Infosheet – Packwood

Adventure Training Tour

Packwood to Wenatchee

Welcome to Bret Tkacs’ Adventure Training Tour. We are looking forward to riding with you. This training experience targets helping you and master your motorcycle through better understanding, coaching and real world riding. As a team we will help you in improving your precision riding skills while making new friends and future riding partners.  Please read the following information closely to answer your questions prior to arrival.  Access a printable PDF of the daily schedule here.


Your tour begins in Packwood, Washington. You will be staying at the Mountain View Lodge (13163 US Highway 12, Packwood, WA 98361). You’re welcome to arrive early and explore the small town of Packwood, but you won’t have access to your room until after 3pm (hotel rules). You will share your air conditioned room with a roommate of your choosing, or we will choose your roommate for you. Single rooms are an add-on option when registering for the tour. You will be staying at this hotel for two nights, so settle in!

At 6:00pm we will meet at Nacho’s Mexican Restaurant in downtown Packwood, where you can meet your fellow riders and chat with Bret and Paul about what to expect for the upcoming few days. Course objectives will be covered and you will have a chance to let the instructors know what specific skills you want to work on.


You will start the day with a light continental breakfast in the hotel lobby before meeting in the parking lot to go through bike setup and ergonomics. Bret and Paul will cover the ground rules training as a group before launching into your first lesson of the day. Then you’ll be on your way into the Gifford Pinchot National Forest for your first lessons. You can expect to stop every few miles to focus on different lessons such as riding posture, trail reading, changing direction in limited spaces, low-energy riding techniques and more.

As the terrain increases in slope and difficulty, your lessons will continue to evolve. Traction management skills will be covered as well as control of power delivery. The goal of the day is to ride some exposed (think cliffs) sections of road, past incredible viewpoints of Mt. Adams and Mt Saint Helens before heading up a steep trail to the old Burley Mountain Fire Lookout. Built in 1934 (and remodeled last year), this lookout is perched at 5200′ and boasts unrestricted views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood (weather dependent). This route is not for you if you’re squeamish about heights; the road is quite safe and wide enough for vehicles, but the drop-offs are close by.

RIDE DISTANCE: 100 miles
TIME ESTIMATE: 8 hours including lunch


After a good nights’ sleep, your mind will reset and you will be ready to build onto the skills learned the previous day. We will pack up and roll out of Packwood by 8:00am. The first 1.5 hours will be a cold ride along SR12; if the group pace and weather is good we may have a few stops to take in a majestic view of Mt Rainier and a high mountain waterfall along the way. You’ll have a chance to shed your cold-weather gear before you turn off onto Bethel Ridge Rd.

We will ride up the NF-1500 to Logger Canyon with a possible detour the to Bethel Ridge 4×4 trail for a photo op. The trees along NF-1500 slowly change from the shade-tolerant hemlocks and firs of western Washington to the sun-loving pines of eastern Washington. Upon reaching Rattlesnake Creek you will take a short detour along SR-410 to the turnoff for Cleman Mountain. Once you reach the ridgeline, you will ride the trail through lava fields (NF-1712) on top of Cleman Mountain, experiencing open views while taking your riding to a new level of control. This is where your developing skill of traction management and balance will be put to the test. You will be polishing your fine motor control to blend techniques into smooth maneuvers before having lunch at the top of Cleman Mountain.

This is a beautiful route with spectacular views before dropping into Ellensburg. You will stay at Hotel Windrow (502 N Main St) in downtown Ellensburg where you’ll be able to relax fully.

RIDE DISTANCE: 130 miles
TIME ESTIMATE: 10 hours including lunch


This is graduation day! After a relaxed start you will begin your final day riding through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and a 42,000 acre burn area. What begins as a single lane paved road quickly switches to rocky terrain transitioning back into dense, thriving trees. Incredible overlooks as high as 6368’ reveal the vast Cascade Mountain Range appearing as your equal. The farther you travel into the forest, the more rugged and more remote the road turns. The day ends with a farewell lunch at the Rail Station & Ale House in Wenatchee, where we meet up one final time with our support truck to retrieve all of your gear and say our goodbyes.

RIDE DISTANCE:  85 miles
TIME ESTIMATE:  5-6 hours

Please note: Although the route does mirror some of the Backcountry Discovery Route, Bret may choose to take detours based on the weather, time, or ability of the group.  It is not recommended that you continue ahead of the group just because you have the route because you may find yourself alone.


You will be staying at a hotel every night, so basic hotel amenities will be provided. Breakfasts are basic and include hard boiled eggs, coffee, and cereals. Water, fruit, sports drinks, and snacks that accommodate most dietary preferences are available throughout the day.  Trail lunches will be made for you, so please let us know of any dietary preferences prior to arrival.

Recommended Supplies:
Snacks and/or lunches for special diets
∴ Ibuprofen
∴ Hot weather gear / rain gear
∴ Sunscreen
∴ Wet wipes for your face (they really make a difference)


There is a big difference between minimum gear requirements and what we recommend.  Full riding gear is important as you will be traveling at street speeds.  Training will be on some difficult terrain in the heat of the day; ankle and knee protection is paramount.  It may be very hot or cold and raining, so check the weather just before heading out to join us.  Consider wearing dirt bike padding under a light shirt if you are sensitive to heat.  Extra gear can be carried in the truck.

Recommended Riding Gear*:
∴ Full face helmet like the Shoei Hornet X2
∴ Eye protection – either visor, goggles, or glasses like the ArcLite Optics
∴ Motocross or Enduro type boots like the Sidi Crossfire 3 or the Alpinestars Tech 7
∴ Neck brace like the Leatt Road Neck Brace
∴ Jacket/Pants with CE2 padding – including hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, and back.  Bret wears the Rev’It Defender 3 GTX or the Rev’It Sand 4 and Christina wears the Klim Artemis or the womens’ Rev’It Sand 4

Minimum Gear Requirements:
∴ Full face helmet – modular are accepted but must be used with the chin bar latched
∴ Eye protection
∴ Gloves
∴ Off-road boots – hiking, work, or street riding boots are not acceptable due to the increased likelihood of ankle injuries
∴ Long sleeved shirt and shoulder/elbow armor – Paul wears the Leatt 3DF AirFit Hybrid
∴ Long pants and knee armor


The Adventure Training Tour teaches critical skills that can help all levels of riders, from absolute beginners to experts.  Speed hides flaws; before we can be fast, we must first master slow. We will be spending some time riding hills at slow speeds and working on balance and clutch work.  You will soon find yourself expertly going through challenging sections that cripple faster riders.

The attitude during the Adventure Training Tour is humble.  Everyone is likely to drop their bike at least once and your fellow participants will help you pick it up, as that’s the attitude that we as adventure riders should have.  Everyone has the attitude of riding their own ride as each person is there to increase their own riding skill, not to judge the riding skills of others.  You must also come with a patient attitude as we do not leave anyone behind.


Since part of the tour takes place on public highways, your motorcycle will need to be licensed and capable of managing posted speed limits.

You will have the opportunity to adjust your handlebars, levers, and other items during the bike setup session.  Tools are available, however you will want to bring the tools you travel with so you can put them to use.  Expert advice is freely available during this time.

Soft panniers should be kept light while riding so we strongly recommend stowing your personal gear in the truck using a duffle bag. The truck will be available to carry tank bags and hard panniers to reduce the risk of personal injury (keep in mind there is a risk of cosmetic damage due to shifting and vibration as the truck will be going off-road as well).

Required Bike Setup*:
∴ Lever protection – short levers, plastic OEM handguards, or aftermarket handguards like the Barkbusters VPS
∴ Body / Radiator protection
∴ Engine protection (OEM or aftermarket skidplate like the Outback Motortek
∴ Short windscreen (or remove and keep in the support truck)
∴ Oversized footpegs if you’re using softer-soled boots like ADV boots
∴ A way to carry your day gear (backpack, small tail bag, or soft panniers)
∴ Tool kit (we will have extra tools for you to borrow)


Riding a large motorcycle off-road can be physically demanding, especially riding along a BDR during the heat of the summer. Even though our riding methods focus on reducing riding effort and using less energy, it is your responsibility to ensure you are sufficiently rested and hydrated throughout the training tour. The better your physical condition and strength before you arrive the lower your chances of injury. Spend some time away from your air conditioner to adapt your body to the heat you will encounter along the route.


50/50 tires or knobby tires are recommended as they will provide greater confidence and can offer better traction. This can help you as a newer ADV rider that may not be as smooth on the controls (traction management) or may not be as good at seeing and predicting changes when off pavement.

However in dry weather, the Backcountry Discovery Route can be easily conquered with street-biased tires and Bret and Paul often will teach using street tires to emphasize the value of technique over equipment.

My suggestions*:
Aggressive option: Anakee Wild
50/50 option: Mitas E07+
Budget option: Shinko 804/805 or Kenda Big Block

For questions, please email us at

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