Trail:South Fork Snoqualmie
From Evergreen Trail Guide
Phase 1 (4.3 miles) was completed in 2009 and Phase 2 (3.2 miles) was started in 2011 and is open for riding, but won't be completely finished until Oct 2012. Evergreen is applying for Phase 3 grant funding which we hope will add another 6 miles in 2013 and 2014.
Previously, this project area was often called "Olallie"; we now use that name only for the State Parks trail project near Cedar Butte ( Olallie).
Phase 1 - Hansen Ridge - Completed
2 options for riding Hansen Ridge: 1) 8+ mile all trail out & back from the lower trailhead to the upper trailhead and back; or 2) ~6 mile road+trail loop -- ride the road up to the upper trailhead and take the 4.3 mi trail back to the lower trailhead.
See Hansen Ridge for more information.
Phase 2 - Under Construction
There are a couple of recommended Phase 2 ride options: 1) ~10 mile reverse lollipop from the Hansen Ridge trailhead to where the eastern segment of Phase 2 trail ends; and 2) ~19 mile reverse lollipop out to Harris lake and back. Details below.
Years of Behind the Scenes Work
A huge thanks needs to go out to the Evergreen volunteers who worked tirelessly on this project for almost fifteen years. If it wasn't for the work of, among others, Art Tuftee, Brian Jones, Preston Peterson, and more recently Doug Walsh and Justin Vander Pol, this project never would have happened. We still need to work towards getting approval (a new ATM plan) to build new singletrack to compliment the 23 mile road-to-trail system, but we've taken a huge step in the right direction thanks to the years of work of these key volunteers. A huge thanks also to our partners, the US Forest Service and the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
Roads to Trails
These roads won't simply be abandoned, but large excavators will come in and pull the old tailings up to re-create the natural slope of the mountain (or as close to it as possible). Then trails will be placed in the area that has been filled in.
Evergreen has been providing design guidance to the Forest Service and Mountains to Sound to ensure that the new trail is the best possible. The trail will meandered back and forth along the former road prism, and obstacles such as old logs and stumps will be placed alongside the trail to provide visual obstacles.
How to find it
This area is defined as the Forest Service owned land bordered by
- - I-90 to the north
- - Cedar River Watershed to the south
- - Olallie State Park to the west (exit 38)
- - Hansen Creek to the east (exit 47)
The primary access is from the Hansen Ridge Trailhead (exit 47 off of I-90 and up Rd 5510). See Hansen Ridge for more info. Other access points can be found from the Iron Horse Trail, Rd 9020 from exit 38 and the McLellan Butte trail from exit 42. (Note: bikes are only allowed on the lowest segment of the McLellan Butte trail from the Iron Horse trail down to Tinkham Rd).
Only rideable in summer and fall due to snow.
As of Aug 4 2012 -- all good with a few roughed-in sections that may be wet or may require hike-a-bike. Ride report here: MTBR Aug 4 2012 Ride Report
There are several option -- all of the following start from the Hansen Creek Lower Trailhead and parking area:
- 6 mile road+trail loop (P1 Only): ride the 5510 road up to the upper trailhead --> at ~1.7 miles you'll reach the gate --> take a right before the gate onto the Hansen Ridge Trail --> it will climb for about 1.5 miles from 3800ft up to 4100ft and then start to go down again --> at 1.7 miles you'll reach an intersection -- Phase 2 goes to the left but you'll stay straight on the Hansen Ridge trail --> it's about 2.6 miles from the intersection back to the car at the lower trailhead at 3400ft.
- 8+ mile all trail out & back (P1 Only): ride the Hansen Ridge trail from the lower trailhead at 3400ft to the high point at 4100ft --> stay straight and skip the right turn onto P2 --> reach the upper trailhead at 3800ft --> turn around and back to the car.
- 10.5 mile reverse lollipop (logging road -> upper P1 -> eastern segment of P2 -> and back via lower P1): ride the 5510 road to the upper trailhead -> take the Hansen Ridge trail to the Phase 2 intersection -> take a left and follow the trail until it ends on a logging road -- turn around and come back --> take a left at the intersection back onto the Hansen Ridge trail --> back to car at the lower trailhead.
- 19 mile reverse lollipop (logging road -> Upper P1 -> eastern P2 segment -> logging road -> western P2 segment up to Harris Lake -> and back via lower P1): same as the 10.5 mile option, but continue on the road after the trail ends --> follow the 510 and then 9020 road for ~2 miles --> take a left onto the 310 road --> follow the road for ~1.25 miles and it will turn into new (incomplete) road-to-trail conversion --> follow the new trail for a mile up to Harris Lake.
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.
In the early 1990s a policy change within Washington State Parks meant that mountain bikes lost access to many trails that we were previously allowed to ride. In response, State Parks applied for a grant to study potential new mountain biking area. Several user groups, including the Washington Trails Association, Sierra Club, Middle Fork Outdoor Recreation Coalition, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and others reached an informal consensus regarding the general suitability of the South Fork Snoqualmie area (referred to as the Olallie Study Area) for future mountain bike trails.
The Olallie Area Mountain Bike Trails Study was completed and published in 2002. It identified the area as suitable for mountain bike trails, and included Forest Service land and Olallie State Park.
As a result of the study, there is now formal approval for new trail in the adjacent Olallie State Park, and this road-to-trail conversion in the National Forest. In the future, as funding becomes available, the two trail systems will connect at Mt. Washington and provide over twenty-five miles of singletrack made up of new singletrack and road to trail conversion.
In 2002 BBTC proposed a 30 mile trail network in this area based on a concept created by Art Tuftee in response to the Olallie Study. The proposal want meant to be the first step in realizing a larger trail network in this area.
In January, 2009, the Forest Service issed a final decision in favor of the road-to-trails conversion and road decomissioning plan. That means the project could no longer be appealed, and we moved forward with the first steps of converting old forest road to singletrack.
In the summer of 2009 Evergreen was awarded a $75,000 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant. This funding was combined with grants for road decommissioning that Mountains to Sound Greenway brought to the project, and allowed the first section of trail to be created on Hansen Ridge in September 2009.
Summer 2011, Evergreen was awarded another $75,000 RTP grant and work is under way on the second phase of this project.
Currently funding is available for the first segment of road-to-trail conversion. We are actively seeking funds to do the next segment of conversion, and will continue with this until all 20+ miles of available roads are converted to singletrack.
Beyond that, the Forest Service, and other user groups, have agreed that this is an appropriate place for new singletrack. However, a new Access and Travel Management Plan (ATM Plan) must be completed in order to build new singletrack beyond what is scoped out in the current decision (mostly road-to-trails). A new ATM will require securing up to $300,000 to carry out the studies and pay for Forest Staff time to manage the project. ATM plans can take 5-8 years to complete, due to the rigid comment, response and appeal process. This is a long-term project, but Evergreen will keep pushing forward, as the South Fork Snoqualmie area represents a huge opportunity to create a legacy trail network.
Olallie State Park
The South Fork Snoqualmie area is bordered by Olallie State Park, to the south. The 2002 Olallie Area Mountain Bike Trail Study included both the South Fork and Olallie State Park. Once all 20 miles of road are converted to singletrack, this system will be connected to the Olallie State Park mountain bike trail at Mt. Washington.
Currently, there is no funding to build the Mt. Washington trail in Olallie State Park. As always, we just need to keep writing grants and searching for funding to finish the trail. This will happen, but it will take several years.
More info about Olallie State Park.
Road to Trail Conversion Analysis
This is an analysis of the initial proposal put forward by the Forest Service and Mountain to Sound Greenway Trust in September, 2007.
As point of reference, the road climb up to the Preston RR Trail on Tiger Mountain, starting at the lower parking lot and ending at the intersection of the crossover road, has a 9.8% grade. This is 1367 ft elevation gain over 2.65 miles (13,992 ft).
Public Scoping Document for NEPA. This has now been fully approved.
Proposed Action Map. Compliment to the NEPA Scoping Doc.
View from 4000ft: