The Gravel Riders
That’s where this story takes place
*The esteemed International Federation of Sweet Gravel (IFSG) has awarded Washington Cascades gravel “Best in Show” for the 178th straight year. So we got that going for us.
Our gravel riding stacks up against any in the world, we have old rail lines that run through the deepest forests and through the most barren deserts and everything in between. We have gravel climbs into the mountains that will make you run home cryin’ to your mama.
If you live here, then you probably already know what’s up but if you are from elsewhere and gravel-curious, take a little trip with us.
Sounds good, how do I get started out there?
First of all, bring your gravel bike or hardtail mtb and park in the big gravel lot at King and Railroad in downtown Snoqualmie.
Go across the street to Bindlestick Cafe and get a triple espresso, then jump on either the Snoqualmie Valley Trail (SVT) or head toward the falls to the millpond to get to the Mainline to enter the tree farm.
If your plans are to hit the tree farm, you’ll need a permit ($10/day or $60/annual). Motorized permits are sold out for 2020.
Get Avenza Maps, download this Campbell Global map pdf and add it to the Avenza app and you’ll be set.
There is great access to the trail, one good way is where Mt. Si Golf Course is, you’ll usually ride by a bunch of elk just across the street from the course.
A hugely important thing to remember is that you should be self-sufficient. Some of these rides can get very remote and quiet. There is always the possibility that you’ll be walking out for some distance. It’s up to you to make that a small possibility.
If you ride solo a lot, some things get more important, like bear spray and sound decision making.
Check out the lists below as a starter. Do whatever you need to do to get home in 1 piece, that’s the bottom line.
Main tools of the trade
- Gravel, cyclocross or mt bikes
- Tough MTB shoes
- Padded gloves
- ID, cash
- Charged phone
- Extra tube, Co2 cartridges, extra nozzle
- Allenhead tools, extra chainring and cleat bolts
Optional tools of the trade
Tools of the trade – optional
- Bear spray*
- Backup GPS
- Extra tube
- Bug spray
- Bike or headlight
- Paper maps
- Battery pack
Local (SnoValley) trail info
Campbell Global Tree Farm
This is 104,000 acres of glorious gravel exploring currently owned by Campbell Global and available for us to ride in for $60/yr or $10/day – a whole lot cheaper than skiing and whole lot scarier, especially when you’re solo.
Palouse to Cascades Trail
SVT – Snoqualmie Valley Trail
This rail-trail runs 31 miles from Duvall to Rattlesnake Lake passing through Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie, North Bend and Mt. Si. More info here.
Local (SnoValley) bike shops, beer, coffee… the usual goods
Important local businesses
Issaquah: 2 Safeway, QFC, Trader Joe’s, Costco
Fall City: Farmhouse Market
North Bend: Safeway, QFC
Popular local sufferfests
NO NAMED GPX
Here’s the Golden Globes-nominated documentary of a long-lost and forgotten gravel mine that gets discovered, but there is so much more…
The Gravel Riders – The movie
The Gravel Riders – movie promo
The Gravel Riders – this was entered into a film contest and was shown in the North Bend Theater
The Gravel Riders on Facebook : Instagram : Strava
Come ride with us
Gravel, gravel riding, offroad riding, adventure seeking. mostly dropbar but not always
Year-round, our gravel ranges from sea-level to more than 5,000 feet so there is almost always some snow-free gravel to ride. Or just take your fat bike.
The lower rail-trails if there’s snow, in the summer it’s wide open – it’s often about peak bagging and tower bagging.
it’s just better here
Check out some of the stuff on this site, you should be able to glean enough expertly and creatively written directions here.
You, if you want a better life