8.9 miles
Distance
1,156 ft
Climb
-4,184 ft
Descent
02:34:35
Avg time
Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Kachess Trail

  • USFS
    Land Manager

Kachess Details

  • Activities
    • Mountain Bike
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
    Kachess Ridge
    Easton, Washington
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T1 Hiking
  • Trail Type
    Singletrack
  • Bike Type
    AM, XC
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Climb Difficulty
    Black Diamond
  • Physical Rating
    Hard
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • Season
    July-November
  • Dogs Allowed
    Yes
  • eBike Allowed
  • TTFs on Trail
    Rock Face
  • Global Ranking
    #41736 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • #90586 in Trail Running
  • Local Popularity
    80 in Mountain Biking [+]
    • 5 in Trail Running
    • 5 in Hiking
  • Land Owner
    USFS

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 Central 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.

Do not ride in the spring/early summer when the trail is wet from snow melt or snow covered (with the exception of the hike a bike to the saddle). This causes damage to the trail, particularly the meadows, especially now that the trail is getting a lot of use. Local rule of thumb: Don't ride until July 4th or later. However you can ride up the singletrack (reverse of what is described below) to avoid the snow and/or do recon in the late spring.

Reminder that this is a multi-use trail and you may encounter horses and/or hikers. With shuttle services and such happening up there this really needs to be taken into consideration. There are lots of blind corners and it's easy to startle someone, or worse.

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
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Kachess mountain bike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    -3,028 ft
  • Altitude min
    2,372 ft
  • Altitude max
    5,780 ft
  • Altitude start
    5,400 ft
  • Altitude end
    2,372 ft
  • Grade
    -6.5%
  • Grade max
    -85.1%
  • Grade min
    71.5%
  • Distance climb
    2 miles
  • Distance down
    7 miles
  • Distance flat
    2,008 ft
  • Avg time
    02:34:35
  • Avg reverse time
    00:03:03
  • view trail stats
Status:
on Oct 14, 2023
Ideal
Avg: 4.2 (18 votes)
Your vote: 0

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Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Partial
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
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      Directions to kachess trailhead (47.367860, -121.207120)
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      Kachess Trail Reports

      statusdatedescription
      Oct 14, 2023 @ 8:08pm
      Oct 14, 2023
      Hero dirt! Go get some before the snow comes
      Sep 3, 2023 @ 7:58pm
      Sep 3, 2023
      reporter 2 logs down. We moved 3 others out of the trail. The last 2 need a chainsaw to remove.
      Aug 6, 2023 @ 5:01pm
      Aug 6, 2023
      5-6 trees down. Trail is in good shape. There are some spicy spots.
      Jul 17, 2023 @ 10:37am
      Jul 17, 2023
      Only a handful trees blocking the trail. Not too bad.
      Jul 8, 2023 @ 9:36pm
      Jul 8, 2023
      A bunch of blow downs and some loose sections as previously described. Creek crossings are easy. Great backcountry ride.
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      •  
      6 Months
      • 0 rides
      •  
      All
      • 74 rides
      • Last: Sep 16, 2023

      Photos

      more »
      108 |
      Jul 5, 2023 @ 2:23pm
      Jul 5, 2023
      39 |
      Oct 16, 2022 @ 9:46am
      Oct 16, 2022
      34 |
      Oct 16, 2022 @ 9:46am
      Oct 16, 2022
      301 |
      Aug 10, 2021 @ 10:49pm
      Aug 10, 2021

      Routes with this trail

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      Kachess Ridge Runner13 miles
      Freehub Magazine: Kachess8 miles

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      10 Reviews & Comments


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      Videos

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      youtuber VOTR Kachess
      5:08 | 1542 | Oct 19, 2018 , Easton
      Kachess Ridge Trail
      1600 | Sep 22, 2016 , Easton
      Kachess Ridge Helmet Cam
      5:48 | 542 | Mar 22, 2010 , Easton
      Lower Kachess Ridge
      1:45 | 1054 | Jan 24, 2014 , Easton
      • By Robinhoods & contributors
      • #17837 - 18,956 views

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