EASY BIKE RIDES
Here are a few places to go for the novice mountain biker or someone just looking to go for a relaxing spin without climbing a strenuous hill or attacking a high-speed downhill trail.
BLUE DIAMOND LOOP:
Take a left out of our driveway and travel up Highway 410 about 1/2 mile. Take a right into Silver Creek campground. Take the first left and look for the blue diamond trail markers. This is a beautiful trail that twists through the forest along the White River. You will cross a few roots and have some fun turns over the winding trail. The trail will take you back to Highway 410 at the entrance of Mount Rainier National Park (1 1/2 miles from here). It is fun to ride the trail back to where you started again (you can go back a bit faster since you will have familiarized yourself with the terrain). Alternatively, at the end of the trail, you can cross Highway 410 near the park entrance and then take the first right (after Crystal Mountain Boulevard, the main paved road up to Crystal Mountain) onto a gravel road that parallels the highway. It’s fun to peek at all the old cabins along the way. There will be plenty of potholes for you to hop over. The road will end at FS7174, where you can take a left back out to Highway 410, then right for ¼ mile to Alta Crystal Resort.
BUCK CREEK CAMP
For another great place to go, take a right out of our driveway. Travel about 1 mile on Highway 410 and take a left at Buck Creek FS7160. Immediately after you cross the White River turn left through the small parking area. The trail parallels the White River through the forest with campsites on your right. There are plenty of small roots to practice your hopping skills or just to bump over. Also, there are a lot of spurs off the trail to the right that will take you to the Buck Creek Airstrip. If you cross the airstrip there is a dirt road (FS7160210) that also has many spurs to the right. You can pedal all over this area and find yourself on numerous twisty trails that all loop back to the main dirt road, adjacent to the airstrip. This area offers a lot of terrain that can easily keep you entertained for hours with enough fun roots to keep all levels of riders challenged. It will be the beautiful river views and enormous trees that take your breath away—not the fear of a trail that is too difficult.
BUCK CREEK FOREST SERVICE ROAD
If you prefer to spin on a dirt road rather than hitting the trails, we suggest FS7160. Turn right out of our driveway and travel about 1 mile to Buck Creek FS7160. Turn left and cross the White River. The road will “Y”. To the left is FS7160210 (this road is adjacent to the Airstrip and loops around back to itself—short but beautiful ride). To the right FS7160 continues. You will pass Buck Creek Camp and Conference Center and wind up several gentle switchbacks. On the way up you will find a great spot to view the Dalles Ridge on your right (look for mountain goats and Snoquera Falls). This road climbs for several miles. You will cross many creeks and may possibly startle an elk or deer on the journey (most common on the way back down). If you are traveling on this road during Huckleberry season, you can reward your efforts at the top of the climb with some delicious berries. Once you have reached the top, you will have a fantastic view of the White River Valley and again the Dalles Ridge. The view is breathtaking!
Another fun loop on a dirt road is to go left out of our driveway onto 410 for just about ¼ mile. Turn left on FS7174 (Corral Pass Road) and ride up the hill past several old cabins. Take a right on FS 7176 (towards Crystal Mountain) and then turn right again so that you’re going back down the hill. You’ll pass lots of old cabins on your way down. The road will ultimately parallel Highway 410. When you reach the end, you can either cross the road and take the blue diamond trail (see the first trail in this section) or ride on the highway back to Alta Crystal.
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS:
To make your ride even more enjoyable, here are some tips:
- Always look ahead, ride with caution, and please wear a helmet! (If you’re renting one of our bikes, a helmet is required.)
- When approaching a root, if you are going fast enough you will most likely bump over the smallish ones. If you wish to lift your front wheel over it, use one leg as the “power leg” (upper position on the pedal) and push the pedal down hard as you pull the handlebars toward your chest. You can practice this on the gravel road.
- When approaching a downhill section, lift out of your seat and push your bottom back behind it and hover. Keep your pedals parallel and keep your knees and elbows unlocked. This will give you more braking power and prevent you from going over the handlebars helmet first.
- Hovering over your seat is a good idea when riding over bumpy sections too. Keep your arms and legs as relaxed as possible and they will work as great shocks.
- When approaching an uphill section, shift down according to the steepness, if it is very steep use the smallest cogs, sit at the front of your seat and put your chest close to the handlebars, pedal fast and furious. Uncomfortable—but will help get you up the hill and prevent the front wheel from lifting off the ground.