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WABDR 2020!

Updated: Dec 20, 2020

The Washington Backcountry Discovery Route is a 575 mile off-road tour that begins (or ends) in Stevenson, Wa and ends (or begins) in Nighthawk, Wa. The route is divided into six sections and takes the adventurer through multiple geological and climate zones. Our crew left Nighthawk on 12 June 2020.


Canada to Conconully

66 miles.

Major thunder/lightning and rain...

Early morning start to WABDR. Canada in background.

Up the grade out of Loomis. Looking north to Palmer Lake.

20 minutes into the trip, time to air down the skins.

Pissed rain most of the way through Section 6.

Corralled at the corral.

Corral at Skull and Crossbones.

View from Lone Frank Pass, at 6700’ it is the highest point on the route.

Beer break at LFP.

Conconully. The end of section 6. On to Chelan...



Conconully to Chelan

103 miles.

Fueled up in Conconully. Got Ice. No big deal. Be aware, the next place along the route for fuel is in Chelan. Lost steering...

Up Ruby Grade, south of Conconully lies this wall in the woods. China wall.

I lost my steering. Loose nuts on u-bolts. Always bring tools!

Ruins on the way to Loup Loup.

Second night out. Near Loup Loup.

I stay dry.

Headed towards Carlton.

Miles of burn.

Always wait for the last man.

More burns. This was a major disaster a few years ago. Carlton complex fires.

Speaking of Carlton. Don’t plan on purchasing fuel there. The nearest fuel is in Twisp.

Up the hill out of Carlton.

About halfway to Chelan from Carlton.



Chelan to Cashmere

104 miles.

We fueled up and hit the road for an extremely steep climb. Hot transmissions, broken windshields and kickdown/throttle issues... Farewell to LaMan, the vagrant and Sirenhead.

If you are concerned about a nice paint job -or- are worried about mirrors stay off this route. The jungle takes. There is an alternate route through this mess.

The 47rh transmission was getting very hot. I am running two B&M plate coolers, each with an 8 inch Mishimoto fan. I did not want to take any chances so we stopped fo a minute to cool down. Pro tip: Shift your transfer case into low and let the steel and 90w take the heat. Instant cooling on transmission. It never went above 175f in low range.

WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE! I am glad the guy who would have been riding in that seat had to bail last minute.

Nothing a roll of Flex-Seal can’t fix! Unfortunately, I had this fixed and rolled up the mountain a bit only to be informed over the radio that our friend in the green Range Rover has transmission problems. It was about another 15 minutes until we rolled out.

Transmission in 1, 205 in Low.

Lake Chelan.

Our tramp African friend. The most tidy of us all.

The homeless guy who tagged along...

Third night out. Plenty of room.

The aftermath of fine dining.

Heading south to Ardenvoir. The gas station there is where we lose LaMan and his posse to the ravages of the work-week.

Near the top of Chumstick Mountain. People doing improvements on their seasonal retreats.

Top of Chumstick.

Chumstick. Next stop is Cashmere.

All downhill from here. On the trip down we passed a guy with a blown tire, rolling on a rim. Bring a spare and tools!



Cashmere to Ellensburg

77 miles.

Washouts and rough trails. We make a slight detour off the WABDR and add 50-60 additional miles. West Bar was the destination.

Back road between Cashmere and Wenatchee. Easy driving on the soft stuff.

Beehive washout. Fun!

The only place we stayed out of necessity. Not much room up there off to the side. Grouse Springs Trail is the route we took into Naneum basin.

Dropping into Naneum...

Getting to the middle of nowhere.

Wide open spaces near the Columbia river.

Abandoned agricultural enterprise. There is a Caterpillar dozer behind those walls.

Our sandy hotel. The mulberry trees along the water were loaded with fruit.

Always bring tools! My KM2’s flexed into my inner fender and tore the sheet metal down. Non stop rubbing. A C-clamp and deadblow fixed that.

Jamming 40 miles to Ellensburg.

Rutted, rocky, muddy and off camber.

Getting close to Ellensburg.

Piss break. We’re a quarter mile from blacktop.

Sections 1&2 to follow shortly!

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