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I recently found out that I've been accepted to Whitman College in Walla Walla for next year, and was curious as to whether or not any MTBR members live in/around the area. I realize most the crew on here is from the Seattle area, but thought it would be worth a shot :).

When I was up there in September I picked up Kevin Pogue's bike guide to mountian biking in the blue mountains at one of the local bike shops in town, and spoke with one of the mechanics as well. He was very helpful and said there was quite a bit of good riding within a hour of town.

What I'm curious about is a) whether or not there are any MTBR members up there and b) whether anybody has any suggestions as to their "favorite trails" in the area. I'm not expecting quite the variety I have been spoiled with around here (Denver), but am hoping to find a new good trails to keep the riding itch in check.
-Jeff
 

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Never ridden there, but always thought that area & the blues were interesting. Let us know what you find out...
 

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Not from Washington, but know that Walla Walla has great wineries and sweet onions! :)

Have done a bit of riding in areas of Washington that would make good weekend trips from Walla Walla (because of the distance):

Hood River, Oregon - about 3 hrs west; lots of trails, such as Surveyors Ridge, Sincline, Post Canyon.

Cashmere, WA - about 3.5 hours northwest of Walla Walla; the 18 mile Devil's Gulch/Mission Ridge Trail is a great ride.

And for a change of pace, do the John Wayne/Iron Horse Trail - an old railbed converted to recreational use, i.e. hiking, biking that starts outside of Seattle and heads across to the eastern border of Washington. The Snoqualmie Pass section is one of the nicest parts - scenic, has a 2 mile tunnel and the descent is fun (if you ride it east to west!)

If you have a long weekend, you could always head up to Vancouver/Whistler!
 

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Magish said:
When I was up there in September I picked up Kevin Pogue's bike guide to mountian biking in the blue mountains at one of the local bike shops in town, and spoke with one of the mechanics as well. He was very helpful and said there was quite a bit of good riding within a hour of town.
You're heading in the right direction then. I went to Walla Walla College in College Place and did a bunch of riding around the area. I also own Pogue's guide and it was pretty accurate for when I was there. You can make some epic loops out of Harris Park or it is possible to ride right from Whitman, up into the Blues, down the North Fork Trail, come out at Harris Park and then ride back home via Milton-Freewater. My buddy & I did it as a minimalist overnighter (he slept in two garbage bags & I slept in a bivy sack) and we ended up w/ 70 miles of riding. Its also possible to ride up to the Tollgate area from near Harris Park (mostly on dirt roads) and end up at the Inn for a buffalo burger.

Don't expect much flat area but I think you'll have some good XC style riding while you're there.
 

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No riding out the front door, but fairly close for weekend warrior duty

Congratulations on Whitman. I am a Walla Walla College graduate and spent many many hours of study in the Whitman library.

My point of reference is 15 years ago, but at that time there was no significant mountain biking to be had in the immediate WW2 area. Harris Park is a nice Frisbee park, but I don't recall there being much in the way of mountain biking there. Hopefully, things have changed, but my idea of mountain biking did not involve riding the rolling dirt farming access roads all over those wheatfields.

….but, you do not need to drive 2-3 hours to find pretty darn good riding. JRA refers to this with his overnight bivy ride. Drive down to Milton-Freewater and head up the south fork of the Walla Walla river. You'll figure it out when you get there. Probably a 30 -45 minute drive. The road eventually turns to dirt, and is blocked off a ¼ to ½ mile before a condemned, (or gone) bridge. That road actually climbs on up to Tollgate up in the Blues. My staple was to always ride up along the river on the north side of the Walla Walla, past a few cabins, until the 4x4 trail turns into a single track. There are a few intersections up there, and you will have to just start exploring. Ask someone to lead you to the plane wreck remains, I heard that is almost completely gone now. My brother has ridden those trails as recently as two years ago and most were in some sort of reasonable shape. You can make some pretty sweet epics connecting the north and south fork. Options abound if you are ready to sweat or shuttle. Get a forest service map and/or get in with your Whitman biking brethren.

Those Blues are pretty wild. Forest service roads go for miles, but there is just nobody back there…except for the hillbillies that shot at us, but that is a different story. Back in the day, we would stash the bikes and just hike the open southern exposure hillsides straight up 2000 feet. More often than not, we could see ginormous herds of elk. 50-100 on one ridge and the same on another ridge. I guess you have that up at Estes Park, but this just felt more Call of the Wild.

I have that same guide book you describe. I only rode just a wee bit of those trails north of Lewiston and they were good. I am sure once you get out there, you will find a friendly mountain biking community to help kickstart your exploration.
 

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Vaughn said:
Congratulations on Whitman. I am a Walla Walla College graduate and spent many many hours of study in the Whitman library.

My point of reference is 15 years ago ...
Fellow Wally World grad? 15 years ago would make that 1992, did we graduate in the same year? I had my nose buried in engineering books and didn't get out much.

As for Harris Park (if I'm remembering the name & location correctly) that was just the jumping off point for my mtb explorations from the M-F region. Spent a lot of time cycling the backroads from College Place homebase as well.

Back to the thread ... if a person wants some different riding in the WW2 region and can do an hours worth of driving, there are some really good XC trails in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick-Pasco-Richland) area about 45 miles away. Best during the late fall/winter/spring months since its in a desert region of the state. Excellent during spring when the wildflowers are blooming and you're slaloming through the sagebrush.
 

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Yup

We must have crossed paths. 1992 Biology. I started with engineering and figured I could not handle more than calculus, but did stay over in your building with Dr. Johnson as a physics assistant. I thought I rode with all Walla Walla mountain bikers, there weren't many of us.

Every free weekend, if we could afford gas, we would be down at South Fork, biking. I have very fond memories of the North and South fork trails ridden with good friends. I think I learned the concept of the 'bonk' on those trails.

Vaughn Smith
 

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Hey,

Nice choice with Whitman. Class of '00 myself. You probably realize that Kevin Pogue is a Geology Prof. there - so if nothing else just stop by his office when you get there and I'm sure he'd be glad to give you the lowdown.
 
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