When you think of Seattle, a mountain biker’s paradise probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. After all, this is a city that is more famous for its coffee and rain than outdoor cycling.
In contrast, British Columbia proudly boasts some of the best mountain bike trails in the world, with almost all of the top 100 trails on Trailforks being located in BC. So when Matt Paul from Seattle Mountain Bike Tours made the bold claim that there were some amazing trails in the area that could rival the likes of those found in BC, I was eager to try them out.
The Best Skills Park In The Country
Our first stop was Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park – fantastic skills park for all experience levels thanks to its selection of 26 trails that are spread across 130 acres of lush forest. The compact nature of the park allows you to quickly check out all the different trails and try out the many features such as berms, drops, wooden bridges, skinny and pump tracks. A dedicated group of volunteers works tirelessly to maintain the park and it is the best place I’ve ever seen for skills progression.
My journey then continued onto Raging River, where I was introduced to an awesome flow trail called Poppin’ Tops. This long fast flowy downhill trail is exactly the type of trails that I love riding and it reminded me of Half Nelson in Squamish.
Raging River State Forest is a collaboration between the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, to promote mountain biking in Washington. It’s great to see both local government and advocacy groups working together to create these amazing trails.
Our last stop was Tiger Mountain to ride a new trail called Inside Passage that will eventually be linked with Raging River to create a vast 40-mile trail system. Tiger Mountain is Washington’s most popular riding area and I was certainly impressed with the quality of the trails. I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing how this area develops as the new trail systems get completed.
My guide Matt – a former downhill racer, offered excellent guidance throughout the length of my trip. He was happy to offer me pointers when needed and shared his extensive knowledge of the local area and I have to admit that the trails in Washington could give those in BC a run for their money.
If you’re someone who likes to explore new trails in different areas but doesn’t want to get lost in the woods or spend hours on end searching for the best trails to ride on, a guided tour is a great option. Seattle Mountain Bike Tours is Seattle’s only mountain bike tour company and they offer several tours for all skill levels, from hardcore riders to anyone just curious about what mountain biking is all about.
Seattle may be more known for its rain and coffee but it is a hidden gem for mountain biking. The trail networks are fantastic and it’s great to see both advocacy groups and landowners working together to make them even better. If you’re looking for something new and fun to ride, especially if you’re in BC, I highly recommend checking out the trails in Washington.