Pot Peak - Trail, Chelan, Washington

Pot Peak - Trail, Chelan, Washington

DESCRIPTION

You start with a ~8 mile fire road climb, then single track, the first section v. steep. Take left at top, then follow ridge line-trail 1448, passing spur trails. You take a left again onto trail 1226, and the fun begins. Technical ridge running, extreme exposure, and a little hike-a-bike (including .75mi or so up a talus slope). Not long after the last gunt (about 13 miles into the ride) uphill following the hike-a-bike you take a left, and start a 10 mile descent that is unrivaled in my mtb experience--far and away the best in Washington (yes, better than Devil's Gulch, Suntop, Twenty-five mile creek, Taneum Creek, and Crystal Mtn.) Enjoy. I've rated the trail Advanced, only because there are several short sections that require advanced/expert technical skills, and a lot of attention to where you are on the trail.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-7 of 7  
[Oct 27, 2012]
Paul Willard
Racer

Trail was brushed out this August (2012). Great Trail, great ride,not easy!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Jul 31, 2012]
Steve
Weekend Warrior

To say this ride compares to devil's gulch is a sick joke that you should only play on your worst enemies. The only option you should consider is dropping a car at the pot peak trailhead and shuttling up to the top. I rode in 90 degree temps up the fire road and you can't bring enough food or water to sustain your energy. The devils backbone section is plagued with bad trail design that causes pointless hiking sections,is poorly maintened, and is covered in places by rockslide debris. There is some fun technical stuff here but again bad trail design keeps you from getting any speed or flow with constant switchbacks that have you asking yourself how badly you want to give yourself a compound fracture on the jagged rocks. Once you finally get to the pot peak trail it is spoiled by extreme overgrowth that forces you to dismount constantly. Overall the trail is not as fast, has more sand and is overall much less satisfying/fun compared to others, particularly devil's gulch since so many seem to compare the two.

If you think I'm just weak then feel free to prove me wrong and ride up the fire road, just don't expect to enjoy the experience. Even with a shuttle I don't think it would be that great because the trail just isn't in good shape.

Customer Service

Drop a car at pot peak trail head. Take another car up FS 5900 (shady pass) until you get to a sign that says devils backbone. Drive to devils backbone trailhead and start riding. Stay on devils backbone until you see a sign for pot peak.

Similar Products Used:

Devil's gulch, Cashmere. About 4-5 hours with 3000 ft fire road climb and awesome downhill that seems to go on forever and is actually worth the climb up, which is easily doable if you are in decent shape. Can also choose shuttle option for downhill riders.

Freund Canyon, Leavenworth. About 2000 ft elevation change. Fast up, and fast down. Fun downhill.

Anything else around Leavenworth as long as your into freeride/downhill stuff. Ask at the local bike shop.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 29, 2010]
Hans Prosl
Weekend Warrior

If your super-human, you can climb straight up the pot peak trail. If your a stud, you can climb the fire road up to Devil's backbone. If your dumb like me, you'll try and find the overgrown, washed out trail that winds and disappears several times before you break out and into the burned out valley of doom. Climb that then totally spent, attack? Devils backbone. I got scared that the trail was descending and I wasn't on Pot Peak proper but then I came to the talus scree slope hike-a-bike.. Luckily I was alone so there was no one to whine to. I was out of food and water when I passed the Pot Peak trail head telling me i had 10 miles of sweet descent in front of me on my new Kona. The sun was setting and I didn't have lights. Made it to 25 mile creek in complete darkness @ 9pm. Thank god my girl just assumed that since it was dark, she should come look for me. Dinner never tasted better

Customer Service

Get a shuttle up the fire road. Don't F around and laugh at the scree slope instead of crying at sunset on Devils Backbone.

Similar Products Used:

Had a fun beginner day at Echo ridge

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 27, 2008]
Rubberneck Goose
Cross Country Rider

I attempted this trail twice. The first time I did not allow enough time to ride from Pot Peak trailhead to the start of the single track which is 14.5 miles up a steep grade dirt road. I got to the beggining of Devil's Backbone (start, which is near Handy Springs Campground) around 5:30 pm and decided I didn't have enough time or food. I came back three days later with a shuttle and rode Devil's Backbone to Pot Peak trail. The trail has rolling hills at the beggining, followed by technical loose rocky switchbacks, as described there is a 3/4 to 1 mile hike-a-bike section (approx 5-6 miles from beggining of Devils Backbone) over a loose rocky section. After this, Pot Peak trail (1266 as opposed to the original description) veirs off to the left. The downhill single track is quite nice, and flows well. This trail has seen a severe forest fire in 2004 and much of the lower trail is covered by low lying brush (expect an ankle whipping), also expect smaller trees to be down over the trail. I came around several blind corners to find the trail blocked by a tree. The lower switch backs were quite loose even after a heavy rain 2 days prior. The dirt composition is unexpectadly loose considering the majority of soil composition is ash, easy to have the trail sluff off underneath your front tire. I have 28" high rise handlebars and found the brush to be a big annoyance, and added difficulty. Overall still worth it, amazing views, nice single track.

Customer Service

Drive South Shore Drive to 25 mile creek campgrnd. Take a left just after campgrnd and Drive 3-4 miles up Forest Service Road 5900, take left towards Pot Peak trailhead. Park at Pot Peak trailhead, ride back to 5900 and take a left (follow signs for Grouse Mountain Camp grnd). Continue on the road (5900) past Grouse Mtn Camp grnd, Past Junior Springs Campgrnd and follow signs for Handy Springs Campgrnd. Devils Backbone beggains approx 1 mile past Handy Springs Camp Grnd. Enjoy

Similar Products Used:

Devils Gulch More rideable, and in better shape
Freud Canyon Loop, Leavenworth

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 22, 2006]
ryanjames
Cross Country Rider

Pot Peak is located in the Chelan Mountains on the west side of the Lake Chelan drainage. It has been described as the best downhill in the state. Starting at about 6,800 feet of elevation, the trail descends for 10 miles to Ramona Park. It is single track all the way and includes rocky sections at the top along the ridgeline to sweet, buff singletrack in the lower sections. Three years ago (2003), the Pot Peak Fire devastated the area, but the trail is in good shape. Just keep your eyes open for windblown trees across the trail.

Customer Service

You can ride up from the bottom, but the best way to do this trail is get a ride to Handy Springs and the Devil's Backbone Trailhead which will take you across the spine ridge between the Entiat and Chelan Ranger Districts. The Devil's Backbone is a technical, very rocky single track that traverses this ridge between the two districts for about seven miles before reaching the Pot Peak junction. Give yourself a day and enjoy the views. They are spectacular.

Similar Products Used:

Stormy Mountain to Pot Peak.
Tommy Creek Trail in the Entiat River Drainage
Echo Ridge for something really close to Chelan.
The Methow Valley.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 18, 2000]
Brad

The 10 mile singletrack descent makes all the hard work in getting to it way, way worth the effort. I has some friends ready to kill me after the talus slope hike-a-bike. This was rapidly replace with grins and our first break going down. It is simply awesome--as I said, best descent in Washington, and a dead heat with my all time favorite: South Fork of Bumker Creek, in the Brian's Head area of Utah.

Customer Service

I described it, so it is what I recommend. Also, strongly advise to get Zilly's book, "Mountain Bike! Northwest Washington" and read the Pot Peak Epic description. You need to be a very, very strong rider to ride the whole fire road as Zilly describes, that's why I recommend dropping a car and starting at Grouse Mtn. Campground

Similar Products Used:

Twenty five mile creek.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Oct 24, 2000]
Mark

Trail begins with a steep climb followed by several shorter and less steep valley traverses. Final preliminary descent before hike-a-bike uphill is switchbacks across a steep granite cliff. Tough hike up a talus slope followed by a mostly-rideable climb to the top.

This is when things get good and stay that way for the next 10 miles or so. Tons of outstanding downhill, no water/mud, a couple of short climbs, but nothing excessive.

Trail is at least as good as Devil's Gulch, maybe better.

Trail can be ridden by anyone as long as you are willing to consider walking your bike on some of the more difficult downhill sections leading to the talus slope.

Customer Service

As recommended in the trail description. An alternate is to drive to the beginning of the trailhead which cuts several miles of road work off of the ride.

Similar Products Used:

25 mile creek starts at the same trailhead, also good downhill action.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
[Dec 02, 2000]
Jeff

After to 20+ mi (3000') road grind from parking area the trail starts off quite nicely w/ little ups and downs until you come out to the exposed ridge leading to the decent before the talus slope hike a bike. When a friend and I rode this 9/24/00 we had temps in the 30's w/ grappel pelting us from 30+ mph winds during the hike-a-bike.
After another quick up the descent starts and for the most part is pretty good although I don't agree with other reports that it is the best in WA. Trail was extremely overgrown in sections, but for the most part was fun w/ good speed potential and just enough technical sections that you couldn't completely zone out.

Similar Products Used:

All in all not a worthwhile side trip going to or from other rides in the area, but wouldn't make it a yearly stop mostly because it alot of drving /work for little reward. As far as the car shuttle thing, I suppose it's justifiable if you 've got a bunch of weak riders or you're out for a beer drinking /partying trip. I think most avid riders would have to agree that to ride the whole thing, the 25+ miles it takes you to get to this downhill really isn't worht the effort except to say that you did it. Our riding time for 35+ mi was 5.5hrs.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-7 of 7  

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