Supporters, Builders, Maintainers & Land Managers of Kachess Trail
- Mountain Bike
- Trail Running
Hiking SAC ScaleT1 Hiking
Bike TypeAM, XC
DirectionBoth DirectionsPopular direction shown
Climb DifficultyBlack Diamond
Trail VisibilityAlways easy to follow
TTFs on TrailRock Face
Global Ranking#41736 in Mountain Biking [+]
- #90586 in Trail Running
Local Popularity50 in Mountain Biking [+]
- 100 in Trail Running
- 5 in Hiking
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!
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 481 . 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
Please consider joining or donating to the local trail association to support
trail development & maintenance.
Traditionally Indigenous Territory
More Stats for Kachess mountain bike trail trail
Altitude change-3,027 ft
Altitude min2,374 ft
Altitude max5,780 ft
Altitude start5,400 ft
Altitude end2,375 ft
Distance climb2 miles
Distance down7 miles
Distance flat2,008 ft
Avg reverse time00:03:03
- view trail stats
- Snow Groomed
- Snow Packed
- Snow Covered
- Snow Cover Inadequate
- Freeze/thaw Cycle
- Prevalent Mud
- Very Dry
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
- > 96%
- > 90%
- > 80%
- > 70%
- > 50%
- < 50%
- bi-directional trail
- no data
- < 2 days
- < 1 week
- < 2 weeks
- < 1 month
- < 6 months
- > 6 months
- Downhill Only
- Downhill Primary
- Both Directions
- Uphill Primary
- Uphill Only
- One Direction
- Description & Photos
- most popular
- less popular
- not popular
- mountain biking recent
- mountain biking (>6 month)
- hiking (1 year)
- moto (1 year)
- Downhill Ski
- Backcountry Ski
- Nordic Ski
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Kachess Trail Reports
Oct 10, 2022 @ 12:05pmOct 10, 2022
|Still dry at start when shutting. Good dirt in the woods. MKe sure you pick good lines in the chunky parts!!!|
Sep 26, 2022 @ 7:11amSep 26, 2022
|Rode from the shuttle drop-off. Dry and loose in the sun, good dirt in the shade, which is most of it. Good fall colors on the ground up the top....|
Sep 2, 2022 @ 8:47pmSep 2, 2022
|A week of dry weather and no more hero dirt : ( Rode the six miles down from the shuttle drop off. The trail above that is signed closed by...|
Aug 24, 2022 @ 7:53pmAug 24, 2022
|got some rain yesterday - hero dirt. Running beautifully.|
Jul 24, 2022 @ 8:02amJul 24, 2022
|Big thank you to Cascade Crest 100 Ultra for clearing the trail! It’s running well, but don’t get there via No Name Ridge. Bad idea, unless...|
Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail
- 0 rides
- 0 rides
- 69 rides
- Last: Sep 14, 2022
Routes with this trail
|Kachess Ridge||13 miles|
|Kachess Ridge Runner||13 miles|
|Kachees Ridge Loop||18 miles|
|Freehub Magazine: Kachess||8 miles|
9 Reviews & Comments
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