Finney Creek Road

Whitehorse Glacier

Whitehorse Glacier

Another beautiful day spent exploring the forest service roads in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  After my last trip report one of my moto pals, Tim Bowman, suggested NF 17 – the Finney Creek Road as one of his favorites.  That kicked off a serious map recon session to see if I could link up NF 18, the Swede Haven Road, and ride up and over Segelsen Pass, to connect with NF 17.       It looked like it would work.

It was about 40 miles of one lane mountain roads from Hwy 530 near the base of Whitehorse Mountain, over the top, and down into the Skagit River Valley.  Have a look a some photos:

The obligatory WR250R mountain photo

The obligatory WR250R mountain photo

NF18 started down in that valley and quickly climbed up into the mountains.

Breaking out into the sun

Breaking out into the sun

Peeling off a layer of fleece

Peeling off a layer of fleece

Miles and miles of nobody

Miles and miles of nobody

Wildflowers were still blooming

Wildflowers were still blooming

Which way do I go?

Which way do I go?

I knew before I left that one of the keys to my success was being able to identify which of the several dozen intersecting roads was going to be the “right” road.

A couple of times I had to fold out my giant forest service map and do some reccy.  Partly due to good map work, a sense of direction developed by decades of backcountry travel and a little splash of good fortune, I made all the right turns and linked up with NF17 right where it was supposed to be.

Map work

Map work

Descending Finney Creek Road

Descending Finney Creek Road

NF 17

NF 17

Scooting along NF 17

Scooting along NF 17

Peak-a-boo views of Mt. Baker

Peak-a-boo views of Mt. Baker

As I descended down into the Skagit River valley I started to see some beautiful views.  Mt. Baker was calling to me, “Come on, Dude.  You gotta bring that new moto up here”.

The North Cascades and Skagit River

The North Cascades and Skagit River

Finally I dropped down on the South Skagit Hwy. For anyone reading this from outside the local area, the “highway” in this case is nothing more than a rural two-lane back road.  Perfect for my little motorbike.

Mt. Baker and the Skagit River

Mt. Baker and the Skagit River

As I buzzed along the banks of the Skagit River I was reminded of the many winter kayak/eagle watching trips we’d taken over the years.  I’ll meet you all back here next December with our boats and wetsuits, Ok?

Well, that’s it for now.  Until next time, thanks for following along.  Kat

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About Jeff Katzer

Welcome friends. I'm a cyclist, hiker, motorbike rider, kayaker, photographer, videographer, ukulele player, snowshoer, XC skier, and BEST of all - a grandpa. Somewhere in that list above you'll find the theme of the Adventure Journal.
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One Response to Finney Creek Road

  1. Tim B says:

    Nice Pics and now I need to do it on my WR250R.

    Another suggestion would be to explore the Sultan Basin via the Spada Lake Road out of Sultan. There used to be lots of spur roads.

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