From Evergreen Trail Guide
This classic loop takes you to the highest singletrack in Washington. You spend a lot of time pedaling at 7000 feet, and get as high as 8000 feet. The loop here includes Cooney Lake and Horsehead Pass.
How to find it
Coming from Winthrop
- Hwy 20 south. (continue 11 miles passing through Twisp)
- Right on Hwy 153 south heading toward Wenatchee. (continue 13 miles, passing through Carlton along the way)
- Right on Gold Creek Rd. This road is "T" shaped with the top of the "T" paralleling the Hwy and intersecting it at both ends. At 1.5 miles turn right (west) to continue on the main part of Gold Creek Road. (continue 1 mile)
- Right on FR 4340. Crater Creek TH is no longer signed on 4340. (continue 5 miles)
- Bear right at the fork just after Foggy Dew CG to stay on FR 4340. (continue 1.5 miles)
- Left on (spur) FR 300 (continue uphill 1-2 miles to the trailhead)
This is a demanding ride with over 5000' of climbing and decent at elevation, lots of loose rocky conditions and hike-a-bike. Average ride times are 5-8hrs. Please carry plenty of food and water, and budget plenty of time to complete the ride safely. The scenery at Cooney lake is especially gorgeous, but do not spend too long here as it's early on in the ride.
Bcrowley20 09:15, 24 September 2013 (PDT) Everything is in good shape. One blowdown on the Martin Creek trail which is easy to get over. The locals have done some recent work on the trails - very well done work too! The larches are just starting to turn color.
Most riders agree that this loop is far better in the clockwise direction. If you have not ridden this route before, budget extra time for navigation. There are several unmarked intersections and areas where the trail is not immediately visible. Tips: at Cooney Lake, stay left to continue climbing up to Angel's Staircase. Climbing up from the lake is hike-a-bike due to loose steep rocky conditions. At the top of this ridge there is an unmarked intersection- stay right here and maintain your elevation. Do not take the left which drops down into a valley!
Local Points of Interest
Here you might list nearby places to get a bite to eat, nearby bike shops, etc.
Here you mention anything that doesn't fit in the other categories.
This is for information about the trail's history with respect to mountain biking, the land owner, etc.