This review covers Hwy 12 from Hwy 123 toward Naches/Yakima.
- Length: 47 why didn't I come here sooner miles.
- Road Surface: Mostly excellent.
- Road Type: Great sweepers open road.
- Mostly down off the mountain. Be aware of trucks.
How to get there
Hwy 12 starts as far west as I-5 so if you're coming from distance you might start there. If so, you can divert via Hwy 508 for more technical/scenic/back road feel. Hwy 12 is nice for cruising and open spaces. Stopping in Randle to eat is always recommended as the owner helped start the MSF up here and is a biker dude so always good to chat.
If you're from Graham/Puyallup/Tacoma, you can come through Alder/Elbe/Morton or via Paradise.
It gets good right away
One of the fun things about heading to the "East side" of Rainier is the fact that you are heading toward desert which means it's dryer, warmer and sunnier and you can start to feel it right away.
Hwy 12 is a basic mountain hwy with great vistas and lots of places to go a bit quicker than you probably should but when you're out in the wilderness...
It's a working road, so you may end up playing with the big rigs but population center this aint so you get the place to yourself much of the time.
Love coming out next to some water when you're not expecting it.
At some point, you'll hit Hwy 410 and a right turn will take you to Naches. I totally recommend following the sign left to "city center" as you hit the older main street and a nice ratty place for a burger. You can keep your McDs thank you very much.