Mountain Bike Trails - Seattle

Below is a collection of several mountain bike trails I've explored around Seattle; conditions and access to some trails can vary considerably, so always check the latest conditions.

The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance is the premier mountain biking association in Washington State, please see their website for a range of additional MTB information.

I-5 Colonnade

 The definitive location for urban mountain biking in Seattle; amazing amount of construction.  Something for all riders.

There's a variety of terrain for all levels.


Skill levels: All skill levels, trails are marked using the green/blue/black system familiar to skiers and snowboarders
Location: Underneath the freeway in Eastlake, for parking to the west of I-5, park along Franklin; to the east, park along Lakeview. The entrance from the south looks like this:


I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park

Trail map/route info:
Thanks to Evergreen, there's plenty of good maps available. The one below was freely distributed, for more information, see this page, otherwise click the thumbnail below to see the full-size map.

Winter Riding:
 Because it's under the freeway, this is a great place to ride all-year round, in any weather conditions. I don't believe it's lit at night, so daylight hours only.

Green Lake Jumps

These don't really count as trails, more of a way to break up a ride around the city. They're located behind the southernmost soccer field at Green Lake.

Skill levels: all
 Hard to see them from the road, but just park in the lots in front of the soccer fields or better yet, pedal to them.

Green Lake Jumps

Trail map/route info: No need for a map here; in addition to the jumps, there's a couple of trails to the west that connect to the upper portion of the park.
Winter Riding:
 Fine to ride all year round

Renton - Tapeworm, Crop Circles, DNA

Update 7/16/12: there are many new man-made ladder bridges and other obstacles had been upgraded. Not sure when, but I suspect Evergreen or some other group has been maintaining them.

Collection of three trails packed onto a small amount of power company land, very technical and challenging.

Skill levels: intermediate to expert
 Start at Phillip Arnold Park.The access road is closed to cars, so you will need to ride a little beyond the gate to reach the start of the trails.

Tapeworm, Crop circles, DNA

Trail map/route info:
 From the parking lot at Phillip Arnold Park, ride through the gates, trails will be on the right (south). The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has a very handy map of the trails.
 Trail page from Evergreen MTB
Winter Riding:
 Can get pretty sloppy in places, but definitely ride-able in all but the worst weather, especially with the tree cover.

South SeaTac

Very nice range of trails in this small area; recent construction has decimated the once-impressive flow park.

Skill levels: Beginner to expert,  but mostly easy terrain, includes a paved, multi-use trail as well.
Map: There are many ways to access the trails, but the primary starting point is the parking lot off 200th.

Parking Lot for South SeaTac

Trail map/route info:
 Many trails to ride here, although construction activities have reduced the overall footprint. This map from Evergreen gives a good idea of the layout.

Here's one of my recent rides, showing most of the post-construction trails:

South SeaTac

 The Singletrack page has a lot of good information
Winter riding:
 Most trails are hard-packed and under cover, so it's rideable in the winter.

Saint Edward State Park

Another great course, just on the other side of Lake Washington, 15 or more miles of trails, lots to explore. Some technical parts, some easier. A little something for everyone. Keep an eye out for dog-walkers and hikers.

Skill levels: Easier than others on this list, but many challenging places if you know where to look.
Map: The park is on the northeast side of Lake Washington, off Juanita. Park in either lot at the end of St Edwards Drive (not Seminary Rd).

St Edwards State Park

Trail map/route info: Here's a track of one of my rides, to give you a feel for where the trails are.

St. Edwards St. Park


Winter riding:
The trail holds up quite well in the winter and since it's in town, never snow, only wet and mud. The canopy keeps a lot of the rain off you as well. Great place to ride during the winter.

Misc: A couple of pictures from a winter 2010 ride:

Grand Ridge

This a fun little trail system on Granite Ridge in Issaquah, it can be accessed at the north end at the bottom of  Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park off the Issaquah-Fall City Road:

Northern end of the Grand Ridge Trail; across the street (Issaquah-Fall City Rd) from Duthie Park.

Personally, I like to start at the south end,  the small parking lot on the north side of I-90 at the High Point Exit (exit 20).

The trailhead at High Point, exit 20 off I-90.

Ride along the Issaquah-Preston Trail for about a mile, entrances to the trails will be on your right. The first trail is steeper, but a more direct ride to the top of the ridge. The first trailhead looks like this:

The first trailhead as you head west from the High Point parking lot. You can climb the ridge here, but the next trail is a little gentler.

The second has two branches, one of which is seen below. These are a little gentler, longer, but easier on the legs.

The start of the second trailhead when starting from High Point. It soon splits into two branches which work their way up the ridge.

It's possible to connect  to Duthie Hill and the mountain bike park there, but there is currently a gap that's in the process of being replaced with a boardwalk. As of January 2011, the boardwalk is almost complete, there is only a 10-foot gap remaining.

The nearly-finished connection over the swamp along the Grand Ridge Trail near Duthie Park.

See this post for more information.

Skill levels:some pretty nice downhill runs, but not a lot of technical track
 Map: There's a number of access points to the trails. One way is to park at the trailhead off the High Point exit on I-90:

Trailhead at High Point

Here's the route from High Point to Duthie Hill using the second trailhead:

High Point To Duthie Hill Via Grand Ridge Trails

And the route back, this time using the first trailhead to exit:

Duthie Hill To High Point Via Grand Ridge Trail

Trail map/route info:
The King County Parks Department has an excellent map of the trails, click on the thumbnail to see the full map.

Winter riding:
It gets quite muddy and sloppy in the winter, and quite a challenge to climb in the muck, but I've never had it be too bad to ride.

West Tiger Mountain

One of the best-known and challenging rides near Seattle; this one can get crowded after work and on the weekends.

Update 9/4/12: the East Summit Trail is complete

Update 12/15/10: Looks like a new East Summit trail will be coming soon, see here for more information.

Skill levels:  intermediate to expert, some of the singletrack can be a bit challenging.
 Map: Access the roads from Highway 18, south of I-90. There are lower and upper lots. The map above shows the lower lot; the upper lot is sometimes closed.

West Tiger Parking Lot

Trail map/route info:
From the lower lot, head right (west) at the junction and follow Main Tiger Mountain Road up approximately 2.5 miles to a junction, go left and the entrance to the Preston RR trail will be on your right. Follow it down for a few miles, cross the first forest road, follow the last small segment of trail, exit and turn right on the next forest road and follow for a mile or so to the next junction, where you pickup the Northwest Timber Trail. From there, it's 2.3 miles back to the lots.
Winter riding: 

Lake Sawyer/Black Diamond

 Great collection of trails on the east side of Lake Sawyer; not a lot of elevation, but very fun, challenging track. Very nice flow park with lots of jumps.

Skill levels:  intermediate, all riders should find something they can enjoy.
 Map: The map shows one of many parking spots around the general area bounded by the lake, 288th and 169/Black Diamond Road. Look for the turnouts.

Access point

Trail map/route info:
 One of my example rides is below, and another sample ride can be found here.

Lake Sawyer Ride

Winter riding: 

These are probably my favorite trails in the Seattle area, and I've talked to many others who feel the same way. This is true mountain biking, just outside Mt Rainier National Park, on single-track winding along the White River and nearby locations. The video below should give you an idea of the experience. Click the link above for more detailed information.