Friday, August 8, 2008

Bike roads and trails

I've added a new set of Web pages for information on riding road and mountain bikes in Mt. Rainier NP, which you can find here. There is a Web page with an overview, description and list of roads and trails, and another Web page with a map to locate the mountain bike roads and trails.

For the most part, riding a bike in Mt. Rainier is an activity few people come to the NP for, partly because of the lack of places and prohibition on bikes on the trails, and partly because of the number of better mountain bike rides in the US Forest Service lands around the NP where there are few restrictions and longer rides. Many of those, however, are shared with cars, motorcycle, ATV's, and hikers, so you have to use caution and exercise care when riding to avoid accidents and hikers.

Riding a road bike takes being a good rider in excellent condition as all the roads have significant elevation gain, easily 3,000-3,500 feet elevation gain over 15-20 miles. In addtion the highways are narrow two lane highways without true bike lanes but with wider shoulders and turnouts in many areas. You can also ride them around the visitors areas, like Sunrise, Paradise (espcially the Paradise Valley loop road), and Ohanopecosh, and around the camgrounds, such as Cougar Rock and Ohanopecosh.

Riding a mountain bike is pretty much restricted to three areas, the Westside road in the southwest, a near 9 mile one-way ride, Mowich Lake road in the northwest, a 5+ mile ride from the NP entrance to the lake and campground, and the Carbon River road, a 5 miles road and trail to the Ipsut campground. The Web page above provides more information about these places.

I hope this helps, and you're welcome to send e-mail with your suggestions, questions and problems.

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