Mountain Biking Washington  by Amy & Mark Poffenbarger

Mountain Biking Washington Guide Book

by Amy & Mark Poffenbarger (Falcon Guides)
Mountain Biking Washington  by Amy & Mark Poffenbarger
From the lush rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula to the rugged, glacier-capped northern Cascades, from the moonscaped ridges of Mount St. Helens to the Selkirk Mountains, Mountain Biking Washington profiles the greatest rides throughout this spectacular landscape. Local mountain bikers Amy and Mark Poffenbarger recommend their favorite routes, from easy family trips such as the Spruce Railroad Trail to hard-core technical rides such as Ranger Creek. You’ll also get the inside track on local history, events and attractions, and wildlife. Look inside to find: GPS-compatible trail maps and route profiles; Mile-by-mile directional cues; Tips on riding and trip preparation; Difficulty ratings, average riding times, best seasons, and more.

© 2006 Amy and Mark Poffenbarger/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Mountain Biking Washington" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 49.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 49.

The mainstay for mountain biking on the western side of the Cascades, Capitol State Forest will always be a popular site for recreation. This ride starts with a hefty forest road climb and moves into rolling singletrack at the top. There are many trails out here, so follow the signs and our directions to avoid getting lost.
Tumwater, WA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 20.5
This trail is especially nice for riders moving into the intermediate mountain biking skill level. Rolling along the Capitol State Forest’s hillsides, the loop is fast, fun, and nontechnical. With a variety of side trails to explore, you can tailor the mileage of this ride to suit any time or fitness constraints.
Tumwater, WA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 21.2
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This picturesque trail provides a great diversion if you’re heading east to Winthrop on the North Cascades Highway. Riding between the steep walls of the Gardner and Silver Star Mountains, the first few miles are steady and tough up to Cedar Falls. The trail gets even a little tougher after that, but only briefly. The rest of the route is beautiful singletrack all the way across the valley and back.
Mazama, WA - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 15.2
The Centennial Trail begins in Idaho and runs all the way through the bicycle- friendly city of Spokane, smack into Riverside State Park. The trail is popular among more than just mountain bikers, but the singletrack within the park is where the mountain bikers leave the others behind. There are miles and miles of double-and singletrack to explore within the park. Take an hour or take a full day. You won’t be able to ride it all in one visit.
Spokane, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Trail Running - Trail Length: 37
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This fantastic loop covers rolling singletrack and a forest road descent while weaving around an actual chain of lakes. Although Mount Adams rarely comes into view, two river crossings and great singletrack make this moderately difficult ride one you will want to do again and again.
Randle;Trout Lake, WA - Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 16.5
Ideal for all mountain bikers, this ride is located in a locally maintained conservancy area. The main trail is an old railroad grade. Follow the well-kept gravel road over nine bridges along the Cowiche Creek east to the Scenic Trail. Optional trip is the Overlook Trail between bridges eight and nine. Climb up the canyon to the uplands area for a gorgeous view. Explore with care —the area is a designated shrub-steppe ecosystem, very fragile and home to many rare plants. Stay on existing trails and avoid heading in and out of the canyon when the trails are wet to prevent further problems with erosion.
Yakima, WA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.5
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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.
Greenwater, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 14.5
Ask the average mountain biker what his or her favorite trail is in the entire state, and the likely answer will be Devils Gulch. In the heart of the eastern Cascade foothills, this trail begins with a forest road climb then cuts into the woods along Mission Creek below Mission Ridge. Not too tough, not too technical, this ride is just right for strong climbing legs and the desire for fast singletrack.
Cashmere, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 24.4
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Bring extra clothes and your best mud tires for this ramble through a second-growth forest. After a long climb up a fire road, the 12.1-mile route veers into the woods on soft, root-strewn trail. Beware when you reach the bottom of the hills as bike- swallowing mud holes offer obstacles that can turn the ride into a messy swim with one wrong slip.
Elbe, WA - Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 12.1
Waterfalls, sponge cake –like trail, and lava caves provide this route with all the ingredients for a great mountain bike ride. It’s a 16-mile moderate shuttle ride that can be made into a loop by riding back to the sno-park at Oldman Pass (elev. 2,788 feet) from the bottom of Falls Creek on a paved forest road. Riding this route in reverse from the river to the pass is quite difficult and not much fun either. Who would have thought that the demise of a railroad company would lead to the creation of one of the most unique mountain bike routes in Washington State? When the defunct Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, known as “the Milwaukee Road,” stopped running, it left a cross-state railroad grade that became the John Wayne Pioneer Trail.
Carson, WA - Cross-Country Skiing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 15.8
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Located in the middle of prime recreational territory, Fifes Ridge is within reach of Mount Rainier, camping spots, a slew of rivers, and Bumping Lake. Heading up one of the most scenic forest roads in the state, this ride begins with a smooth 9-mile climb that’s not too strenuous. Skirting the edges of a wilderness area, it’s important to keep to the designated ridge trail. The views are stupendous, and the singletrack is impressive and fun with brief, moderately technical sections.
Cliffdell, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 14.4
This hoofer is not for the weak of heart. Consistently steep, the mega-climb begins around 3,600 feet and doesn’t quit until it hits almost 8,000 feet —all within only 5 miles! It’s a slightly technical ride as well, as the trail travels over loose rocks from time to time. This is one of the more challenging trails in the state and, despite its relatively short mileage, will take all day to ride, giving real meaning to the word epic.
Carlton, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 16.5
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Rising above the Strait of Juan de Fuca, these moderate trails are popular among the locals. There are three main loops that will give you a great workout and are a lot of fun to ride. You can complete the course in a couple of hours, enjoy spectacular views of the strait, and get some incredibly fast singletrack riding through the forest. Most of the intersections are very well marked, and the Department of Natural Resources has posted miniature trail map signs at key junctions. Even with the logging that goes on there from time to time, you‘ll have a tough time getting lost. The single track is in good condition, and the road climbs are moderately tough.
Port Angeles, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 10.7
This sensational ride weaves around the base of Dirty Face Ridge within the Olympic Range, just outside the boundaries of the national forest and the Buckhorn Wilderness Area. Wide switchbacks in the forest road take you up the west side of the Dungeness River to some adventuresome single track on the eastern side of the river below Dirty Face Ridge. The trail is steep and narrow and has several drop-offs. It’s a ripping good ride that will take you by surprise.
Sequim, WA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 19.6
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The Gotchen Creek Loop is another great intermediate ride with a memorable road climb. It is neither too long nor too technical. Hiking and biking trails fill the peaceful forest, and the singletrack down the mountain is sandy, steep, and as fast as you care to make it. Zipping around the creek toward the bottom, the trail completes its loop with some high whoop-de-doos and brings you back around to the start before you know it. Larch Mountain is located within the Yacolt Burn State Forest, bordering the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There are several mountain biking trails within this Department of Natural Resources–operated tract, some connecting with national forest trails. One such trail is an oasis within this fire-torn forest called the Rock Creek/Larch Mountain Trail. Sheltered from the burning rays of the sun, this trail offers a thick wooded climb along Cold Creek.
Trout Lake, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 15.7
Get ready for sand, extreme desert riding conditions, and a long road detour to complete this section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. Starting at the Columbia River, the trail winds through the Crab Creek Wildlife Area before hitting the road for the towns of Othello and Warden, where the trail once again opens to the public.
Beverly, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 60.3
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Leave the green Kittitas Valley behind and climb into the Boylston and Saddle Mountains. Drop down the ridge to the Columbia River south of Vantage. If the flat sections of the western portion of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail lulled you into complacency, you’ll enjoy the climbs and soft, hard-to-ride trail surface on this section.
Ellensburg, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 31.5
Move from the scablands and desert terrain into the rolling Palouse hills in this ride that concludes the cross-state John Wayne Pioneer Trail in the town of Tekoa. For a real sense of completion, you can continue on to the Idaho border by adding another 7 miles to the ride.
Ewan, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 57.7
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This mostly flat section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail offers outstanding views as it winds across prairie lands near Easton then eastward through South Cle Elum before moving into the sagebrush-dotted lands along the Yakima River, near the farming town of Thorp. The ride concludes in Ellensburg, home to Central Washington University.
Easton, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 38.4
If you’re looking for desert adventure, this section of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail is a good bet. Desert scablands continue as you ride among sagebrush before taking a long road detour from Ralston to Marengo. This long ride wraps up in the tiny town of Ewan, a town with very little to offer outside of a name on the map.
Lind, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 61.8
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