Crystal Mountain Trail can be combined with other trails to make a great 14 mile loop. It has some grueling climbs, beautiful ridges, great scenery, alpine lakes & wildflower meadows, steep sections, exposed switchbacks, and, if the summit house is open, a chance to buy some burgers and fries at the top.
Leaving the trailhead at Sand Flats, climb three miles through scattered old growth and subalpine timber, across alpine meadows and past a couple of lakes before erupting onto a high wind-swept ridge with beautiful views of Mt. Rainier to the west and Castle Mountain to the south. If the climb has exhausted you, turn around here for a modest six-mile round-trip.
The better option is to continue along the ridge for three miles to the top of Chairlift 10 and the Crystal Mountain Summit House, a restaurant atop the Rainier Express ski lift. At times you will tiptoe along the edge and at other times the ridge spreads out to a thick crop of wildflowers in early June and huckleberries in early August.
From here descend along a service road to the road's first switchback for .3 miles before finding Crystal Mt. Trail 1163 on the left.
At mile 8 you will reach lower Henskin Lake and further along come to the junction with Silver Creek Trail 1192 at mile 9.1. Turning right (south) on Silver Creek Trail 1192 will take you to Pacific Crest Trail 2000 at Bear Gap in about a half mile. Turning left (north) on Silver Creek Trail 1192 will take you to the Crystal Mountain Resort base area in 1.5 miles. Or make it a loop route by biking along the road or power lines for 2.0 miles, returning to Sand Flats.
There is a trailhead at the top of Gold Hills chairlift. You could probably take the gravel road that the homes up there use but I would just park in the main crystal lot and go to the top of Gold Hills. I recommend this as a starting point as opposed to the old Northway drop spot. If you start at the bottom of Northway, you will spend 90% of your time walking your bike up. It's a grind to say the least.
Drive east on State Highway 410 from Enumclaw 33.1 miles to Crystal Mountain Road #7190. Turn left (east) onto Crystal Mountain Road #7190 and follow 4.4 miles to Road #7190510. Turn right (south) onto Road #7190510 and follow to roads end. Trailhead can also be accessed through the Sand Flats Horse Camp.
At trailhead: 15 parking spaces, horse ramp and hitch rack, 24 tie horse stalls and pit toilet.
• Green Trails Bumping 271 & Mt. Rainier East 270
• Snoqualmie Ranger District
Parking for six cars available at trailhead.
Local Trail Association
More Stats for Crystal Mountain Trail mountain bike trail
Altitude change-1,293 ft
Altitude min5,487 ft
Altitude start6,780 ft
Altitude end5,487 ft
Distance climb2,336 ft
Distance down2 miles
Distance flat821 ft
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Crystal Mountain... Trail Reports
Jul 9, 2017 @ 8:29amJul 9, 2017
|A few trees are down across the trail but nothing to hard to avoid and walk around. Wet muddy sections with standing water near the lakes and...|
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