Mount Spokane Circumnavigation Mountain Bike Tour
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Distance: 13 miles
Riding time: 2 - 3 hours
Season: Late June through mid-October
Maps: Spokane County Recreation Map by Northwest Map and Travel Service.> Info: Mount Spokane State Park, 456-4169.
MOUNTAIN BIKING TRIP NOTES
Access: From U.S. Highway 2 north of Spokane, head east on State Route 206 (Mount Spokane Park Drive) 15 miles to park entrance, which is just past Kirk’s Lodge. Continue uphill 3-1/2 miles to junction with Summit Road. Trailhead is in large parking area at right.
Attractions: Loop trip goes around Mount Spokane, with good combination of scenic views along with uphills and downhills on reasonable grades. Route follows dirt road, double track trail or pavement, easily negotiated by mountain bikers of all skill levels. Only reason it’s ranked “moderate” instead of “easy” is the fitness level required to handle two sustained climbs. Go through lightly visited north side of park. Cross small streams. Coast through old-growth forest and huckleberry stands. Tremendous wildflower displays in summer followed by brilliant fall colors in early October.
Comments: Best times to ride are early in morning or late in afternoon for solitude and opportunity to see wildlife. Park opens 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Ride route clockwise to get best advantage of dirt-road downhill.
From Sno-Park parking lot, head up the fairly steep grade of paved Summit Road, passing day-use areas and campground with restrooms. Just past campground is gate, sometimes not open right at 6:30 a.m. Continue around it.
At 1-2/3 miles, leave pavement at hairpin turn and bear left, through gate to begin roughly 6-1/2 miles of enjoyable downhill.
Pass the Civilian Conservation Corps group campground. Then pass trails heading left to Mount Kit Carson. At nearly 4 miles, make a sharp right turn and continue downhill on Chair 4 Road, one of park’s coolest, quietest stretches.
A little past 8 miles into trip, go past the road heading sharply uphill to Chair 4. Continue downhill another 1/2 mile and take road that heads steeply up to right. Next 2 miles go uphill at reasonable grade, save for a few short steeper pitches.
At about 11 miles road forks. Bear right for splendid riding on ski area road that contours slope and emerges at Ski Lodge 2. Make way down to parking area and ride 1-1/2 miles on paved road uphill to starting point.
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Map of bike tour
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