5 days in a lit­tle slice of par­adise, but on the Black Dia­mond dates, we turn up the heat! Leav­en­worth, a Bavar­i­an-themed town in the heart of the Cas­cade Moun­tains, is the per­fect host for your sin­gle­track adven­ture, and is the per­fect host vil­lage for 5 days of rid­ing, fine-tuned for advanced riders.

The Cas­cades Moun­tain Range in the Pacif­ic North West are a geo­log­i­cal won­der. The moun­tain bike is the most per­fect way to expe­ri­ence and explore the region to reveal a sto­ry of con­ti­nen­tal shift. As we con­nect our tires to the soils, min­er­als, lichen, roots and tran­si­tion through ancient trees, our high van­tage points give way to “young” vol­canos, and we see where 2 con­ti­nents col­lid­ed, with a twist.

Your week will be packed with choice lines, no doubt, but a week in Leav­en­worth affords a great mix of food and brews with­in a walk­ing dis­tance from your hotel. If you are like the guides, you might like a lit­tle some­thing at the end of a good day of rid­ing, like a “cool-down” lap. Just a cou­ple ped­al strokes from the hotel, you can hit the 2nd Veloso­lu­tions Pumptrack in North Amer­i­ca (Brook­lyn was first), hit a flow trail or push some­thing steep for an over­hang­ing view, fol­lowed by a descent back to the Wenatchee Riv­er for a dip and a beer before clean­ing up for dinner. 

Is This Ride For You?

You love a vari­ety of fast and flowy rid­ing mixed in with rocky, janky, tech­ni­cal trails to keep you on your toes. You can han­dle long climbs and don’t mind hop­ping off the bike for the occa­sion­al push so you can see the best views and gain access to high­er ele­va­tion trails that are more tech­ni­cal, chal­leng­ing and fun. You like to play with your bike and look for the extra tech lines lit­tered with roots. You’re up for some long climbs, but you real­ly love the shut­tle days so you can let loose and squeeze in some extra laps. You have strong bike han­dling skills and have mas­tered cor­ner­ing tech­niques, but you’re always look­ing to push your skills and grow as a rid­er. You love tacky dirt, loam, rocks, clay, sand and any­thing else you can get under your tires. After all, these moun­tains and ter­rain are a moun­tain bik­er’s paradise.

Itinerary

Day 1. Head­ed for the Dry Side

Willkom­men to Seat­tle! We’ll pick you up in the morn­ing either at the air­port, in down­town Seat­tle or in Issaquah before head­ing to our head­quar­ters to get fit­ted on your Giant Trance (unless you opt to bring your own bike). Once bikes are tuned and ready to go, we will load up and head over Sno­qualmie Pass to the dry side, as “Wash­ing­to­ni­ans” call East­ern Washington.

Your first ride is an old clas­sic, Kachess. This ride will start with a long flat fire ser­vice road next to a lake which will tran­si­tion into a climb up 3000 feet over 4 miles. Enjoy the view of peaks, lake and the majes­tic Mount Rainier before we drop in. From here, except for a short dou­ble-climb, it’s bliss­ful down­hill sin­gle track through mead­ows, across streams and a few tech­ni­cal sec­tions back to where the ride began. Over­all, a spicy blue square ride. 

Lunch will be on top of the ridge before we descend or along the trail depend­ing on your ener­gy lev­els. After a cool­er raid at the creek next to the pick­up point, you will have a scenic 1 hour shut­tle over anoth­er pass before we land in Leav­en­worth, heart of the Cas­cades. Check into lodg­ing and it’s time to eat. Wel­come to lit­tle Bavaria. 

Day 2. Leavenworth

Leav­en­worth is easy to love. Tourism has been the dri­ving indus­try in this small moun­tain vil­lage since the log­ging work came to a halt in the 50s. As a means of attempt­ing to keep a dye­ing town from becom­ing a ghost town, the city coun­sel took a leap and added a façade to the front of a cou­ple build­ings down­town to mim­ic Bavar­i­an archi­tec­ture. It worked, very well. Today Leav­en­worth is packed year-round with vis­i­tors look­ing to shop and stay in this out-of-place gem. So, what do we want to do there? Leav­en­worth hosts moun­tains and rivers on every side with excep­tion­al oppor­tu­ni­ty to ride, kayak, fish, hike, climb, ski, and most impor­tant, ride moun­tain bikes.

Today’s ride will start with a ped­al to break­fast tacos and cof­fee. Fol­low­ing we make a gen­tle warm up climb through neigh­bor­hoods to Ski Hill. Depend­ing what we want to accom­plish for the day, we will either start with a steep climb, or a very steep climb! Either way, we have a great set of options as we hit a net­work of trails rang­ing from smooth flowy and wide, to steep, nar­row ridge lines.

After a fun morn­ing on the oblig­a­tory Leav­en­worth trail sys­tem, we coast to lunch back in town. From here, we have options. Kick back and enjoy the vil­lage? We could also take anoth­er lap on Rosy Boa or any num­ber of options.

Day 3. Tron­sen Mission

Eat a big break­fast, this will be a big day of rid­ing. Shut­tle van will make a half hour dri­ve up to our drop point. We will be tak­ing full packs of fuel; we are get­ting our there today.

The van will drop us with most of the climb­ing done high above Swauk Pass. This is a rarely rid­den ridge­line, due to it’s remote loca­tion and tricky logis­tics. The over­all ride is 7000 feet of descend­ing with 2000 feet of gain over 35 miles. Yes there are vari­a­tions we could con­sid­er that could include a hot descent with the option to run it twice, but the planned ride is going to be a tour. You will spend a long day on ridge­lines con­nect­ing tech­ni­cal sin­gle track by way of remote 4x4 roads to a seg­ment of the Dev­ils Gulch, tran­si­tion­ing to Mis­sion Ridge for a steep fin­ish to the pave­ment. You can hop in the shut­tle if you must at mile 25, but we rec­om­mend coast­ing the gen­tle chip seal the last 10 miles through peach orchards to the Wenatchee riv­er. The ride is just amazing. 

You won’t like­ly want a post ride, ride, but if you do, we will be ready. Din­ner is going to taste extra good tonight!

Day 4. #2 to Sage Hills

By day 4, you are like­ly wak­ing up sore. Sleep in and extra hour, or join us at the riv­er for stretch­es and choice yoga pos­es. We still have 2 days of rid­ing ahead. After break­fast and cof­fee, hop in the shut­tle rig.

We are head­ed 30 min­utes to the Colum­bia Riv­er then head­ed up to the Num­ber 2 Canyon trail­head. Tucked around a moun­tain block­ing your view of the riv­er, we will hit the trail. Today’s ride will be less intense both tech­ni­cal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly than the last, to bal­ance out the chal­lenge from the epic on Tronsen. 

The trails at #2 are most­ly smooth hard clay with com­fort­able inter­vals of shade until we hit the down­hill por­tion which will present long views and lots of sun expo­sure. Frist up, Stair­way to Heav­en. The grade makes for fast climb­ing through the pon­derosa pines and tall grass­es with the occa­sion­al basalt out­crops. We will climb until we hit our first view of the riv­er, then poten­tial­ly decide to add a loop drop­ping back to the trail­head and regain the ele­va­tion again before fin­ish­ing the climb to the summit.

From the top, there are 2 “sum­mits” so we will ride to each try­ing to decide which is high­er. After pho­tos, a refill and flip­ping switch­es on sus­pen­sion, it’s time to descend. 

The ride down is 4500 feet of flowy, fast, snake-shaped trail. We will take breaks to let the arm pump relax and use it to name peaks and geo­log­i­cal fea­tures eas­i­ly seen from this van­tage. Glac­i­er Vol­cano over there, The Enchant­ments just to the left, wheat fields of the east­ern side of the state over there… This view presents a sto­ry of Cas­ca­dia. The great Colum­bia Riv­er is rough­ly where a micro con­ti­nent col­lid­ed with North Amer­i­ca. The “seam” we are look­ing at is an ocean­ic trench, pinched by col­lid­ing con­ti­nents, filled in with basalt flows and cov­ered by soils import­ed from our friends in the Koote­nay Rock­ies. These rugged moun­tains pro­vide a play­ground for moun­tain bik­ers, with a var­ied his­to­ry geol­o­gist are only begin­ning to under­stand.…. So yeah, we are tak­ing photos! 

As we get close to the Colum­bia Riv­er and the town of Wenatchee, we will have seg­ments of exposed sin­gle track and tight­ly twist­ing trails through the grass­es and sages. 

We will fin­ish the ride coast­ing through town to a pub where our van will be wait­ing. Back in Leav­en­worth we will head out for our last din­ner of the week and hit the sack, or, enjoy one of many great venues for some after din­ner gela­to, cock­tails or brews. 

Day 5. Back to the West Side

The shut­tle back to the Seat­tle area is 2.5 hours from this point. We will pack up in the morn­ing, eat some more amaz­ing break­fast tacos, drink great cof­fee and cross to the oth­er side of the Cascades.

We are not done rid­ing yet; we need to hit Rag­ing Riv­er. This new trail net­work hosts enough sin­gle track to keep you busy for days. So we will go right in for the pri­mo selection. 

Ride the one way climb trail for the first half of the moun­tain then hop off to the for­est ser­vice road for the sec­ond half so you can spend more time talk­ing with your new friends on the way up. From the sum­mit, we will see deep into the west­ern slopes in one direc­tion and Mount Rainier in the oth­er. That is unless, you get the win­ter view of grey. Sounds bleak, but the fog in the dou­glas firs is noth­ing to apol­o­gize about. 

Ready to hit trail? We are start­ing with Canyon Creek Down­hill. This “Blue Square” is packed with roots, cor­ners, berms and lines in a dark for­est of loam heav­en through hem­locks and firs. The low­er seg­ments give to faster trail and a cou­ple fun hips with land­ings in just the right place. When we come out, we will need to tack­le a stiff climb for 1000 feet. Fol­low­ing this last climb of the week, we will hit the most pop­u­lar trail in the state, Pop­pin Tops. This flow line is so fun. Dou­bles, tables, berms, views. A per­fect con­clu­sion to a week of rid­ing hard. 

From here guides will break down and pack your bikes, unless you used ours, while eat­ing lunch in the park. We will be back in Seat­tle to drop you off for an ear­ly after­noon flight out of town, or you could hit up our favorite hotel in Seat­tle, The Thomp­son, to wash off the ride and enjoy the evening over­look­ing the Puget Sound.

Book Cascadia, Eurostyle — Black Diamond Edition Now

Dates chosen: Jul. 26, 2021—Jul. 30, 2021
Skill Rating: Black Diamond
Fitness Rating: Black Diamond
Exit Booking
Skill Levels
Green Circle

Typically, green Rides are safe for beginners. Green Rides may have both avoidable and unavoidable obstacles. Trails are generally low grade, wide, consistent surface texture and have minimal features. You are likely to come across unavoidable obstacles 2-inches or shorter, which is small enough for mountain bike tires to simply roll over. More challenging than tarmac, but in general, a wonderful Ride for those riders new to mountain biking or looking for a casual experience.

Blue Square

In general, Blue trails are narrower than green trails, encounter unavoidable obstacles such as roots, rocks, and drops that are up to 8-inches tall. You will want to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of mountain biking including body positions, powerful braking, cornering, riding on varied terrain, steep sections and experience riding trails that requires line choice. Airtime is not mandatory, but you will find yourself on trails with alternate lines giving you the option.

Black Diamond

The Black Diamond Rides are  suitable for riders looking for that edge. Maybe it’s the edge of a drop, the edge of a cliff, or singletrack requiring focus and fast reactions developed from extensive experience riding “the edge”. You will find yourself on steep trails of varied surfaces. In the Pacific North West that could be slick roots and loam, in Nepal you will find exposed granite in the Mustang Valley and in Guatemala it maybe narrow stairways through cliffside villages. While airtime is rarely required, the ability to find the backside or clean a tabletop should be comfortable or in a state of progress. Obstacles on Black rides are likely to be outside the range of your bikes ability to cover your goofs with its awesome suspension and grip.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black ride is for those that already know they are looking for a Double Black. It’s going to be very hard and require advanced bike handling skills. You will find yourself on trails with sections most non-riders would look at and say, “that’s totally nuts!”. You will know how to look at a line and contemplate where it will work and where it won’t. Drops of a couple feet should be comfortable and getting your bike off the ground should feel predictable and fun.

Fitness Levels
Green Circle

You should be ready to spend 2-4 hours per day on the bike. Mileage may be up to 30km/20 miles and elevation gain will be under 500m/1500feet. On e-MTB tours, numbers will be higher, however the approximate effort would be considered similar to a standard Green Circle ride. If you get on your bike once a week, you will be just fine. However, when preparing for a Ride, you will benefit from more rides and time in the saddle.

Blue Square

Blue should be considered a good deal more effort than our Green Rides.  You should be able to handle 3 to 5 hours in the saddle covering up to 45km/30miles and be able to pull off a big day of 1000m/3000feet of elevation gain. Managing fuel is important as well.  You should have a good understanding how your body responds to multiple days on the bike. We will help with positive coaching, a manageable pace and plenty of trailside snacks.

Black Diamond

A Black Fitness ride will test you. Aside from needing to be able to manage up to 6 hours on the bike, day after day, including distance up to 50km/30miles and elevation gains up to 1750m/5000feet of climbing, you will be adding extra challenges along the route like periods of hike-a-bike and the extra effort required by the whole body to safely dance with your bike over technical terrain. Generally, riders who are up for a Black Fitness ride, likely spend time on the bike a couple times each week.

Double Black Diamond

A Double Black will be for those with the strength and endurance to get to the top of anything they want and understand the term “turning the screw”. Distance could be quite high on some routes and elevation gain numbers could hit 2000m/6000 feet+ in a day. You are likely riding multiple days a week during the dry periods and have a trainer or belong to a gym for the rest of the year.