From May – October, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort is transformed from a winter playground into a downhill mountain biking Mecca. Located atop the Cascade Crest only about an hour from Seattle and 45 minutes from Leavenworth, on scenic Highway 2, Stevens Pass Bike Park is the only lift-assisted downhill mountain biking park in Washington State, offering 7 trails accessed by a single chair lift, bike and protective gear rentals, and amazing views spring through fall. Take a look for yourself in this short tour shot on a beautiful autumn day.
Stevens Pass Bike Park has a diverse range of trails, from tight singletrack through the trees, to wider gradually-rolling family-friendly paths, to intense and high speed jump lines. On a busy summer day you’ll see people from all walks of life grinning ear to ear from the exhilaration delivered by the thrill of the trails.
By far, one of the best benefits of mountain biking at Stevens Pass Bike Park is the fact that it’s lift-assisted. During bike park season, every other chair on their high-speed detachable quad chairlift named Hogsback is replaced with a bike carriage that holds up to three bikes. As you approach the loading area, riders set their bikes in the bike carriage as it swings around, then they take a seat in the following chair. For those of you who have ridden the chairlifts at Stevens Pass in the winter, it’s a very different experience to ride the chairlift without any snow below you and without skis or a snowboard strapped to your feet. By taking the uphill pedal out of the normal mountain biking equation, you can get nearly half a dozen downhill descents in an hour allowing you to fine tune your lines and try multiple trails as you build up your comfort-level and confidence.
The trail system consists of two beginner trails named Golden Spike and Marooka Motion, three intermediate trails named Lichen It, Luvin’ It, and Rock Crusher, and two advanced trails, Slingshot Wookie and P.B.R. (“Powered by Rudolph,” in memory of one of the visionaries who helped bring the Stevens Pass Bike Park to life). The beginner trails offer a great introduction to downhill mountain biking with smoother surfaces, wider trails and berms, and stunning scenery through forests and meadows. The intermediate trails step it up a notch with steeper grades, tighter and faster trails, and the addition of table top jumps and root and rock obstacles to navigate. Lichen It literally goes over the river and through the woods with over 20 bridges that transport you through the picturesque Northwest landscape. If you’re looking for the most technical downhill ride, check out Slingshot Wookie, an advanced singletrack DH trail with the tightest berms, and tons of rocks, roots, and obstacles; even a huge wooden berm visible from the chairlift and base area. P.B.R. is a pro jump line that is sure to satisfy your cravings to defy gravity on two wheels. It branches off Rock Crusher and has the largest jumps, fastest berms, and flows through the terrain using some of the park’s biggest wooden features.
Due to the mountainous terrain, not just any bike will do. The Bike Park trails require a certain caliber of mountain bike, preferably one with dual suspension and disc brakes. In addition, a helmet is required for your protection. If you don’t have gear that is suitable, Stevens Pass makes it easy to rent downhill bikes that are meant for this terrain and protective equipment for your head, arms, and legs, right inside the main lodge at the base area where you purchase your lift pass. There are also rental providers in Leavenworth so you can skip the rental lines al Stevens Pass and get some in-town riding at the same time. More details on Stevens Pass hours of operation and pricing available at www.stevenspass.com.
Future plans for the bike park include adding more trails and continuing to improve the existing trails. Set amongst the beautiful evergreen forests below rocky peaks at the crest of the Cascade Mountains, Stevens Pass Bike Park delivers amazing downhill mountain biking opportunities right in your backyard.