From Evergreen Trail Guide
Rat Pac Trail is a 4-mile downhill fast, swoopy trail with exciting gravity drops and one large Gravity Bowl. The trail has hard and easy lines and is well marked, there are structure options for more advanced riders. The trail is accessed from Roslyn/Cle Elum using a logging road climb leading to great views from the top of Roslyn Ridge into the Teanaway valley.
This trail is only 90 minutes from Seattle and local lodging is cheap. It's worth spending a weekend in Cle Elum or Roslyn to ride this trail.
For nearby other trail options, see Roslyn Ridge.
How to find it
Directions to Rat Pac Trail from eastbound I-90, Exit 84, Cle Elum Washington:
Two options: From eastbound I-90 take exit 84 and follow the exit road directly down the hill into Cle Elum coming to the Cle Elum flagpole park which will see on your left, at the first light. You may park there in the parking lot on either side of the grass picnic area. Peddle to the north end of the park and you will see 2nd street. Peddle on across Second Street to enter the Coal Miners Trail which is slightly northwest of park after you cross 2nd street. Follow along up the Coal Miners Interpretive trail until you come to the first working road (also known as Alliance or Shaft Street, not #5 Mine Rd) which crosses the trail and turn north (or take a right) and you are on your way to rat pac trail.
From eastbound I-90, take the Roslyn exit and head toward Roslyn on Bullfrog Road where you will come to two roundabouts. Take the second roundabout which will direct you toward Cle Elum. You will come to Alliance Road on your left just before you enter Cle Elum (and across from the high school, take a left there. You will come to the first yellow gate - mentioned in the new directions posted below and you may park there and begin your ride.
Alternate Starting Location in Roslyn If starting here following alternate turn by turn below. Head East on I-90 to the Roslyn exit. Go left over the freeway and head north to the “T” and turn left, heading for Roslyn. In town, turn left at the Brick Tavern on the main street. Go a couple blocks and park in the lot across from the Roslyn Brewery.
Dry and packed. Watch out for structures!
April 5, 2014: There is snow a good portion of the way up. The ridge road was covered and the the trail pretty much non existent until the rock roll/ladder. I was post holing to my knees in places. We did some trail clearing from the rock to bottom so it should be free of down trees. The upper section will require some love as the snow melts. Bring your folding saw with you.
For a map, see the map page on the Rat Pac Trail website.
There will be soon be wooden RPac trail signs posted a bit high in the trees as you go. As you go along, you will come to a yellow gate (it may or may not be open) and pass around the gate always traveling a bit uphill and though a gravel pit area - but just keep going. Don't take the first road you will see on your left but continue on till you come to a T in the road, then turn left. Following this road you will pass though a second yellow gate (which you will have to ride around on most days) and you will continue on always heading uphill staying on the main road.
As you approach the crest of the ridge at the top (about 3.5 miles), you will come to another T in the road. Rat Pac Trail starts on your right - look about nine feet up in the trees, and you will see a small brown and white mountain bike rider sign nailed to the tree. The trail starts between the twin trees, where it says "In Honor of Levi."
Verslowrdr 10:08, 18 July 2010 (PDT)Re-routed trail in 2010 now avoids the long dirt road section to the left. New trail can be a little loose for this first season, wintering/riding in will improve as time goes on.
Rat Pac trail now empties out back into Cle Elum, exiting on Bullet Street. Follow Bullet to First Street turn right and peddle one block back to the flagpole park. Or, some people take the "power line" trail back through the flat area and the mine pits to the gravel bike/pedestrian path. This path will get you back to your car if you parked at the yellow gate on Alliance.
Alternate Turn by Turn for those starting from Roslyn This route includes Roslyn Race route and Rat Pac for more mileage on actual Single Track. Roll out of the parking lot making a left on to W Pennsylvania Ave and then another left on to N 2nd St. Start climbing up the road until you dead end with a trail to your right behind a wooden garage.
This trail is called Ewok and less then a mile long, but a good steep climb. There are a few spurs, but keep on the main trail. When the trail levels off take the right through a brown gate to an overgrown Forest Road. There is a smaller overgrown singletrack trail to the right, but stay left after going through the brown gate.
Follow the forest road. It will start to climb and will split in about a 1/4 mile both roads comes to the same place. Arrive at T (gravel road) make a Right and follow the Forest Road for a while, ignore any spurs. After a bit of Forest Road you will crest a short hill with an old road to your right and a wide trail to the left. The trail on the left has a bit of a trench dug in from winter run off. Climb up the trail about 200 yards look for a trail on the right. That will be Ridge Trail, if the trail starts to steep then you've gone to far.
Once on Ridge follow it around ignore the trail on the Left. Come to a road, cross it and see the rest of the trail on the other side. The trail will go on a bit and then there will be a few short steep climbs. Looking to the right you'll see some abandoned free ride trails. Stay on the main trail until it exits to a road turn right and look for a trail on the left.
This trail is good early season, but by June is very soft and powder like. On the climb up there some large sections of Slick Rock to play on. Continue up the trail until it exits to a road. Great view from both sides here and a great place to get a snack and catch your breath.
Head East (Right) on the road there are two trails you will pass on the left ignore those. The 2nd one is Upper Rat Pac, but after the recent clear cutting the trail is no longer worth riding as the trail can't be found. Continue on the road until coming to a T look South across the road for the Rat Pac sign. It will list color codes for Hard or Easy Routes. The trail is well used, so you won't miss it.
The trail is a nice warm up to what will come there are some jumps and an elevated bridge.
Eventually the trail will climb up into a clear cut area and exit onto the road. Turn left on the road and follow it about 300 yards maybe further. There will be a small area that has been clear cut on the right. Look for a trail entrance in the middle of it. From there the trail pace will pick up with lots of gravity drops and will cross the road multiple times. When coming out to a pave road just keep keeping heading the direction you came out and find the trail on the other side. This will be the last section for Rat Pac. After coming out to the road make a right onto the road ignoring the road to left and start climbing for the next 2 miles ignoring any spurs.
At 2 miles the road will level off and turn right and roll about 30ft. Now get off the bike and walk into the clear area on the left. Go about 50ft and should see an old trail follow it will exit to an old Mine Pit.
When exiting out of the trail and into the Mine Pit turn right and start climbing up. It is steep and lose. Follow it up about 100 yards or less and it will turn into a trail again. The first part of the trail is steep and loose, best to walk it. In about 10ft will come to a T, this is Trail #6 take the left and follow #6 all the way back into town. Once hitting pavement you'll see the parking area to the west.
Local Points of Interest
- Gunnar's Coffee Cabin - Excellent drive though espresso (featuring Pioneer coffee) fresh breakfast & lunches - open 6 - 6pm daily http://gunnarscoffeecabin.zoomshare.com to order ahead - 115 First Street, Cle Elum WA
- Cle Elum Bike & Board, Michael Kidder - First Street, Cle Elum WA http://www.ratpactrail.org
- Forest Service Office - 2nd Street, Cle Elum (heading towards Roslyn on your left)
- Beau's Pizza- corner of 1st St & Harris in downtown Cle Elum, excellent pizza & pasta
- El Caporal Good mexican joint, Negro Modelo on tap, and every combination of tacos/enchiladas/burritos you could think of. Open late on weekends.
- Brick Tavern
- Roslyn Natural Market
- Roslyn Cafe
Salmon La Sac
Excellent swimming hole for post-ride euphoria on the Lake Cle Elum road going towards Salmon La Sac.
There's more info on the Rat Pac Trail website. The site maintainers would also love to receive trail and ride pictures, or news and information.
This is for information about the trail's history with respect to mountain biking, the land owner, etc.