Crystal Mountain Loop

Loop • 14.5 mi • 1450 ft

Of all the rides along the Cascade Range, this is the must-do course for Washington mountain bikers. Situated on one of Washington’s most popular ski resorts, this ride features an extremely aerobic advanced climb up forest road and singletrack, a 7, 000- foot view of three volcanoes, and world-class singletrack downhill. Few rides com- pare to the rush this route can provide. There are more moderate, alternative routes that will get you to the top, too, and as long as you get there, you’ll find it very difficult not to have a sensational day on the mountain.
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Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Greenwater
Length: 14.5 total miles
Elevation Gain: 1,450 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult ascent/moderate descent
Duration: 4 hours
Season: Best in summer and fall
Trailhead Elevation: 3,750 feet
Top Elevation: 5,200 feet
Other Uses: Hikers, equestrians
Local Contacts: Crystal Mountain Ski Area, Department of Natural Resources, USDA Forest Service
Local Maps: USGS White River Park, Norse Peak
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Recent Trail Reviews


I've done this ride at least 9 or 10 times. It's a classic. However, there's still too much snow on the trail. We barely made it to the ridge line, which is only halfway to the top. Even that required us to hike on top of snow fields that were 3 to 4 feet deep. Give it at least 2 or 3 more weeks before making the trip. But definitely make the trip.


This is definitely a "must do" ride. Follow it up all the way to the ridge, which reveals incredible views of Mount Rainier. Follow the ridge south, continuing to climb all the way up to the summit of Crystal Mountain, which is an excellent place to have lunch, then turn back and head down the same way you came up. It's an unbelievably fun decent!

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