Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass /
United States

Posted by: Rob Milns on 25 Aug 2013.
Date of Visit: 28 Jul 2013

Downhill For a Day

Situated about 2hrs North East of Seattle itself, Steven's Pass Bike Park is within easy reach of anybody staying in Seattle who wants to sample a bike park for a day or a weekend. I visited during a business trip to Seattle along with 2 colleagues – neither of whom are bikers, so a good measure of the parks ability to cope with differing abilities.

The park only has one lift, which is a bit deceptive when you look at the trail map as this shows 3 lifts but neither of these were running during our visit, nor do they link up directly with the trails. The trail map also shows 5 trails running down from the „Hogsback“ chair lift. A closer inspection of the map at the park showed 2 of these to be „coming soon“ - the Beginner Trail and the Jump Trail. According to the website the Jump trail should be finished mid-season 2013. We visited the 2nd week the park was open (27th July 2013) and the Jump trail certainly looked to be progesseing, however, on checking the web-site today (25th Aug) the trail is still a few weeks away from being finished. I didn't see any sign of the Beginner Trail so am not sure when this is due for completion. That's the negative stuff out of the way.

The park does have 3 great trails to try out – the Rock Crusher, Lichen It/Luvin' It and the Slingshot Wookie. The Rock Crusher is a smooth sculptured trail with lots of berms and jumps. It's shown as an imtermediate trail but I took my two downhill newbies down this with no problems at all. After a couple of runs they felt comfortable enough to sneak a bit of air in over some of the jumps. After a few more runs I left them to try the Lichen It/Luvin' It trail. This is also rated as an imtermediate trail, but whereas the Rock Crusher has been excavated and smoothed out, this is definitely a singletrack trail. Tight and twisty by comparision to the Rock Crusher, the speeds are much lower, but that doesn't stop it being great fun. As the Lichen It trail gives way to the Lovin' It trail, it opens out and becomes faster on the lower sections. Why it doesn't just have a single trail name I'm not sure as there seems no way to either enter the lower section without doing the upper section, or vice-versa. I took my colleagues down this too, one found it quite difficult and one didn't have too many problems. Whereas I would rate the Rock Crusher at the lower end of the intermediate scale, the upper section of this trail (Lichen It) is more towards the higher end.

So the last trail to try was the Slingshot Wookie. Rated as a black DH Singletrack, this has a bit of everything. Roots, twists and drops through the trees, some short steep rock sections and opening out with some berms and jumps down the bottom. This was probably my favourite of the lot, whether it was the skill compensator I hired (otherwise know as the Trek Session 8) or not I don't know, but this trail more than the others simply tempted you to go at it hard. I took the more adventureous of my colleagues down the trail too and he got down it with out problems. So again, by moderating your speed, a lot of people should be able to get it down OK. Just a note on the kit. We all hired Trek Session 8s for $100 inclusive of full face helmet, knee/shin and eblow guards. It does not include gloves or chest/torso/shoulder protection, so bringing your own gloves is essential if you have office hands like mine. The bikes looked brand new are were in good condition. If you are hiring, it's worth either phoning or dropping by in advance to reserve one as they seem to go fast. The tech guys will set up the bikes based on your height and weight. The bike park is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6pm. My body gave up at 5pm and there was still and hour of lifts and sunshine to go!

Being America we had to sign a waiver before we rode which included the statement that “backflips are not recommended”. I had to laugh.

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