The 2020 Dirty Dozen
Twelve Washington trails that should be on your short list for this year's ride season.
Summer is here and that means riding season would normally be in full swing.
This year is a little different though as many local restrictions remain in place in regards to group gatherings, camping, and traveling to ride because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. So, instead of our usual Evergreen Summer Event Guide outlining all sorts of festivals, group rides, and classes to get out and explore in these warmer months, we’re offering up a new way to fuel your summer mountain bike explorations on your own. With that, we’re excited to announce our first Dirty Dozen ride series.
This is not a contest or a competition. There are no prizes. Simply put, the Dirty Dozen is a list of twelve trails across Washington that we really think you should check out this year– with each representing something unique and special about Washington mountain biking. For those who complete each trail before December 31st, 2020 and record their rides using TrailForks, a 2020 Dirty Dozen badge awaits.
Each of Evergreen’s eight chapters nominated a trail in their region and then we rounded out the list by adding in a few staff favorites. Some of the Dirty Dozen trails are more strenuous or technical than others, but all should be fun for any mountain biker with a solid baseline of intermediate fitness, skills, and experience.
Get out there, remember to #RecreateResponsibly, and ride the Evergreen Dirty Dozen! Tag your photos on social media with the hashtag #EvergreenDirtyDozen2020 and we’ll share across our accounts. And, of course, please save the trails on this list that require you to take more than a day trip to complete for when restrictions have eased and your county is in Phase 3 and beyond. Have fun!
2020 Dirty Dozen Trails...
Cascades to Sound
The East Tiger Summit (ETS) trail may not be the most popular on Tiger’s expanding list of premium trails, but it could be the most important. Formally opened in late 2012, ETS set the stage for a new wave of building on Tiger. Its historical significance (and super fun right-hand sweeper near the bottom), earns it a spot on this year’s Dirty Dozen.
Alpine Baldy is arguably Evergreen’s most scenic trail with a summit that looks out over the Cascades from a huge alpine meadow that riders traverse across before turning around and enjoying the 2,500’+ descent back down to the trailhead. Heads up, due to its high elevation, Alpine Baldy is typically only open for riding from early July to late September depending on snow levels.
Located on Darrington’s shuttle-friendly North Mountain, Skyline offers riders buff machine-built berms and jumps mixed in with techy rock sections. According to one rider on TrailForks, Skyline is the “sassiest blue run anywhere. This is the real deal!” We couldn’t agree more...
The Wildcat Trail can be found just west of Bremerton as part of the Green Mountain trail system. Wildcat is best described as “fast”, with gentle turns that encourage speed and rewards riders comfortable with cornering on loose rock. Don’t forget to stop and take in the views across Kitsap County and beyond though!
Sixth Sense meanders in and out of clear cut and lush forest, providing riders with a true “variety pack” of trail features on a relatively mellow grade. Faster riders will find sections to double and pump into to gain speed, while those with a more laid back approach will have a blast picking their way through the trail’s abundance of techy features. Keep your eyes peeled for “shred people” as you rip the brand new Sixth Sense trail.
Strawberry Ridge is one of the best trails to mountain bike on in the world. Period. Just go ride it and see for yourself. Recent work by TransCascadia and the Evergreen Cowlitz-Naches Chapter has made this true gem even better. Come for the incredible traverse across Strawberry Ridge, complete with stunning views in all directions, and stay for the mind-bending descent down the north slope of Strawberry Mountain with pumice-laced loam that grips your tires just when you need it most.
Finished just last fall, the new Thompson Ridge trail offers a true backcountry riding experience relatively close to Winthrop. The trail is designed to be ridden clockwise, starting just off Thompson Road in the Chickadee Trail System. From there, riders climb and traverse their way up to a peak elevation of just about 5,000’ before dropping back down to complete the loop. The descent offers tons of options– confident beginners will have fun ripping down the main line while more advanced riders will enjoy popping and jibbing off the many jumps, drops and features scattered off to the sides of the trail.
Rosie Boa is a central Washington flow classic. Weaving down a series of tight well-supported berms, the trail also features some exposed ridgeline riding. Keep your eyes on the trail, but be sure to stop here and there to take in the views of Leavenworth and the valley floor below.
Riders who love some good ol’ fashioned chunk will love Trail 140 on Mount Spokane. Littered with rocks and roots–but not to the point of insanity– 140 is perfect for anyone looking for a challenge and a big descent.
A brand new trail born out of– you guessed it– COVID-19 quarantine, Quarantine can be ridden in either direction with unique features built to give riders lots of options no matter which way they’re headed. As long as you’re not in quarantine, go ride Quarantine!
Kachess descends the mountain ridgeline east of Lake Kachess and is typically only rideable from early July to late September or early October depending on snow conditions. And while the window to ride might be relatively short, Kachess delivers bigtime on adrenaline and fun. This is a classic Washington summer alpine ride!
Finished just last year, Brass Monkey is another great addition to an area that’s been a Washington mountain bike destination for decades. This downhill-only trail starts with big sweeping flat turns and then gets a little techier with some fun rock moves and other features. An easy loop from Ronald or downtown Roslyn!
A note on #RecreatingResponsibly...
As we all continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to follow local guidelines set forth by Washington's health officials. Travel restrictions vary by county, so before you head out to ride, make sure you're familiar with and following all rules and restrictions of the region you plan to visit. Remember, save the trails on this list that require more than a daytrip for when your local county restrictions have eased to at least Phase 3 of Washington's Phased Approach Plan.