6.2 miles
593 ft
-3,171 ft
Avg time

Kachess Details

  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Trail type
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Trail Usage
  • Direction
    Both Directions
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical rating
  • Season
    Spring to Fall
  • TTFs on trail
    Rock Face
  • Global Ranking
  • Land Manager

Tough Forest Road climb to the top, a bit of hike a bike and then spectacular single track for an hour or more - all downhill to the cars. Breathtaking scenery of the northern Cascades, including Lake Kachess, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Stuart, and more. The singletrack portion of the trail generally follows Silver Creek on a winding descent through shadowy glades, open meadows, sections of head-high wildflowers, and exposed ledges. This is a wilderness ride not for the faint of heart - several hours of endurance required, and richly rewarded.

This trail is typically not rideable until June or July due to snow on the ridge, however by riding up the singletrack (reverse of what is described below) you can avoid the snow.

In the winter there is typically some tree blowdown - watch the EMBA website for trail clearance work parties in the early season. You cross several creeks on the way down, and early season they can be flowing pretty good. Prepare to get your feet wet!

The switchbacks near the end of the trail are quite loose. Take your time and try not to make them worse by skidding!

Ride up road 4818 for 6 miles of gravel logging road riding and look for road 4824 on the right. Here's where the climbing starts. From here to Kachess Ridge trail is about 5 miles of up (10+% grade). Increasingly-worthy views of Rainier and the lake make a fine excuse for stopping for a breather. In a mile keep to the main road. You will pass a gate on this road and a little over a mile from the gate stay right. There are a handful of less-traveled spurs on the ascent; keep to the main road. When you come to a plateau and a fork in the road, go right and then look to the left for the easy to miss trail. Sort of looks like a spur road to camping spot to trail kind of thing all in about 50 feet. There are a couple of these entrances, all of which shortly meet.

This trail descends immediately (lots of people walk this) to a T. Go right here. The object is to follow the trail to the pass between the pinnacles looming above. There's a bit of downhill, then some hike a bike across a scree slope and more hike a bike up to the pass. From here follow the trail down down down. Steeps, roots, rocks, rivers, streams, meadows, hairy switchbacks, and more. About half way down on the right there's the remains of a big avalanche a few years ago. Just before you get into the switchbacks (near the end) there are some nice waterfalls in Silver Creek you can climb down to. Then there are a few miles of steep somewhat eroded switchbacks returning you to the valley floor.

When you finally come to the bottom of the descent, take a quick right and ride through a short clearing which brings you to an access road. Ride this access road back to 4818 then take a left (south) about a mile back to the powerlines and your car. You've just completed the 18.5 mile loop!

Access Info

ake I-90 East until exit #70. Turn left and cross over the highway. Now take another left on Sparks Road (the frontage road). Follow this for 0.6 miles and turn right on Kachess Dam Road (also known as Forest Service Rd 481Cool . After 0.1 miles, the pavement turns to dirt park at the powerlines (about 1/3 mile).

Some will elect to shuttle by leaving one car at the power lines and driving one on 4818 and 4824 all the way to the top. Ground clearance is important for shuttle vehicles due to drainage ditches on 4824 - a loaded subaru wagon comes close to getting high centered.

Local Trail Association
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More Stats for Kachess mountain bike trail
  • Altitude change
    -2,578 ft
  • Altitude min
    2,386 ft
  • Altitude max
    5,010 ft
  • Altitude start
    4,964 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,386 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    1.1 miles
  • Distance down
    4.9 miles
  • Distance flat
    1,176 ft
  • Avg time
  • view trail stats
on Sep 18, 2016
Avg: 4.25 (4 votes)

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Kachess Trail Reports

Sep 18, 2016 @ 4:35pm
Sep 18, 2016
Sep 18, 2016 @ 4:34pm
Sep 18, 2016
Perfect hero dirt with good moisture in it. Doesn't get much better than right now. Some roots wet, early this week should be perfect. Had a blast.
Aug 7, 2016 @ 2:21pm
Aug 7, 2016
Trail was in great shape. A few trees down but it looks like they've been there a while as there were obvious ride arounds. We shuttled up and...
Jul 30, 2016 @ 3:17pm
Jul 30, 2016
There are a few downed trees, but all have go arounds.
Jun 28, 2015 @ 5:43pm
Jun 28, 2015
Outstanding! Well worth making the effort. Trail in great conditions
view all reports »


more »
22 |
Sep 18, 2016 @ 4:34pm
Sep 18, 2016
Kachess, Issaquah
124 |
Apr 14, 2016 @ 9:07am
Apr 14, 2016
Kachess, Easton
107 |
Sep 30, 2015 @ 12:49pm
Sep 30, 2015
Kachess, Easton
141 |
Sep 30, 2015 @ 12:49pm
Sep 30, 2015
Kachess, Easton


1 Review & Comments

  • + 1
flag jonoakdale (Aug 21, 2016 at 20:50)
 Ride the fire-road up, which isn't shown on this map. We made the mistake of riding up the trail itself, and most of it was hike-a-bike; brutal!

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