Thankfully many mountain bike trail builders have a hard time sitting still. While much of Washington State was shut down this spring due to the COVID-19 outbreak, some trail work continued at many of the Spokane region’s popular riding areas. Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance president Chris Conley says that while the organization’s official work parties had all been canceled, some trail builders continued to work on their local trails on their own maintaining physical distancing through what Conley described as independent, volunteer-initiated trail work. Here are some of the mountain bike trail updates that Conley had for this spring and summer thanks in part to those trail workers:
Iller Creek: New switchbacks have been completed near the top of the east ridge. The long-awaited reroute replaced a steep, rutted section of trail and is a great new addition.
Saltese: A new trail called Turtle Gulch is under construction. Formally known as “the trail to nowhere” for heading up a draw before dead ending, construction and repair will make for a new route for climbing and descending that should be ready to ride by early June.
Mica: Work continues on the new Silicate Slide flow trail on Mica Peak Conservation Area land. The downhill mountain bike trail that features berms, jumps, and rollers will connect the lower face with the upper face and is significant because it will be the region’s first one-way only trail on public lands open only to mountain bikers. “It’s open now and could definitely use some more wheels on the fresh dirt work,” says Conley. “It’s not totally tuned up yet, but volunteers are doing the final hand work now.” The full loop is about 7 miles with around 2,200 of elevation with the climb back up on a mix of singletrack and road.
Mount Spokane: Upper Trail 290 that will be the continuation of the lower section (The Goods) from the snowmobile parking lot to the summit. The trail route has been flagged and partially brushed, with trail construction scheduled to start this summer. “Below treeline will be machine built and then it’s all hand work up higher,” says Conley. “It should be open and rideable next summer with the new section adding another two miles of singletrack.”
Antoine Peak: A new trailhead (Etter Ranch) is in the planning stages for the southside of the conservation area, as well as two new singletrack trails that Washington Trails Association is taking the lead on. Trail construction may start this fall, with the trailhead planned for next year. The trails will climb up towards the top and create multiple loop options.
Dishman Hills: In 2018, Spokane County acquired the 179-acre former “Flying L Ranch” through the Conservation Futures Program, creating the opportunity for a new trailhead and trails in the Glenrose Unit of Dishman Hills Conservation Area. The new Phillips Creek Trailhead near the Iller Creek trailhead is under construction now and Spokane Mountaineers volunteers are coordinating efforts on a new trail.
Find updates on all of these trails and public lands projects at Evergreeneast.org.