35 miles
9,881 ft
-9,929 ft
2 miles
High Point

This route is hard, beautiful and represents some of the very best back country "wilderness" mountain biking in Washington. There are multiple water sources and lakes filled with small fish. Bring a water filter!

An alternative even more challenging series of trails that mirrors much of the famous Angels Staircase Route, only with a few key additions and a starting point at the Foggy Dew trailhead. Due to the closure of the Crater Creek Trailhead in the summer / fall of 2018. This allows one to say that you "road the staircase" + explored some of the less known side trails. This route totals over 35 miles and nearly 10,000 feet of climbing. Pack food and water!

In keeping with aptly named "heavenly views" theme, this route is called "Heavens Gate" and represents one of the highest, if not the highest mountain bike trail in Washington State at over 8,000 feet high!

The Route begins at Foggy Dew trail, turning off to the right and up Martin Creek Trail 429 to Cooney Lake. Take a break and refill your water. Next, ride / push up Cooney lake trail, where the trail steepens greatly near the top. Careful to not kick rocks down on riders below. Reach the top of the ridge and descend down the steep Trail 1259.21 leading into the Summit Trail that traverses this isolated valley, far from humankind. Next, climb up the meadows of "The High Way", benefiting you with a short scenic descent to Boiling Lake. Refill your water.

Decide now if you want to simply climb up and over the pass, or if you have some juice in your legs, descend the lower Eagle Lake Trail to the Prince Creek Shortcut trail. Then climb gently back up to the Chipmunk Pass trail and head East. Turn off onto the Hoodoo Pass Traverse and head back over to Boiling Lake. Next, climb up Horsehead Pass on the Eagle Lake Trail and descend down the other side. Consider stopping at the nearby and easy to get to Eagle Lake. Finally, descend until the trail intersection with Martin Creek Trail #429 Climb until you've returned to Cooney Lake and pat yourself on the back, it's time to descend to your car!

Descend back down the Martin Creek trail that you ascended on, then finally down Foggy Dew. You'll be tired now, so mind your descent on the rocky bits. Well done rider.

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  • Riding area
  • Difficulty rating
    Black Diamond
  • Route Type
  • Bikepacking
  • Bike type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    One Direction
  • Physical rating
More Stats for Heavens Gate mountain bike route
  • Altitude min
    3,477 ft
  • Altitude start
    3,526 ft
  • Altitude end
    3,477 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    17 miles
  • Distance down
    17 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,936 ft
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
Layers winter
Trail Style
  • ?
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail transparency
HOME // Episode 2: East Side Adventure with...
HOME // Episode 2: East Side Adventure with Bryn Atkinson and Jill Kintner
5:12 | 19891 | comments: 5 | favs: 125
Jan 26, 2016
Jill and Bryn pack up the Sprinter for a weekend adventure to the Methow Valley on Washington's east side. This being a "relaxing" weekend and...
Tiger Summit Trail - Bottom
Tiger Summit Trail - Bottom
6:06 | 394 | comments: 0 | favs: 2
Oct 6, 2012
Tiger Summit Trail - Top
Tiger Summit Trail - Top
2:58 | 246 | comments: 2 | favs: 1
Oct 6, 2012

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Summit Trail
Jul 24, 2018 @ 9:01am
Jul 24, 2018
Trail is open. reporter
Boiling Lake
Jul 24, 2018 @ 8:51am
Jul 24, 2018
Cleared of snow and down trees. reporter
Martin Creek Trail #429 Climb
Jul 24, 2018 @ 8:48am
Jul 24, 2018
Entire trail is cleared of downed trees-7/2/18. Cutthroat Trout in the Martin Lake. Mosquitos and horseflies are present. All fords are stock passable to the junction with the Merchant's Basin Trail. Campsites at the lake are snow free. The bridge near lower Martin Lake to the horse camp is not passable to stock but can be bypassed through the surrounding bog. reporter
Eagle Lake Trail
Jul 24, 2018 @ 8:43am
Jul 24, 2018
NOTE: The Crater Creek Trailhead is closed for repairs until October 15th. However, Eagle Lakes Trail is open and accessible from Foggy Dew / Martin Creek trail. Entire trail is cleared of downed trees-7/2/18. Mosquitos and horseflies are plentiful. All fords and the trail are stock passable to Boiling Lake. Horsehead pass is rocky and a steep climb for stock but is passable. Campsites at the lake are snow free. The user trail to Middle Eagle Lake is now closed for revegetation. reporter
Cooney Lake Trail #434
Jul 24, 2018 @ 8:40am
Jul 24, 2018
The lake is completely melted out. Between Martin Creek Trail and the lake, the trail is about 70% snow free. The trail above the lake is mostly snow covered. There is a cornice on the ridge at the high point that has created a steep wall of snow which could be difficult to ascend/descend without the right equipment. Camps near the lake are moslty melted out- USFS 7/2/18 reporter
more reports »
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