Hit the Road: Mountain Biking and Camping in Washington
There is no shortage of mountain bike trails in Washington. North, south, east, west… all lead to plenty of forest to explore on two wheels. One way to maximize access to a variety of trails is to pack it all up for a camp trip that settles you right into a temporary trailhead basecamp. Bellingham native Jill Kintner is no stranger to such adventure. With her background in competitive downhill, Enduro, and Pumptrack riding, she’s a gal who knows a thing or two about finding the perfect trail to rip. She gave us the skinny on the best way to enjoy a Washington mountain bike getaway.
Where’s your favorite place to bike and camp Washington?
Biking-wise, our home town of Bellingham is my favorite spot for the variety and terrain. Issaquah has some really good zones as well if you’re closer to Seattle. The Methow Valley for camping is pretty amazing being drier than the west side, but you can’t beat the amazing sunsets and a lot of space to unwind.
What’s the riding like there?
Both Bellingham and Issaquah have Hero dirt, and a lot of fast singletrack that is focused on descents, that’s what I like most. There are places you can find your pick of primitive singletrack, maintained trails, and the ability to shuttle if needed. Methow Valley has trails that leave directly from the campgrounds, where moto and horses also have access if you’re looking for that kind of fun.
What is the camping like there in the Methow?
It seems pretty established to me, with bathrooms (just an outhouse) and campfire pits. There are all sort of campers so the riding is sort of an adventure mission – Angel’s Staircase being a main draw. We made a video for Freehub Magazine about a camping/riding trip we did our at this exact place. Check it out:
Is there anything specific that you bring with you?
We don’t leave home without headlamps, camping gear, bikes, and of course our Sprinter van:)
Anything special someone should know before going?
The dirt is really loose on top, and the climbs are really long and grueling, but on the way down it’s floaty and super fun!
What brings you back to this spot all the time?
Two words: the scenery!
Is there anything else to see nearby?
The drive over the mountains on Highway 20 is incredible. It’s one of the most scenic roads I have ever been on.
Favorite camp meal?
Turkey tacos or a poor boy.