Just northwest of Naches, WA is a great mountain bike ride with a classic long fire road climb and sweet singletrack descent. It's a steady 11-mile climb (2900 ft. gain) up toward Little Bald Mountain with a varied return trip on rugged singletrack with sweeping cliff views.
Driving south on Highway 410, turn right on Old River Road and cross the Naches River. Turn right at the fork and park at the large gravel lot on the left. The ride beings with a long, steady march up FR 1706. The gravel route is pretty straightforward as you follow signs for Little Bald. At just under the 10 mile mark turn right at a fork on FR 1600.
This more rugged road continues for another 3 mile where the upper access point for Little Bald Mountain Trail (#961). The trail initially drops into the forest, down to a switchback, and then opens up to a large clearing and scree field. Take your time working your way across the rocky trail. The trail heads back into the forest and turns to a fast, smooth, and narrow ribbon of singletrack.
After a short climb near the 14-mile mark, the trail takes you adjacent to a steep cliff edge with sweeping views to the west. In the distance, the top of Mt. Rainier is visible across the vast forested hills. The trail borders the cliff edge for another 4 miles as you head northeast.
The route then takes you back into the forest and passes through a large clearing. Turning to the east the trail crosses a gravel road and then to a final series of switchbacks takes you down to the Halfway Flat Campground and along the Naches River. From here follow the sometimes faint trail to a parking area at the Boulder Cave Recreation Area and then finish the loop by taking Old River Road back to the bottom of FS 1706.
This ride can easily be set up as a shuttle with the starting point off of FR 1706 (the stretch of FR 1600 leading to the start of the trail highpoint is quite rough) and endpoint at the Halfway Flat Campground. Best time to ride is late summer, early fall.
Local Trail Association
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - Cowlitz-Naches Chapter
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More Stats for Little Bald Mountain mountain bike trail
Altitude change-2,809 ft
Altitude min2,521 ft
Altitude start5,330 ft
Altitude end2,521 ft
Distance climb3 miles
Distance down6 miles
Distance flat2,166 ft
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Little Bald Mountain Trail Reports
Jul 8, 2017 @ 4:24pmJul 8, 2017
|There are no downed trees as of 7/7/2017. Other than there being some loose rocks and very dry dirt in sections (like talcum powder dry) the trail...|
Nov 30, 2016 @ 9:13amNov 30, 2016
|reporter Word is that the trail has not been maintained by the forest service and there are many trees down over the trail. (now covered in snow as well)....|
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