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Bicycling

Many of our Pacific Northwest Trail Association members—or at least their kids or grandkids!—are bikers.

We appreciate the work that bicycle organizations and their volunteers do to maintain sections of the Pacific Northwest Trail.

With hundreds of miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail in National Parks and wilderness areas, it is not possible to “thru-bike” the Pacific Northwest Trail. However, bicycles are welcome on many sections.

Highlights

There are some great mountain biking opportunities along the Pacific Northwest Trail. Some of our members’ favorite areas to ride on the Pacific Northwest Trail include:

  • Hay Creek/Red Meadow Road, Flathead National Forest near Polebridge, Montana
  • Ten Lakes Scenic Area, Kootenai National Forest near Eureka, Montana
  • Tobacco River Memorial Trail/Kootenai Trail between Eureka and Rexford, Montana
  • Mt. Henry, Kootenai National Forest near Rexford, Montana
  • Kettle Crest Trail, Colville National Forest near Republic, Washington
  • Similkameen Trail, Oroville, Washington
  • Cascade Trail, Sedro-Woolley, Washington
  • Tommy Thompson Trail, Anacortes, Washington
  • Kettles Trail System near Coupeville, Washington
  • Larry Scott Memorial Trail, Port Townsend, Washington
  • Dungeness-Gold Creek Loop, Olympic National Forest near Sequim, Washington

In addition, popular road biking destinations near the Pacific Northwest Trail include:

  • Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park
  • Lake Koocanusa, Montana
  • Olympic Discovery Trail, Washington

Check with local land managers to be sure you know the regulations for the trails you plan to ride before you go.

You are a model for other trail users and an ambassador to hikers and equestrian riders who may not be as comfortable around bikes as you are and may not know what to expect when they encounter bikes on the trail. The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has some tips for minimum impact riding and the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance has created an entertaining video on trail etiquette that serve as good refreshers to ride safely, minimize impacts, and maximize enjoyment on the trails.

Prohibitions and Caution

Bicycles are prohibited on backcountry trails (and off-trail) in National Parks, including:

  • Glacier National Park
  • North Cascades National Park Complex
  • Olympic National Park

Bicycles—and motorized and mechanized forms of transport generally—are prohibited in all federally designated Wilderness areas. On the Pacific Northwest Trail, these include:

  • Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Colville National Forest, Washington
  • Pasayten Wilderness, Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests, Washington
  • Stephen Mather Wilderness, North Cascades National Park
  • Mt. Baker Wilderness, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington
  • Buckhorn Wilderness, Olympic National Forest, Washington
  • Olympic Wilderness, Olympic National Park

This is not a complete list of areas and trails that may be closed to bicycles. Always check with local land managers before you go.