this area and in the last week Washington was pummeled by heavy rain one storm after another. As we rested an talked another couple of riders joined us in some friendly bike talk. Nothing but jaw jacking, motorcycles and testosterone. We continued this for a good 15 to 20 minutes then headed back. My ride home was the exact way I came with the exception of a .5 miles detour up Mowich Lake road. I highly recommend this as you will be treated to one of Washington's spectacular views of Mt. Rainier from and elevated  road that leaves you looking strait at the mountain with tree tops far below you. Another great day and perfect fall weather providing great views of Mt. Rainier.

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