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Dropping into Unemployment Line. Rider: Greg Heil

Pedal the PNW: 5 Best MTB Trails in Washington State

Uncover the diverse Washington riding scene with these 5 incredible rides!

Mountain Biking Difficult, Severe

Dropping into Unemployment Line. Rider: Greg Heil
Dropping into Unemployment Line. Rider: Greg Heil Photo: Craig T.


The mountain bike scene in the Pacific Northwest is renowned for its gnarly freeride lines, massive dirt jumps, and steep downhill trails. But along with the steep, loamy fall line trails, Washington is also home to incredible singletrack that runs for miles and miles. In this guidebook, you’ll get the best of both worlds!

Narrowing this guidebook down to just five choices was no small feat, but these five trails all make a convincing case for their inclusion! To start, Galbraith Mountain is arguably the most renowned trail system in the state, and Unemployment Line is the flow trail that helped make it famous. But there’s so much more to ride at Galbraith, and many of the other routes in the network could have also made this list. For more info, check out the dedicated Galbraith Mountain guidebook.

Many of the best trails in Washington are found near the population center of Seattle, including Duthie Hill and Tiger Mountain. Duthie boasts perfectly-sculpted jump lines of varying difficulties, and Tiger provides gnarly enduro-style riding at its finest.

Heading further out of Seattle, Skookum Flats is an old school cross country pedal along the banks of the roaring White River that provides a classic deep, dark Washington feel.

Finally, for a true backcountry epic in an otherworldly landscape, you have to ride the Ape Canyon -> Plains of Abraham -> Smith Creek epic. This lengthy backcountry ride provides an up-close and personal tour of "the lunar landscape of the Mt. St. Helens blast zone,” as Abby Joffe puts it on RootsRated.com.

Routes included

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