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Friday, June 12, 2015

Shoulder Season Singletrack, May 2015

Dungeness-Gold Creek Loop – touted by some as The Classic Olympics mountain bike ride, this loop has a little of everything. To quote EMBA – “There’s smooth and wide, rocky and exposed, up and down (repeat), logging road climb, fast descents, remote location, rushing river, old growth, and some definite hike-a-bike (you can avoid most of this with a start variation).” And if that isn't tempting enough, the lovely moss-lined trail through old growth forest on the Lower Dungeness combined with the exhilarating downhill for much of the Gold Creek Trail makes this ~19 miler unique and a definite must-do!





Mount Constitution – At first I was skeptical of the claims made about the mtb trails at Moran State Park. Now I can’t believe I waited so long to ride here! Super smooth duff-covered single track, outstanding views overlooking Rosaio Strait and the San Juans, and for those with parents in tow a great shuttle opportunity! A ~10 mile clockwise descent around Mount Moran then along the shore of Mountain Lake ending finally near Cascade Lake seems to be the preferred route taken by most bikers. Note that the best trails are open to mountain bikes from September 15 through May 15 each year.




Stafford Creek – I generally prefer loop rides over OAB’s such as this, but with the added bonus of hiking up nearby Navaho Peak for outstanding up-close views of the Enchantments, an exception had to be made. The amount of hike-a-bike on the ~6 mile ascent (1 mile extra to top of Navaho) detracts from the overall enjoyment, and perhaps only those comfortable with an enduro-style descent over very rough and technical terrain would appreciate this ride. That being said, hiking through the moonscape terrain below Navaho Pass (we unfortunately ditched the bikes before this part) and then ripping down the rough, rocky trail proved to be a very engaging and surprisingly fast and enjoyable descent!




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