Mountain Biking in the Cascade Range

March 08, 2022

Mountain Biking in the Cascade Range

Mountain Biking in the Cascade Range

The North Cascades area is snaked by mountain biking trails, weaving through pine forests and across high alpine meadows. There are profound, extraordinary, and breathtaking views when mountain biking, which constantly evolves with time and season. Whilst there are miles of off-road trails and paths, precautions should also be integrated into your mountain biking planning. Read below our advice on how to prepare to make the most of a mountain biking experience in the Cascade Range.

Biking routes through the Cascade Range

There is a range of mountain biking and cycling routes surrounding the Cascade Range area, which scale across multiple difficulty levels, from easy to difficult, ideal for all biking abilities.

Mountain biking routes for beginners

Experience mountain biking on a beginners level by choosing an easy cycling route in the Cascade Range.

Big Valley Trail

The Big Valley Trail is a flat, smooth, double-track bike trail, great for beginners and families with small children. Covering a total of 3.5 miles, this short but achievable cycling trail can be achieved by all types of biking skill levels. The trail is accessible from the Dripping Spring Road, just off Highway 20 near milepost 186.

West Fork Teanaway Loop

The West Fork Teanaway Loop is an untouched area, with little mountain biking traffic, a perfect path for beginners. This single, 14-mile-long track is an area worth exploring, full of natural and unique sandstone slabs. For this route a discover pass is required. With an incline and descent of 574m, the climb will be well worth the spectacular views followed by a fun ride back down the mountain.

Mountain biking routes for advanced bikers

For the advanced and adventurous mountain bikers, a more off-road, rocky trail throughout the Cascade Range will be the perfect challenge.

Stevens Pass Bike Park

Stevens Pass Bike Park is a mountain pass through the Cascade Mountains located at the border of King County and Chelan County in Washington, United States. Between the months of May and October, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort becomes a perfect mountain bike area, as the winter snow melts away. Located at the top of the Cascade summit, the Stevens Pass Bike Park is the only lifted-assisted downhill mountain biking park in Washington State.

Ranger Creek Loop

Range Creek Loop is a challenging loop trail with a long fire road climb and fast technical descent. This 22.8-mile-long intense mountain bike ride, just northeast of Mt. Rainier, will test your stamina. A tough, 10-mile climb, is rewarded with stunning views of Mt. Rainier, followed by a fast downhill descent on the Ranger Creek Trail. You’ll pick up the final stretch of singletrack toward the end of a trail’s descent, as you ride along the rolling terrain of the White River Trail, before connecting back with Highway 410.

Buck Mountain Loop

The Buck Mountain Loop is a 9-mile stretch of long, flowy singletrack which takes you along the ridgeline of Buck Mountain. You will adventure through a mixture of evergreens and dry bush, leading you to a range of spectacular views throughout the trail. There are two access routes to the trail which are provided on the South West (Cub Creek Road) and North East sides (NF-100).

Devils Gulch

Labelled as an intermediate/difficult trail level, The Devils Gulch is a looped trail that circles the Mission Ridge. Advanced climbers will climb up the 1,208m Devils Gulch incline, to then return down the smooth, sculpted Mission Ridge Trail. For those who aren’t as keen climbers, there is a shuttle available to go up the mountain trail and bypass the 12-mile hike.

Tips to know before Mountain Biking

As well as preparation, adapting any mountain biking skills before your adventure is important, as you will have to keep your balance and momentum whilst riding.

  • Choose the right style of bike
  • Get your bike set up correctly
  • Remember that momentum is your friend
  • Plan your route
  • Take control of your bike.

Hiring a bike

Unless you are a regular and experienced mountain biker, bike rentals in the North Cascades is a popular choice for families or beginners.

  1. Stehekin Discovery Bikes is a family-owned mountain bike rental business, offering hourly or daily bike rentals.
  2. Compass Outdoor Adventures offer team building adventures and activities as well as bike rentals
  3. Pacific Bike and Ski is a mountain bike rental shop based out of Duval
  4. Edge and Spoke are a locally owned and operated mountain bike and ski rental shop based in Redmond, WA.

Camping in the North Cascades

Within the North Cascades National Park there are two main bicycle campground sites, one at Newhalem Creek Campground and one at Colonial Creek south site.

Newhalem Creek Campground

Seasonally open between the months of May to September, The Newhalem Creek is one of the largest campgrounds within the North Cascades National Park. This campground is a short drive or cycle into the small unincorporated community of Newhalem, as well as the perfect base for exploring the North Cascades. It's a popular spot for small to mid-sized RVs and campers with over 107 pull-through sites available. The small Newhalem community is home to popular trailheads including Ladder Creek Falls and the Trail of the Cedars.

Colonial Creek Campground

One of the most popular campgrounds in the North Cascades, Colonial Creek is centrally located within the park, off the North Cascades Highway, near the shores of Diablo Lake. The Colonial Creek Campground is split between a North and South Loop.

The North Loop has 41 campsites, and the South Loop has 96. Most of the camping sites cater to tents and medium-sized RVs, however, no hook-ups are available. The site‘s camping season is open from May to September, however, some lakefront sites on the South Loop remain open during the winter with limited facilities.

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