Author Topic: Weather related Norther Tier  (Read 4776 times)

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Offline litolpea

Weather related Norther Tier
« on: April 22, 2016, 03:07:46 pm »
I am planning a ride from Cleveland to Seattle and looking two time frames depending on financials. One is to leave early Aug, which would put me in Seattle early October.
The other is one month later...which means riding over passes and mountains during the month of October, arriving beginning of November.

Weather wise, when does the area start to get below freezing and potential snowfall?

I am hoping to travel Aug - Oct...but want to seek out alternatives in the case I need to.



Offline jamawani

Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2016, 05:58:36 pm »
You can expect freezing weather and/or snowfall any time after Labor Day anywhere west of Shelby, Montana.
September snows are usually quick and gone soon - but they get more frequent as you near October.
Not to mention that the days are getting pretty short and facilities are largely closed by Oct. 1.

I've lived and biked in Wyoming and Montana for the past 25 years.
I know most paved and many dirt roads in both states.

A few years ago a tweeted two guys thru the western part of the Northern Tier in October.

The earlier time frame is doable with planning for a few layovers in September.
The later time frame is pushing your luck - and likely to be increasingly cold, wet & miserable.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 01:26:44 pm »
Jamawani is right.  The North Cascades of WA can get gnarly in late Sept and Oct.  By mid to late Oct you could have a storm dump considerable snow up there.  You could also have bluebird days with temps in the 60s  and even 70s.  I've been hiking up there for 45 years and and been snowed on in late June and know of similar storms in late Sept.  Such events are normally not sustained.  They can add to the "adventure", if you're so inclined. Late Oct, however....that could be more adventure than I'd be interested in.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline litolpea

Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 10:19:33 pm »
Good info! I thank you both... I am 90% leaving at the beginning of August, so I am hoping that gives me just the right amount of adventure through the Cascades. I may have to look you up on Twitter Jamawani, but I would hope more for "where's the best burger" vs. OH MY SNOW ;)


  • Guest
Re: Weather related Norther Tier
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2016, 01:43:45 pm »
The drop dead date for crossing Logan Pass this year is 10/16. With an early August start, you should be fine, but weather can close the pass earlier.

BTW...If you have never seen the plowing photos you should check them out: