5 days in a little slice of paradise, mountain biking in Leavenworth has something for everyone! This Bavarian-themed town in the heart of the Cascade Mountains is the perfect host for your singletrack adventure.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump, err a couple hour drive from the Evergreen forests, rich waters, and strong coffee of the Puget Sound, you’ll discover Leavenworth, smack in the middle of Washington state, our destination for this ride.
This 5‑day ride will knock your socks off if you can shake the kitschy Bavarian-theme of our host village. Located in Eastern Washington, the “dry side” as locals call it, the Leavenworth area offers a little different kind of riding compared to the West side. Set on a valley floor, you’ll grind uphill and scream downhill on a mix of great flow and exposed alpine singletrack trails. No wet roots here. Leavenworth enjoys four distinct seasons and an arid climate.
Get ready to fill your lungs with fresh mountain air and your bellies with brats, PNW cuisine, and NW craft beers. Bring your camera for the jaw dropping views in every direction.
*** This ride is GREAT for custom and private groups. Add whitewater, rock climbing, hiking, and enough riding to keep any level of rider stoked for weeks.***
Is This Ride For You?
Maybe you’ve recently started mountain biking and have the bug or have been riding for a while but keep it on the tamer side of singletrack. You already have the basics of riding, but you haven’t found the groove or developed the confidence to take it to the next level. You are a rider looking to learn and grow. You want to spend your time in the company of like-minded explores. You want to take photos, identify wildlife or have a curiosity about the plethora of flowers, shrubs, trees and cacti. You want to know if something goes wrong with your bike, your guides are ready to fix it on trail and are happy to use it as a learning experience. You appreciate being on vacation and having the details sorted out. You deserve a week of worry-free mountain biking in a beautiful and diverse paradise.
DAY 1. Head 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 you 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. We’ll put bikes down in Roslyn (Home of the 90s hit TV show Northern Exposure) and get to riding.
We’ll begin our ride in a subalpine transition forest and make our way through white pines, ponderosas pines and douglas firs. The dirt here is very different with more sand and quartz making for looser terrain. As we hit the first ridgeline, we’ll gain views to the north of Mt. Stuart and The Enchantments (a region of the Cascades known for breathtaking alpine lakes). After a traverse around the backside, we’ll have a long descent to the Cole Mines Trail which will be our path back to Roslyn.
Post ride, we’ll hop in the shuttle for an hour ride over Blewett Pass to Leavenworth. Hold on to your helmets because you’re going to think you’ve been teleported to Bavaria. Leavenworth… We’ll check in to LOGE, in the heart of the village, home for the next 4 nights. LOGE was built for outdoorsy folks and is equipped with all the amenities you’ll need.
DAY 2. Freund Canyon
You’ll awaken to the sounds of the Alpenhorn, or maybe just the alarm. After a hearty breakfast downtown, we’ll pedal from the hotel to Ski Hill, the central hub for some of Der town’s most popular trails. In the winter months, Ski Hill serves as just what the name implies complete with two rope tows, lighted Nordic ski and skate trails and a historic lodge. Over the past 11 years, the Ski Hill Project, representing a partnership between Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the USFS Wenatchee Ranger District has connected a series of trails that mountain bikers have worked to build for over 15 years.
Once at Ski Hill, we’ll work on some skills before ascending 4 the Boyz, a memorial to four locals that lost their lives in two avalanches. We’ll quickly be greeted with our first views of the village below, with surrounding orchards, views east to Wenatchee and towering mountains. After an initial descent, the climb begins. We’ll climb 5 miles, first on an access road, but mostly on singletrack, with occasional views and only very short steep bits before we are ready for the real descent. Freund Canyon is a “flow” trail with massive wall rides and berms. Think a continuous snake-like descent that alternates between wall ride and berm.
After the classic Freund trail, if you crave another lap, we will climb and different route and either take a second descent on Freund or step it up and ride a more challenging, knife edge trail, Rosie Boa.
A day at Ski Hill will give you a taste wanting more. If you’re legs are still up for it by Day 4, come back for Ribbed, Rosie or both! We’ll ride back to the village to enjoy dinner with a mountain view and delicious local cuisine.
DAY 3. Wenatchee’s Sage Hills
After another hearty breakfast we’ll hop in the vans for a half hour trip east to Wenatchee where we’ll ride trails managed by the Central chapter of EMBA in partnership with the Chelan Douglas Land Trust. As the miles pass, the topography quickly transitions from mountainous evergreen forests, through orchards to scrubland. The self-proclaimed “Apple Capital of the World” and home to Sage Hills, is named for the Salish-speaking Pisquose Indians known as the Wenatchi People.
The rolling hills found at Sage Hills, on the edge of Wenatchee offer wonderful views of the mighty Columbia River, the Wenatchee Valley and the North Cascades. Springtime brings vibrant color to the area with wild sage, yellow arrowleaf balsamroot, Indian paintbrush and purple lupine. Single track dirt trails lead over, around and through these beautiful rolling hills.
We’ll head back to the village to enjoy dinner with a mountain view and delicious local cuisine.
DAY 4. Day off — Ride the Waves of the Wenatchee, Explore the Village or Ride
After another delicious breakfast, you’ll have options for how you’d like to spend the day. Are you looking for adventure? Whitewater rafting the Wenatchee River may be right up your alley. For some, sitting and relaxing by the river will be just the ticket. If you have more legs and would like to ride, The NUT to Ribbed or Rosie, or both. Or perhaps you’d like a change of pace and decide to hike up Icicle Ridge Trail for a different view of the village. Other activities include going shopping, wine, beer or spirits tasting or checking out the quirky, Euro-themed village.
Leavenworth looked to tourism and recreation as a major economy as early as 1929, when they opened a ski jump (yes, at Ski Hill). They haven’t looked back. With over 2.5 million visitors annually, Leavenworth can feel a lot bigger than its village population of 2,067. Leavenworth is home to the LW Nutcracker Museum (we’re not kidding), hosts an annual Oktoberfest celebration and has some of the friendliest locals. If you’re lucky enough to encounter a local, you’ll get a glimpse of what life is like in this Der town.
Day 5. Back to the We(s)t Side
Enjoy your final “Bavarian” breakfast, pack up your bags and grab a coffee for the road. We are headed west back over the Cascade mountains for a final day of riding. We are headed for a full ride at Rattlesnake or Duthie.
Long time home to unsanctioned trails, years of advocacy have turned this once illegal mountain bike “secret” into a legit and above board destination. Now hosting the most popular trail in the state, Raging River will be a great test for all the skill work we have learned over the week. The climb starts from a parking lot that will give you a glimpse of how big the mountain bike community is around here. But once we hit the single track, you find plenty of space. Most trails on this hill are one-way and spread out to a diverse network giving every rider a clean line. As with most trail networks in the region, you will start with a challenging climb. Once on top, if the clouds give way, you will have views of Mt. Rainier to the South and Si to the North. If it’s a typical PNW day, the trees are the view.
From here we will mostly likely take the most flowy way back down, but we may add in a little tech thrill for some or all the descent back to mid mountain. From mid mountain, time for Washington’s most popular trail, Poppin Tops. One lap on this trail an you will see why it gets so much attention. Flow, jumps (not mandatory), berms, views. If you have had your fill of climbing, we will continue down Flowstate which is just like it sounds.
Lunch will be at the bottom where everyone decompresses and relives the ride, by the tailgates. When we’re done, it’s time for a big round of hugs and high-fives. We’ll shuttle you to your hotel of choice, or the airport. It’s been a slice!