Looking for a serious challenge? Try the Cascade Triple Crown (CTC), Puget Sound’s mountain bike version of the Iron Man. The CTC links six separate trails, climbs three separate peaks (11,000 feet), and covers 50 miles of terrain—all in a single day. Located near Mount Rainier, the CTC is a combination of Crystal Mountain’s Northway Loop, the Crystal Mountain Ridge Trail, Noble Knob, Ranger Creek, Sun Top, Skookum Flats, and small stretches of Highway 410.
Four of the six trails are packed full of slim singletrack, rock gardens, relentless thigh-burning climbs, a giant Crayola crayon box of colorful wildflowers, alpine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The first CTC was completed in 1997 by Keith “Goat Boy” Rollins, Wayne “Crazy Legs” Grevey, and Reltney Watkins—all Seattle area cross-country racers. The ride was inspired by their friendly competition and has become an annual event that acts as a truth serum when it comes to determining riding ability, strength, and cycling prowess. Mountain bikers who can complete the CTC in one piece in less than eight hours have proven their ability, skills, and stamina beyond a shadow of a doubt. Either that, or they are plain goofy in the head! Trail surface: Singletrack, gravel access roads, and a small amount of pavement.
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