Mossyrock Dam - McKenna Loop
Dam Tour Picnic Ride 2009

Trip Date: 6-27-2008


  • Hyw 7
  • Elbe
  • Alder Lake
  • Nisqually River
  • MT. Rainier
  • Coal Canyon
  • Morton
  • US 12
  • Mossyrock
  • Riffe Lake
  • Mossyrock Dam
  • Mayfield Lake
  • Mayfield Dam
  • Hyw 122
  • Hyw 508
  • Cowlitz River
  • Centrailia
  • Hyw 507
  • Harmony
  • Chehailis
  • Centrailia
  • Skookumchuck River
  • Skookumchuck Rd
  • Johnson Creek Rd. (Great Twisties!)
  • Bunkhouse BBQ - Best Burgers in Washington!
  • Deer


Mossyrock - McKenna Loop Video

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Trip Details:

Those of you who are not familiar with the Dam Tour, it's a great opportunity to ride Washington and Oregon. Today Mark  (polecat from the forum) set out to attend the 2009 Dam Tour picnic. Here is my take on the Dam Tour. You register and pay a small entry fee. You get a placard that you take with you when you ride. You get a list of dams as destinations. This year 8 Washington and 8 Oregon dams. There are a couple bonus dams in Montana and one in California. You ride to the Dam and get your picture taken by the dam or Dam sign. You mail the info into the Dam Tour folks and you get credit for the dam or dams.  This is a fun event and I highly recomend it. More info at

We departed Eagle Leather in Tacoma at 9:30 AM and headed for Mossyrock park on Riffe Lake where the picnic would be. We couldn't have had better weather. Nothing but sun blue sky's. Our first section of roads took us through Spanaway on to hwy 7 towards MT Rainier. Mostly straight roads for the first 35 miles but soon we came up on LaGrande and then we were treated to some really fun twisties. We enjoyed a short but sweet 6 miles of the good stuff and then found our selves riding parallel to Alder Lake.  In this area watch out for state patrol and sheriffs. A few unlucky folks motorcycle ride to mossyrock Dam and Riffe lake for the Dam tour 2009 picnic. Suzuki B-king and a Harley Road king Classic.were getting there citations as we rode by. Another 5 miles and we were riding through the small town of Elbe. Scale burger is a great place to stop for a burger. There is dining in the train cars on the South side of the road but I have yet to stop in and try the food. Not much in Elbe but these place, a grocer and a coffee stand. Small town but I like it!

At the end of town we turned right crossing the bridge over the Nisqually river.  We rode another 17 miles through Carlson and Coal Canyon. This is also a nice ride and there is an area of open field that has one of the best views of MT Rainier I have seen. No tree's in the way or power lines. No houses or structures of any kind. Just a field backed with some trees way off in the distance and in the rear, MT Rainier in all it's glory! At the end of the 17 miles hwy 7 ended at US 12 in Morton. As we rode through Morton the first thing was passed was the Hampton Lumber Mill. Morton is a bit larger then Elbe it seems but not by much. We turned right and headed west on US 12 enjoying the sweeping turns it dealt us from time to time. It was a short 3.2  miles and we stopped at the Mossyrock Dam for some pictures and a restroom break. Allot of folks were down on the banks wetting a line in hopes to catch the big fish of the day. For most I'm sure it more about getting out in the sun and what better place to do it then a beautiful body of water.

Suzuki B-King Motorcycle ride to Mossyrock Dam & park for the 2009 Dam Tour Picnic.Once on the  road again we continued for another 7 miles to the Shell station where we turned left on to Williams street for another few block. Williams intersected with Mossyrock Rd. on which we turned left and rode through the town of Mossyrock. Mossyrock is another small town with a cafe, BBQ place and a few other small businesses. The ride through town lasted a brief 1 or 2 minutes. I really enjoy riding through these small towns mostly because the entire town just seems laid back. Mossyrock Rd. took us another 3 miles into Mossyrock park. The parking fee was waved for all Dam Tour riders and support vehicles. The Tacoma power company was really good to us and also provided a tour of the Mayfield dam for those who wanted to attend. A fiend I grew up with is a electrician on the Mossyrock dam. I passed up the tour as I have already seen the inside of the Mossyrock dam. As we pulled into the picnic area we were greeted by Steve Folkestad, one of the founders of the Dam Tour and Hells Canyon Rally. Steve and web guru Cheryll, have done Suzuki B-King Motorcycle ride to Mossyrock Dam & park for the 2009 Dam Tour amazing job orchestrating these events. Cheryll puts an amazing amount of time into these events and we appreciate all she has done! There must have been 50 riders present. It was a beautiful sight! Not the lake... It was beautiful too but the sight of the smoke billowing up off the grill as beef grease hit the flames was just amazing. And the smell was right up there as well. Damn... I'm hungry again! The picnic was a hoot. Great burgers and the potato salad rocked! We ate lunch and the formed teams to play some motorcycle trivia games. Answer 20 questions and the winners out of three sets got prizes. It was fun talking to other riders and listening to their stories. Several of the people I met in Baker City Oregon during the Hells Canyon Rally. I was nice seeing them again and getting the chance to talk with them again.

After great conversation and equally pleasing food and drink Mark and I saddled up and rode out as others were doing the same. Our route back was a bit different. We rode hwy 122 5.9 miles riding across a bridge spanning the end of Mayfield lake and then leading us to the Cinnabar Rd turn off. Cinnabar Rd was a short but nice 4.9 miles that ended intersecting with hwy 508. 508 is a really nice ride for those who have ridden US 12 too many times. It runs parallel to US 12 but has some fun sweeping turns for about 15 miles as it passes WA motorcycle rides roads destinations ride video best hamburgers burgers Washington Honda Goldwingthrough the town of Onalaska. Just after Onalaska we turned right and headed north on Jackson hwy and rode 8.5 miles and through the city of Chehalis. By now I was getting ready for a stop but figured we were close to I-5 so we rode on and got on to I-5 riding north for 3.2 miles and then turned off and rode through Centralia to hwy 507. We were approaching some rode that was virgin territory for Mark and this was road I have ridden only a couple times. Needles to say I was long over due to ride it. We came up on the road after riding 6.7 miles up hwy 507 paralleling and crossing the Skookumchuck River. We turned right on to 184th Ave SE which become Skookumchuck Rd. SE. This is a nice ride through the country for about 6.2 miles where we crossed the Skookumchuck River once again and then turned left on to Johnston Creek Rd.  If you look at this first section of roadway and the next 6.3 mlies of Johnston Creek Rd. on a map it doesn't look like much. Its a nice ride. not  allot of houses just fields and roads. I really like it. It soon ended as it again intersected with hwy 507. 507 was another 8.2 miles and we were in Yelm. hwy 507 was a nice end to our ride as it took us through the small towns of McKenna and Roy. If you are in this area and have an appetite stop in to The Bunkhouse BBQ in McKenna WA. It's my #1 burger place because of its quality selection. I have had at least 6 of their burgers and all are top notch. The Ranch Hand is my favorite. great chocolate Malts as well. Even their BBQ Brisket on a bun is awesome!

Once past Roy we rode past the Fort Lewis land and on to hwy 7. From here it was city and I-5 so I won't bore you with that. Another great day and an awesome ride. This is a great ride for a picnic lunch for those who wish to visit Mossyrock Park. If you don't want to picnic on Riffe lake then stop and visit the Mossyrock Dam and then when you get to the Shell station turn right. Thanks for reading and visiting this site. Ride safe!


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