Backcountry Epics (Summer)
From Evergreen Trail Guide
What is an epic ride?
Debate has raged for years on what rides qualify as epic rides. Criteria mentioned include being far from civilization, high mileage (e.g. over 20 miles), high percentage of single track trail, substantial amounts of elevation gain, taking most or all of a day to complete, great views, beautiful nature.
Part of the definition of a back country ride is that you'll be far from civilization, from your car, and from medical help. You may not run into anyone else all day. Please be prepared for the possibility that your ride may not go as planned. Research how to prepare and what to bring along. This includes thinking about weather, extra food and water, tools for minor bike mishaps, first aid, etc. You should never do a back country ride based on information from this website alone. Bring a decent map, consult the USFS rangers where appropriate, etc.
These trails are suggested routes or combinations that can be used to make an epic ride.
Within an hour of Seattle.
- The Middle Fork Snoqualmie River trail is within an hour of Seattle and lends itself to a huge loop, e.g. up the forest road and back down the trail. The upper parts of the trail above Goldmyer Hot Springs are the nicest parts.
3 hour drive south of Seattle.
- Combining Plains of Abraham, Ape Canyon, and Lewis River makes one of the classic Washington back country epics.
The 410 area near Greewater is a couple hours from Seattle via Enumclaw.
- Skookum Flats plus White River possibly combined with Suntop. Going up Ranger Creek and down Palisades is a common backcountry adventure.
Yakima is on the east side of White Pass, about a 4 hour drive from Seattle.
Accessible by ferry or you can drive around the sound to these gems.
- Dungeness-Gold Creek Loop. (Mount Muller isn't really long enough to be an epic by itself, but it's not an easy ride.) (4 hours from Seattle)
- Mount Constitution (Orcas Island, 4 hours from Seattle)
Cle Elum Area (Teanaway)
About 2 to 2.5 hours east of Seattle via I-90.
- Mid Fork Teanaway/Jolly Creek/Jolly Mountain/ Lower West Fork Teanaway (some hike/bike)
- DeRoux/ Esmerelda as a lollipop from the Boulder drainage adds a tough climb at the start and techy descent at the end, turning the standard Esmeralda loop into a more epic ride.
- Tronsen Ridge can be used for a tough all-day loop.
- Cooney Lake - Angels Staircase (Methow Valley, 4 hr drive from Seattle)
- Nason Ridge
- Pyramid Mountain Out & Back. ("Better views when done from the N Fork Entiat Trailhead.")
- Devils Gulch and Mission Ridge can be combined for a shorter ride (up DG to the saddle, back down MR) or for the longer "figure 8" route that goes higher to the ski area.
- High Rock/Sawtooth/Mt. Osborne (some road) (3 hr drive from Seattle)
- Juniper Ridge (4 hr drive from Seattle)
- Blue Lakes Buttes-Yozoo-Hamilton Peak/Buttes (4 hr drive from Seattle)
- Kettle Crest South (Snow Peak Cabin/Sherman Loop) (5 hr drive from Seattle)
These are shorter back country rides you can do to work up to longer and tougher back country rides.
Material on this page was sourced from a discussion on the BBTC Yahoo Group. Thanks to those who contributed there.