The Local

Highbridge Road in the Fall

Highbridge Road in the Fall

The Local - Highbridge and Ben Howard Road

Departure Time: 

The best time to drive this short section is just after sunrise to beat traffic and then stop and have breakfast at the Sultan Bakery. Traffic on this road is never really too heavy, but it might take you a couple of runs to find the road to yourself. 

Car Checklist: 

  • Good tires
  • Brakes in excellent condition including high temp brake fluid - Don't overlook this! I can and have boiled the brakes on many cars and motorcycles on this road. 
  • An action camera would be ideal for this drive. 

Dan's Notes:

This is an extremely popular section of road in Snohomish County for enthusiasts of all kinds, so I have some warnings: 

  • You can easily drive this road quickly, but not crazy, and have a great time. Drive safe and not above your limit.  
  • The turns are VERY sharp and the roads have some quick dips that can easily unsettle tight suspension. You should take a few easy runs up and down the road to get to know it before you make a more spirited attempt. 
  • There are multiple elevation changes through corners on Highbridge. Threshold and trail braking is something you should understand and know how to do if you want to enjoy this road quickly and safely. 
  • Do NOT cross into the oncoming lane. These roads are heavily used by motorcycles and bicycles. 
  • Be mindful of the driveways on this road. Most are not blind, but don’t be an idiot and go “balls out” and kill someone or yourself.  
  • This is best as a 2-way trip. Start by going down the road to breakfast at Maltby Cafe and end by coming back up and going to Trails End in Snohomish.

The Drive: 

While this drive is short, it still deserves it's own detailed description. You'll start by heading south from The Cathcart Store (no bathroom here, FYI) across the railroad tracks on Highbridge. This is a good section to warm up. You'll want to slow down to safely drive by Bob's Corn and Pumpkin Farm. There is often a Sheriff directing traffic here on the weekends so be sure to slow down for safety and your wallets sake. 

From there you can enjoy the blast down Highbridge and try to avoid cooking your brakes. Take it easy if you're new to this road and slow down again when you're coming to the underpass, a popular fishing spot for locals.  

After finishing the most fun parts of Highbridge you can cool your brakes and take a left onto Crescent Road. Watch for farmer activity but this road is mostly low traffic and has some fun but flat turns. You'll briefly merge onto 203 toward Monroe, but then take your next right onto Ben Howard road. This picturesque road passes by a few farms and follows the river. You'll have a chance to drive this one at a slightly faster pace than High Bridge, but be wary going by the RV Park, which often has foot and bicycle traffic and the occasional cop. Beyond that it's a quick drive into Sultan for a delicious breakfast or coffee at the Sultan Bakery! 

Head back the same way to experience High Bridge in a totally different way doing the Hill Climb. You can turn right onto Connelly road and take the back way into Snohomish for more fun, but take it easy here. While it looks tempting, this road has a lot of blind driveways, no real passing zones, and should be done in moderation. Best to take it easy and cool your car off while you drive to Trails End for some lunch.