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Hey guys,

I'm going to fly to Seattle next month together with a friend. We will bring our own bikes. We have rented a 4WD and the plan is to do a road-trip from Seattle and down to San Fransisco within 14 days. During those 14 days we will try to ride as many tracks as possible, so here is the question:

Which tracks should we choose here in Washington, if we want the best?

We are both experienced riders with 10 years of experience, and we have both been riding several places around the world. We like technical single track the most.

Happy MTB'ing :)
 

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I think Devils Gulch-Mission Ridge out of Cashmere might be the best. Its long, its hard, yet its not too technical. It has everything you could want in a Washington ride. You climb Devils Gulch and you are in the woods crossing streams. You hit Mission Ridge and youre exposed with great views. Not sure of the total distance, but I think if you run the complete "figure eight" its about 23 miles plus about 5000 feet of climbing. If you finish this ride ealy enough you could go to Leavenworth and hit Freund canyon for another 8.5 miles and 1500 feet or so of climbing. Both of these rides are on the east slope of the Cascades about 100 miles or so from Seattle. If you check the forum here the best rides has been kicked around a bit.
 

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I would recommend Capitol, especially since it is very close to the freeway just outside olympia. Problem is it is best to ride with someone that knows it since it is so big and has so many trails.
 

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Thats a great place also, especially the technical part. I did the "Over the Top" race which I think was about 23 miles. During the race I realized if I broke down I might not know the shortest way back cause there were so many trails. Also it was interesting how they pieced the trails together for the loop. For the race itself there was very few riders who I would call less than expert class.
 

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How is Capital these days?

lamrith said:
I would recommend Capitol, especially since it is very close to the freeway just outside olympia. Problem is it is best to ride with someone that knows it since it is so big and has so many trails.
Still heavily logged? Any routes you'd recommend from any of the ride guides (Zilly, etc.)?
 

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The best?

To get the tiniest scratch of what's available here which will leave you begging for more. These are my 4, "best" rides:
Dungeness River-Gold Creek: Penninsula/Rain Forest/Mossy
Dalles Ridge-Palisades/Skookum Flats: Cascade views and Mount Rainier.
Devil's Gulch-Mission Ridge figure 8: East Side views and fun downhills.
Ape Canyon-Plains of Abraham: Mount St. Helens blast views. 'Nuf said.

All have good climbs and long descents and give a nice round mix of what's available up here. Cap Forest is fun but not high on the tourist list.
All run in the 20-24 mile range which may be long for some folks.
 

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Skip WA's eastside...

Borneo said:
...Dalles Ridge-Palisades/Skookum Flats: Cascade views and Mount Rainier...Ape Canyon-Plains of Abraham: Mount St. Helens blast views. 'Nuf said.
Since your doing a multi-state road trip, I'd skip WA's eastside stuff like Devil's/Mission, it's out of the way and the driving would eat up to much ride time. I'd start out riding Noble Knob/Pallisades(Mt.Rainier area), then ride Ape/Abe'sPlain(Mt. St.Helens area). Not knocking WA, but I'd save the drive time to spend in OR. A short drive from St.Helens is the Mt.Hood area with some more primo riding. Then head over to the eastern side of the Cascades into Bend. I'll leave the ride recomendations to the OR locals.
 

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Skip the Gulch? For Bend? This time of year? Really?
Maybe in May or June(it was awesome then!) But, not now. It's been a dust bowl...

Really depends what yksop is in to. I like long climbs and long descents. Preferably the rides most other people won't do. But, 20 miles may be too much or the rides mentioned may be too short. If that'e the case, there's plenty of all day epics in both WA and OR.
 

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<sL4yEr>RuLz said:
Still heavily logged? Any routes you'd recommend from any of the ride guides (Zilly, etc.)?
Capital is always good, you just need to know where to go. From time to time your supprised by a new logged trail, but overall things are really good. I live in Olympia and ride cap alot. I have been on horse trails most latley on my new trail bike, but i also ride my Dh bike on the sunday shuttles. I dont use any trail books, ive just learned whats good and stick to it. I have pondered creating a real guide to the forest. not just a few entries in a WA state book, but a guide showing all the possible places to ride and maybe get lost... hehe. The trails in those books are ok, but there is much more to ride. There is also so much out there too I have yet to ride in the 5 years ive beem here. Alot of it comes down to how much time I have. Its never crowded (unlike the other close in seattle DNR lands) and is open all year to bikes. Winter can be a mess, but you just have to dig deeper to find the good trails.

PM me if your ever headed this way. I can either go with, or suggest something.
 

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I'd suggest staying in the seattle area for a few days and do some of the local goods..Im no walking trail book, but there are some great places to ride in the puget sound.... not even touching eastern or southern WA.. Bellingham is a few hours north and has a well known area called Galbraith, Hwy 410 up to Mt rainer has some exceptional rides (palisades, ranger creek, deep creek, suntop, skookum...), There are rides towards the east side of the Olympics also that could be reached in a few hours max. (dungeness Cr??).

Also, other areas not mentioned and might not be thought of as WA's best but worthy if you in the greater seattle area... Green Mtn is close and fun. An area called LK sawyer is a blast, and real technical, Tiger Mtn is a classic seattle ride, although crowded.....Borneo knows some other cool technical XC rides within an hour of the city that arent as crowded as Tiger MTN, and he thinks they are better... (still waiting to ride one of them B!!) .

This is like a what bike, or what fork debate. There is no clear answer. It depends how long you wish to dwell in one area, how much zigzag driving you wish to do..ect.... 14 days is alot of time and I am sure you could spend a good amount here. Regardless youll have a good time here.... but bring some rain gear.... this dry spell wont last much longer.....
 

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Borneo said:
Skip the Gulch? For Bend? This time of year? Really?
Maybe in May or June(it was awesome then!) But, not now. It's been a dust bowl...

Really depends what yksop is in to. I like long climbs and long descents. Preferably the rides most other people won't do. But, 20 miles may be too much or the rides mentioned may be too short. If that'e the case, there's plenty of all day epics in both WA and OR.
And the stuff out East isn't dusty? During a year like this even the metro puppy track starts to turn beachy by September. He's road tripn' south, so I said skip the Gulch because it's out of the way. It's a fun area, but hardly technical and not worth going out of your way for. I've never ridden the Bend area in September, so I wouldn't know how dusty it can be, but there's an awfull lot between Bend and Eugene, where he would probably jump back on I-5, and IMO that's not an area he should skip. I'm thinking big picture.

However, if he were so inclined to go Eastern WA route, I'd suggest spending a coupla few days in the Leavenworth area. Pickup a few Greentrails maps(145-146 & 208-210 from REI and connect the dots, Nason and Ckikamin Ridge areas provide some nice ingredients for some healthy rides. Then catch a ride or two in the I-90 corridor on his way back to/through Seattle and down to Rainier/St. Helens. Easily a weeks worth of riding.
 

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Borneo said:
Really depends what yksop is in to. I like long climbs and long descents. Preferably the rides most other people won't do. But, 20 miles may be too much or the rides mentioned may be too short. If that'e the case, there's plenty of all day epics in both WA and OR.
Notice how there seems to be a lack of response from YKSOP... Again, here we are shooting out suggestions left and right. Can I get a "thank you very much?" noooo!

Man, I'm tired from last night's ride...
 

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Thanks...

oly said:
Capital is always good, you just need to know where to go. From time to time your supprised by a new logged trail, but overall things are really good. I live in Olympia and ride cap alot. I have been on horse trails most latley on my new trail bike, but i also ride my Dh bike on the sunday shuttles. I dont use any trail books, ive just learned whats good and stick to it. I have pondered creating a real guide to the forest. not just a few entries in a WA state book, but a guide showing all the possible places to ride and maybe get lost... hehe. The trails in those books are ok, but there is much more to ride. There is also so much out there too I have yet to ride in the 5 years ive beem here. Alot of it comes down to how much time I have. Its never crowded (unlike the other close in seattle DNR lands) and is open all year to bikes. Winter can be a mess, but you just have to dig deeper to find the good trails.

PM me if your ever headed this way. I can either go with, or suggest something.
I always thought Capital had potential... The 2 times I've ridden there were by myself. Not so smart, but I was cautious and not very adventurous. I'll definitely PM you for advise.
 

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<sL4yEr>RuLz said:
I always thought Capital had potential... The 2 times I've ridden there were by myself. Not so smart, but I was cautious and not very adventurous. I'll definitely PM you for advise.
For sure!

BTW.. does your name referece the ban or the bike??
 
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