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Friday, January 22, 2021

Motorcycle Blog: Historic Chuckanut Drive

By Mathew Roland
Summer in the Pacific Northwest means motorcyclists can take to the road again with comfort. If you are in Bellingham over the summer, you won’t need to travel far for a scenic motorcycle route.

Highway 11 at sunset hugs steep cliff sides. The road is a popular drive for outdoor enthusiasts. Photo // Mathew Roland

Chuckanut Drive Scenic Byway is a 1.5-mile, 5-minute drive from Western’s campus, according to Google Maps. Highway 11 starts in the historic Fairhaven neighborhood and winds through towering old growth forest offering a plethora of beautiful ocean vistas. The route is 21 miles in total, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation. Speed limits on the road range from 15 mph to 45 mph, offering motorcyclists a chance cruise along and absorb the sights and smells of the sea. According to the Oyster Bar restaurant’s website, the scenic route began as a logging road in the 1890s and was completed in the spring of 1916, meaning the road just celebrated 100 years of operation.

There are several stops you might want to make as you cruise along the jagged cliffs of Chuckanut Mountain. One stop for motorcyclists could be Larrabee State Park. At just over 4 miles from Fairhaven on the side of Chuckanut Mountain, Larrabee has ideal views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands. The state park also has camping, fishing, hiking and an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities.

Further down the road, you might want to make a stop at Taylor Shellfish Farms and the Oyster Bar restaurant, which has a seasonal menu that offers lunch, dinner and dessert. The bar also offers comfortable outdoor and indoor seating, according to its website.

Exploring Highway 11 via motorcycle offers something new and exciting around every winding turn. If you drive the route at sunset, the views could be seen as ten times more colorful.

Here’s a helpful pre-ride checklist for your motorcycle: https://motorbikewriter.com/pre-ride-checklist-motorbike/



Featured image courtesy of Mathew Roland.


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