A 50, 70 or 100 mile off-road ride around Carnation, Sammamish, Issaquah, Preston, Fall City and Snoqualmie.
Take in all the major local singletrack locations in one epic ride. Visit Tolt MacDonald, Soaring Eagle, Duthie, Grand Ridge, Snoqualmie Ridge, Snoqualmie Falls, and Tokul with options for Griffin Creek and Moss Lake too. 90% off-road riding.
The ride got its name because we first did it in 2012 (Mayan calendar and all that stuff) and also because you’ll feel apocalyptic when you’re done.
Start: Carnation, Tolt MacDonald park
- Ride up It’s a Bitch to the Tolt trails, spend as long as you want on the trails, then head out the back exit (newer logging road that bisects Blair Witch) to Ames Lake.
- Ride on the E. and W. Ames Lake Drive NE road around Ames Lake to NE Ames Lake Road (clockwise is probably faster but is hillier)
- Take NE Ames Lake Road to Highway 202
- Head North on 202 to 244th Ave NE just past the Shell gas station (good place to stock up)
- Left on 244th Ave NE, uphill and then left on NE 8th St
- Follow NE 8th St until it does a sharp left turn to 256th Ave NE. Take the turn, then almost immediately turn right into the gravelled back entrance to Soaring Eagle (Beaver Lake) trails.
- Spend as long as you want on the trails, then head out on the woodchip covered pipeline trail to Trossachs Blvd SE.
- Follow Trossachs Blvd SE down to SE Duthie Hill road. Take a right, then almost immediately left into Duthie Hill Park parking lot. Ride the boardwalk to the trails, do a loop of the park, and then take the back exit (fire road between Bootcamp and Movin’ On trails – get there from the log ride on Bootcamp) to SE Issaquah-Fall City road.
- Cross the road and find the trail on the other side that is the start of the Grand Ridge singletrack.
- Ride Grand Ridge down to the Issaquah-Preston trail railroad grade alongside I90.
- At this point you have the option to turn right and ride into Issaquah on the railroad grade, down East Sunset Way to the Rainier Trail (at Rainier Blvd S), crossing 2nd Ave SE and staying on the Rainier Trail until just after you pass the Issaquah High School football field on your left. Take a right uphill on the only trails open to bikers on West Tiger Mountain (High School trail to Puget Power trail). That will bring you out at High Point Way Trailhead, then take SE 79th St down to the High Point exit of I90. Cross under the freeway and hook up with the Issaquah-Preston trail.
- The alternative is just to turn left on the railroad grade towards High Point.
- Cross the road at High Point and continue on the Issaquah-Preston trail towards Preston.
- When the trail ends at SE High Point Way, turn right and then take a left just past SE 79th St. to join the Preston-Snoqualmie trail.
- Ride through the industrial park on the Preston-Snoqualmie trail. There is a gas station and coffee shop on the main road (use SE 84th St) if you need to refuel.
- Continue past the Preston Athletic Fields, cross SE 87th Pl, and then parallel it for a while on the Preston-Snoqualmie trail. Descend on the trail until it takes a sharp right and dumps you on Preston-Fall City Rd SE
- Cross Preston-Fall City Rd SE and head right (away from where you want to end up) for a short distance to re-join the Preston-Snoqualmie trail on your left. Ride the quiet road that parallels the Preston-Fall City Rd for a short while before the Preston-Snoqualmie trail climbs away from the road and re-joins the original railroad grade.
- Ride the railroad grade past Lake Alice Rd SE (porta-potties here). Near the end of the trail, start looking for singletrack off to the right (uphill). Take the Deep Creek singletrack up to Snoqualmie Ridge, coming out into the Snoqualmie Ridge development at Azalea Park (restrooms). Ride around the edge of the park and follow the Silent Creek trail along SE Carmichael St.
- After two blocks (just past Silent Creek Ave SE), the trail takes a left turn into trees. Follow it. It crosses an unnamed road and then SE McCollough St. before reaching Silent Creek Park.
- Do NOT come out on to the road at Silent Creek Park (restrooms). Instead, follow the trail behind the houses until it crosses the power line trail.
- Cross the power line trail, and stay on the singletrack until it hits Snoqualmie Parkway. You want to get to the trail that is almost directly opposite you across Snoqualmie Parkway, but to do that you have to go left to the lights, cross the Parkway, then backtrack on the other side of the road until you find the trail. There are shops just past the lights if you need to stock up.
- Hook up with the trail again (now called Business Loop trail) and skirt behind the police department building and the industrial estate. The trail will leave the trees and pass some storage ponds. Track around the ponds until you are back on the trail heading north. You will continue to skirt around the industrial estate until you pass another pond and are back at Snoqualmie Parkway.
- Head right (East/downhill) on the Fisher Creek trail, not on the parkway sidewalk. You will pass Fisher Creek Park with some raised wooden bike stunts to play on, then continue on the trail in the trees under Orchard Ave SE (go under the bridge, not up to Orchard Ave).
- Near the bottom of the trail you will again pop out next to Snoqualmie Parkway. Stick on the trail next to the Parkway now as you pass the shops at the bottom of the parkway opposite the fire station (“Better Way”). Again, a good place to stock up.
- Now ride on the Parkway sidewalk to the junction with Highway 202, and turn left towards Snoqualmie Falls. There is a sidewalk on the bridge across the river.
- Either take Tokul Rd SE on the right until you hit the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (Caution – it passes underneath the road and is easy enough to miss) where you take a left (North West) on the SVT, or ride the fun singletrack that starts at the back of the overflow car park at Snoqualmie Falls, and which ends up hitting the SVT slightly further in from its start at Tokul Rd SE.
- Continue on the SVT across the long curved trestle bridge and keep riding until you find an entrance to the Tokul trails that you are familiar with.
- Ride through East and West Tokul trails and back down to the SVT at some point North of 356th Dr SE. Continue on the SVT to its crossing of 11th St NE (E Griffin Creek Rd NE) where you can turn right to take in Griffin Creek if you want.
- Back on the SVT, pass Camp Don Bosco and cross the Tolt river. Immediately after the Tolt river bridge, take a left on the gravel trail. This will take you under Highway 203 and through the trails at the edge of the Tolt MacDonald campground and back to your starting point.
That’s the short version. For more off-road riding, but with fewer fun singletrack pieces, stay on the SVT past the Tolt bridge and through Nick Loutsis Park (porta-potty).
- Ride North on the SVT. Cross Highway 203 to stay on the SVT. Ride on to the roundabout at Highway 203 and NE 124th St, cross to stay on the SVT.
- Pass McCormick Park on your right (Baseball diamond). At the second road crossing the SVT after the roundabout (NE 138th St), take a right uphill to Highway 203 at the red barn.
- Backtrack (South, right) on Highway 203 for a short while until the furniture finishing shop on your left. Cross to the furniture finishing shop, and take the rightmost dirt road uphill.
- This road soon opens out to become the Tolt Pipeline Trail. Follow it. You will cross several small roads, and then NE Big Rock Road, Odell Road NE, 322nd Ave NE, and Kelly Rd NE. At Kelly Road you’ll have to take a right on the road for a few hundred yards to reconnect with the gated pipeline trail. At this point the pipeline trail is paved.
- Climb on the paved pipeline trail around the switchbacks and up until you see an overgrown gated gravel road (344th Pl NE) on your right. Take this, and continue down as it quickly turns to 344th Way NE and then Ts at NE Lake Joy Rd.
- An alternative at this point is to continue on the pipeline trail into the Moss Lake trails, through to Moss Lake, and out on to Lake Joy Rd. However those have been recently logged and were never much fun anyway, but hey, it’s another singletrack area!
- Assuming you rode down to NE Lake Joy Rd, take a left and ride clockwise around the lake (ignore W Lake Joy Dr NE to your right). Continue round until you get to 352nd Ave NE on your left. Take this gravel road.
- Continue on 352nd Ave NE until the crossroads with NE 98th St, where you take a right. Cross under the power lines and then as the road curves to the left, take the left fork on to Tolt Highlands Rd NE. Stay on this road as it winds through the highlands and then descends on to Tolt River Rd NE.
- Now you are back in Carnation. Turn right on Tolt River Rd NE and follow it into town. At Nick Loutsis Park the Snoqualmie Valley Trail crosses Tolt River Rd. Take the SVT trail to the left (South).
- Just before the Tolt river bridge on the SVT, turn right on the gravel trail. This will take you under Highway 203 and through the trails at the edge of the Tolt MacDonald campground and back to your starting point.
If you chose to have fun in each of the singletrack areas, you should have done about 100 miles. If you just motored through them, you’ve done around 70 miles. If you missed off the top loop along the Tolt Pipeline trail and through Tolt Highlands you probably did 50 miles.
Note: I’ve been purposefully vague in some areas of my directions. Many of the roads I list aren’t signposted at the points you use them or cross them. I got the road names from Google Maps. You really need to know the individual trails and local roads before you undertake this whole loop. Some areas are on roads. Some are on private land. It’s up to you to check that you’re allowed to ride each portion, whether it’s safe to do so, and whether you’re personally capable of it. I take no responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading this description.
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