Whether you live in Seattle or you’re making a pilgrimage to the PNW’s lush forests and loamy brown pow dirt, the city’s surrounding landscapes are great for lovers of mountain bikes. Vastly underrated in terms of access to the great outdoors, Seattle’s geographic positioning between Puget Sound and the western foot of the Cascade Mountains gives way to an incredible variety of trails for mountain bikes.
From gruelling grinds up steep switchbacks to fast, flowy descents with smooth berms and lots of ferns, the riding here is truly world-class. To get the skinny on Seattle’s best mountain bike trails, we consulted the experts at evo Seattle’s mountain bike shop — a local shop that offers gear from top brands like Santa Cruz Bikes and Transition, helmets, accessories, events, bike repair service and more. Scroll through and scope out the top trailheads to pay a visit to around Seattle:
1. DUTHIE HILL
The longtime crown jewel for mountain bikers in the Greater Seattle Area, Duthie Hill Bike Park is positioned on the Issaquah Plateau roughly 25 minutes from the heart of Seattle. With 16 miles of relatively quick and fun interconnected trails sprawling out from a central hub, Duthie’s 23 trails offer something for everyone; there are jump- and drop-strewn flow trails, XC trails, and more technical wood ladders and balance beams for those who are so inclined. If you’re a newer mountain biker or simply new to the Seattle area, this is a great first stop.
2. RAGING RIVER
The Raging River trail system is one of the area’s newest offerings and quickly becoming a local favourite. Although the Raging River network is planned to eventually connect with Tiger Mountain (see ‘Tiger Mountain’ below), it currently offers an epic 45 miles of trail with 30 distinct routes. Some of the local favourites are Poppin’ Tops, Flow State, and if you’re really feeling ambitious, the full loop. Just 35 minutes outside Seattle off of I-90’s Exit 27, the Raging River mountain bike trailhead is a great place for a workout pedal up and fun, flowy descent.
3. TOKUL EAST & WEST
Situated between Fall City and Snoqualmie Pass, just 35 minutes outside of Seattle, the Tokul trail system is divided into East and West portions with separate trailheads — although they can both be accessed from the connecting Snoqualmie Valley Trail. As far as the style of riding goes, the trails at Tokul West tend to be more XC style throughout while Tokul East has more enduro style trails with logging road ascents and faster, flowy and sometimes even aggressive descents.
4. TIGER MOUNTAIN
Tiger Mountain is often regarded as the PNW mountain biker’s mecca. With a massive system of 49 trails stretching over 46 miles, Tiger has a wide variety of trails for everyone from beginners to pros. The climb to the top via Master Link is relatively mild up moderately graded switchbacks but provides access to several white knuckle trails back down (think ‘Predator’) as well as several other classics like Off The Grid or Fully Rigid. With tons of looping variations possible, Tiger can feel like a whole new place every time you ride it.
Located 45 minutes from Seattle just beyond the popular hiking trail to Rattlesnake Ledge, Olallie is a one-way trail that you can pedal up as far as your heart desires. Put simply, you get out what you put in as the further you climb, the more you get to enjoy the extremely smooth and bermy singletrack ride back down. With great natural drainage and work parties routinely buffing it out, the Olallie trail is a stellar ride year round.
Still reading this? You shouldn’t be. Round up your mountain bike gear, make sure your two-wheeled stallion isn’t in need of any bike repair (if it is, swing on by evo Seattle for a quick bike tune up — our friendly bike mechanics would be happy to help you) and get out there! Want to learn more or discover even more great trails? Check out evo’s complete guide to Seattle mountain bike trails for a detailed overview of all the best rides both here and beyond.