Carbon River

Trip Date: 8/11/2007


  • Carbon River
  • Carbon River Park
  • MT Rainier
  • Wilkinson Town
  • Wally's Drive-In (Buckley)


  • Deer

  • Narrow bridges (1 lane)


Road to Carbon River

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Trip Details:

It seems I have been racking up the miles and have a tendency to average close to 300 miles per ride. That and I just felt like a easy 150 mile trip today had me searching the map for something new but forgiving when it comes to mileage. I also was looking for a good  hamburger for lunch. WingMan  had the idea of riding to Carbonado a little town just past Wilkeson towards MT Rainier on hwy 165. I took his input and added some more distance and extended the route to  the Carbon River park and added some new roads that looked like they would be fun to ride. At least they will got us off  roads we have taveled. We departed WingMans place in Maple Valley at about 10:20 AM and headed south 6.8 miles on the Maple Valley Black Diamond road where we turned left on to Lawson road. This deviation was one of two I planned in hopes I would find some new asphalt. Once again I hit pay dirt! Lawson became 293rd and then Enumclaw-Franklin. This section of road was only 8.2 miles but was really nice as it took us past the Green River Gorge and crossed the Green River at one point. At the end of the 8.2 miles it dumped us out onto 264th which became hwy 410 shortly after.  Another 8 or 9 miles up hwy 410 we turned onto hwy 165. As we past through Buckley I took note of two stops to make on the way back. First of which would be lunch at a old school Hamburger Drive-In called Wally's. I have never ate WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers  White Carbon River Washingtonthere but it looked like there was a great burger waiting for me near the grill. The second stop would be next door to the Buckley Log show grounds where they were having a Hot Rod car show. As we road up hwy 165 it wasn't but a few miles and we entered the town of Wilkeson. Wilkeson is one of those really old historic towns as is Carbonado. Very small in size but has character and some cool stuff to take photo's of. Carbonado seemed to just suddenly pop up in front of us as it was just a 2.2 mile ride up the road from Wilkeson. Carbonado has a sign pointing folks to a historic Saloon. We took the bait on the way back and it turned out to be a tiny old tavern. See pic below. I wasn't impressed to say the least. The road from Carbonado to the Carbon River park was 16 miles of bliss! Beautiful scenery, twisties and a mix of sun and shade. Take your time as there are many road side streams running down the steep hill sides. The bridge over the Carbon river was definitely worth the stop. We walked half way across the bridge to see the view from both sides. It was incredible. Unfortunately I forgot my polarized filter for my camera so the photo's of the river have allot of glare in them from the sun reflecting off the water. The road hits a dead end once inside the park. The road no longer goes through due to the 2006 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers White River Drive-In Waltimate  Washingtonfloods. They have pictures posted showing the flood damage and the washed out roads. We talked with a ranger and he didn't expect the roads to be repaired anytime in 2007. From here we back tracked about 100 yards and road across the bridge that takes folks to the other side. Once across the pavement ends and the gravel begins. From here we turned around and headed back. The ride up was a short 80 miles or so but I really enjoyed it. On the way back we stopped in Buckley at Wally's Drive-In and ate lunch. I ordered the Waltimate! When the burger was delivered to our table it was HUGE! Large sesame seed bun, a 3/4 lbs. hunk of grilled Bovine, swiss, cheddar, bacon, thin slice of ham, grilled onions, special sauce, lettuce, pickles and a tomato. Wow! I ate the whole thing and it was bar none, the best burger I have had. No kidding! I give it best in WA. After the massive meal, we headed next door to the car show. They had some really cool cars on display. All in all the ride was mush more then I had thought it would be. I would go as far to say it's one of those hidden Gem of a rides. Total mileage for the day was 163 miles. I highly recommend this fun ride and a burger at Wally's.


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