Wine Ride: Uniontown

Route Details:

Palouse region / 17 miles / 583 ft total climb

This route involves more pavement than I would prefer, but it features a worthwhile destination, which can add a bit of variety to the typical out and back loop rides. As the name of this ride suggests, there’s wine at our terminus (or apogee, if you’re riding out and back).

The route starts in downtown Pullman. You can head out to Johnson Rd on the Pullman Trail System via the Downtown Riverwalk. The trail system runs along the South Fork Palouse River from about the middle of downtown Pullman out to the city ball fields and past Koppel Farm, a large community vegetable garden. After the garden you’ll run into SE Bishop Blvd, a somewhat heavily trafficked Pullman thoroughfare (we’re talking heavy for a rural town) where you’ll have to head south along Bishop before taking a left onto Johnson Rd. On Johnson you have the option to just ride the road out, or connect up with the Johnson Spur of the Pullman Trail System. The spur runs along Johnson Rd for the first mile or so before it spits you out on to the road.

Johnson is a good road to familiarize yourself with because it offers many gravel ride opportunities. Just about every road off Johnson after Sand Rd is unpaved. Johnson itself is chipseal for about the first 3 miles before it turns to gravel. You’ll be on Johnson Rd for the majority of the ride, about 10 miles.

At roughly the half way point of the ride, you’ll encounter the most significant climb. It’s a solid hill right before you descend into the town of Johnson. In Johnson you’ll encounter a little more pavement. Just outside of Johnson you’ll hang a left to stay on Johnson Rd, and you’ll be back on gravel for another 2 or 3 miles.

Johnson road becomes Steptoe St as you enter Colton. You stay straight all the way to Hwy 195/Broadway St in Colton. Then hang a left on the highway. It’s about 3 miles of highway riding to Uniontown, but there’s a nice wide shoulder, and depending on the time of day there might be little traffic.

In Untiontown you have an option for dining at Jacobs, the local bakery and restaurant. They have a good selection of baked items. You can check out their menu here. They’re a breakfast/lunch spot so you’ll have to get there before 2:00, if you wan’t to catch a bite.

If the promise of wine is what spurred you on, then you won’t be disappointed by Wawawai Canyon Winery. Their nicely renovated tasting room is at the center of town. You can’t miss it as you’re heading south because it’s the building with the huge mural of Wawawai Canyon on the north facing wall. It’s a family business and the winemaker himself is often there to do the tastings. Their hours are also somewhat limited; they’re open 12:00-6:00 Thursday through Saturday. You can find out more about their wines here.