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Outdoor adventures, mostly gravel rides, but not always

Skagit Valley

An easy tour of flat and windswept farm fields covered in tulips and daffodils with barns galore

By the Numbers

Distance
34 miles
Elevation
385 feet
Moving Time
2h30m
Nutrition
Food & drink available in La Conner and Edison
Logistics
Parking in La Conner, try near the marina
External

Every April Skagit Valley fields explode in brilliant colors thanks to the very special crops of daffodils and tulips. We arrived during peak daffodil season, just ahead of the multi-colored landscape generated by the tulips.

Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge

Our ride began in the town of La Conner with a stop at the Calico Cupboard for a pastry eaten within a short ride of the Rainbow Bridge.

Thin yellow line of daffodils with Mt Baker looming in the background
Thin yellow line of daffodils with Mt Baker looming in the background
Looking through old barn windows to the fields and mountains in the background
Looking through old barn windows to the fields and mountains in the background
Fields of daffodils
Fields of daffodils
Daffodils in the windswept field
Daffodils in the windswept field
Old barn in a red tulip field not-quite-ready
Old barn in a red tulip field not-quite-ready

From La Conner it’s an easy, flat ride out to the fields. The fields move from year to year so our strategy was to basically ride with an eye on the horizon and chase the colors.

Strade Bianche
Strade Bianche
Fence, flowers, gravel
Fence, flowers, gravel

In addition to flowers, I was hoping to scout some gravel roads for a return visit. I eyed one street, Van Pelt Ln, which looked promising and we made the detour only to find it was a really nice driveway. A woman told us it was a private road so around we turned. It was worth it however for access to some nice fields and views.

Bike and flowers
Bike and flowers
Fields of flowers
Fields of flowers
Breadfarm
Breadfarm
Lunch
Lunch

After a bit more sightseeing it was off to pick up pre-ordered pastries from Breadfarm, a locally famous bakery. I had never been to Edison and was excited for the opportunity to try another bakery.

The ride was straightforward, head north until the road ends. With a name like Farm to Market Road I had hopes of a quiet farm road but it was busier than I had expected, at least until you get north of T Loop Road at which point the traffic dies down and the riding is easy.

We made our way to Breadfarm, picked up our goodies, and turned to head south and back to the truck. Looking for a place to eat, we spied a few people bird watching at right as Bay View-Edison Road bends west and settled down for an enjoyable picnic overlooking the mountains and watching birds landing in the trees.

Bird landing on a power line
Bird landing on a power line
Padilla Bay Nature Preserve
Padilla Bay Nature Preserve
Old barn on the gravel trail
Old barn on the gravel trail

The ride south included a short section of the Padilla Bay Trail which offered a nice respite from the road. Along there was a scenic looking “stump farm” barn of which photos must be taken.

Pink tulip
Pink tulip
Pink tulip
Pink tulip
Bike with the rows of flowers
Bike with the rows of flowers
Riding back to La Conner
Riding back to La Conner

Nearing La Conner I spied a field of tulips showing just a bit more color than those fields we’d seen earlier. A quick detour for photos and then a short ride back to the truck. Awesome day with Kid.

Route

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