Methow Valley Singletrack
The Methow Valley in northern Washington state is a really special place to ride your mountain bike. The rivers are at about 2000 feet and the ridge tops are at about 7000 feet and in between there is all kinds of awesome rolling, climbing, zooming world class singletrack trails. Top it off with incredible alpine views and a glimpse or two of an actual glacier and you can see why this is one of our very favorite trips.
We ride up to glacial mountain lakes, ride down through forests, zip alongside rivers and through sage brush hills. The unforgettable descent of the Foggy Dew trail will leave you giddy for days. This trip has it all and Methow Valley will put all of your singletrack skills to use. Ready to join us? Give us a call for more details about this guided cycling adventure!
After meeting in Wenatchee, we will shuttle into the heart of the Methow Valley to our first camp at Lightning Creek. From here we will ride east on a forest service road for a couple of miles to our first trailhead. Once on the singletrack we will climb up the middle fork of Beaver Creek. It’s a steep but fun challenge and the downhill will be worth it. When we reach our high point we’ll jump on the Starvation Road and continue on the ridge to a spectacular viewpoint. We’ll descend on the Lightning Creek Trail itself. The tricky sections are at the top of the trail, and we are soon flying through the forest all the way back to our camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 16 miles
Today we will head for the high country along the Sawtooth Ridge. We will begin with a climb that starts quite gently and becomes more challenging as we near the top. The views are amazing as we work our way up the drainage between Martin Peak and Mount Bigelow on our way to Eagle Lake and Horsehead Pass. After a picnic by the lake (and perhaps a quick dip) we will retrace our route down, down, down to our camp at Foggy Dew. TOTAL MILEAGE: 16 miles
From the Foggy Dew Trailhead we will begin this classic loop with a gentle morning climb. The trail meanders through the trees and the pace is easy going. It gets a bit steeper, but the trail tread is good and the spinning continues. Then we will arrive in Merchant’s Basin, a beautiful alpine paradise where wildflowers abound. You may notice the trail to the top of the ridge—at first it doesn’t look too bad as it makes its way diagonally up through the rocky scree, but at some point the going gets rough and most of us will find ourselves pushing a bit before we reach the top. And now for the big reward—one of our all time favorites—a big, swooping alpine descent. The real deal—worth every minute of the climb! You will recall this descent with fondness for the rest of your days! TOTAL MILEAGE: 21 miles
This morning we will pack up camp and shuttle over to Buck Mountain. Today’s ride takes us out of the trees and into the sagebrush, with great views of the Methow Valley. A gentle climb up the road leads to buff, winding, giggle-inducing singletrack and eventually down to Buck Lake where we will have lunch and take another optional lap on the trail before heading to our next camp. TOTAL MILEAGE: 8 - 16 miles
From our camp we will begin with a nice warm-up along the North Creek Road before finding the Twisp River Trailhead and jumping on the singletrack for the rest of the day’s journey. The headwaters for the Twisp River are in the North Cascade Mountains and it drains into the Methow River and ultimately the Columbia. The Native Americans called the Methow River Buttlemuleemauch, which means “salmon falls river.” The trail begins with some short technical sections as it crosses a dramatic scree slope along the lower shoulder of the mountain. Then we’ll finish with some sweet buff singletrack. After a final lunch we will reluctantly return to civilization. TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 miles
This tour contains some very difficult riding on narrow, steep mountain trails. A high level of skill and fitness is required to enjoyably navigate much of the route. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride and medical help is far away. If you do not consider yourself to be an expert rider and doubt your ability to complete this tour, please call us and we can help you determine whether this trip is appropriate for you. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Riding Surface: Singletrack, mostly firm pack, some loose pumice, smooth pine duff and rocky sections. Some dirt roads.
Overall Rating: Intermediate/Advanced (2 technical, steep days, 3 intermediate days)
Technical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Many steep climbs and rocky sections.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Altitude: 2,000 - 7,000 feet
For travel logistics and a packing list, please download the complete trip itinerary.