Lower Dungeness/Gold Creek

One of my favorite trails to date in the Puget Sound area is the Lower Dungeness and Gold Creek Trail Loop.    I have ridden it twice before and I was excited to get back out for another outing in the area.

A fire road that does not suck

The first few miles of the Lower Dungeness trail can be brutally steep and amazingly pretty.   A lot of people opt to take  the fire roads around to 3 o’clock ride and then take a connector trail down to the Lower Dungeness cutting out much of the brutal climbing section of the trail.

Views from along the forest service road heading towards 3 o’clock ridge.

I have done both options and decided to take the forest service roads/3 o’clock ridge option.

More views from along the forest service roads

The views from along the forest road are really nice and grades are reasonable but you are missing out on pristine stuff my bypassing those first few miles.

Lower Dungeness Trail

Once I reached 3 o’clock ridge there was quite a bit of zippy downhill singlet rack goodness down into the creek watershed.  Once down there it was just sublime Pacific Northwest loamy, mossy forested goodness following the creek up stream.

There is plenty of undulations along the Lower Dungeness trail and since you are heading upstream you know you are trending uphill.   You probably will not care as the experience is pretty incredible.

Once the trail reached the junction of the Dungeness Creek trail and another fire road it was time for some more climbing to get to the top of the Gold Creek Trail and the Tubal Cain Trail at the edge of the Buckhorn Wilderness.   It was not a horrible climb, but you certainly did some work.

From along side the forest service road climb

The Gold Creek is pretty awesome section of trail that spends a lot of time along the a steep hillside with the Lower Dungeness Creek far below.

Along Gold Creek Trail


It was not recently that I learned that a portion of this trail is also part of the Pacific Northwest Trail.  Established in the 2009, the Pacific Northwest trail is 1,200 miles long and goes from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Oceans.

Hmmmm, I was a little lite on pictures through much of the ripping downhill sections of this trail.    Gold Creek will eventually drop down off of the high ridge sides.  Where you will enjoy some more creek-side riding before you have to a wee bit of climbing on an decommissioned forest road back up to the trail head.

On this day I logged right at 20 miles with 3,900 feet of climbing.   My legs were drained and my soul was full!

Green Mountain SP

I have been getting in some good after work rides out at Green Mountain State Park. This place is my current “local” trail with the trailhead just 10 minutes away. For my first ride back out here I kept it simple doing and out and back on the Wildcat trail to the Green Mountain peak. Round trip was 8.4 miles with 1,740 feet of climbing. The views included the Olypmics Mountains, Mt Rainer and downtown Seattle. Later in the week I was reminded that trails can come and go on timber land and following one of the trails I remembered from eight years ago netted me a solid 10 minutes of bramble bushwacking at the bottom of the far side of the mountain from where I started. I was not exactly chasing daylight at that point but once you get under the trees it seems much later in the evening. I found myself putting a bit more gitty up on the pedals to get back to the trailhead just to realize I had more daylight left than I expected. Good times!

Lower Dungeness- Gold Creek

Had a great day out on the Olympic Pennisula. I revisited the Lower Dungeness and Gold Creek loop I had done some number of years ago. The last time I was socked in with clouds but today was clear skies and sunshine. Such good singletrack. I do have some tweaks to make to my review of this trail. Look for those at some point.

Fort Ebey and Kettles Park

The weather reports were calling for clear skies and a warm day (that would be above 50 by Seattle standards this time of year) on Saturday.   In the coastal Pacific Northwest one should pay attention for such musings from the weather folks.  

 Saturday morning was indeed amazingly great looking and I wasted little time in getting packed up and headed out.  The destination today was Fort Ebey State Park combined with the adjacent Kettles Park.   After some nice scenery from the ferry over to Whidbey Island and a pretty ride through the countryside I parked at one of the trailheads at Kettles Park.   The plan was to ride some of the trails westwardly through Kettles Park over into Fort Ebey State Park.   I would try to do all of the Fort Ebey stuff and then work my way back through the rest of Kettles Park on the way back.  The trails of Kettles were mostly buff goodness with a combination of quick flowliness and tight twisty stuff that required a bit of shoulder tucking here and there to avoid the trees. 

The fun singletrack continued after crossing into Fort Ebey State Park.    I intentionally tried to stitch together the most serendipitous route possible to get onto as many trails as I could without too many loop backs.   The trails I took as I worked my way up to the west coast of the island and the Fort’s old gun battery were Grade A forested goodness that were a real cross country pleasure. 

Fort Ebey’s original purpose was to serve as gun battery defending Puget Sound during WWII.  Construction began in 1942 and the two gun batteries were placed in service in 1943.  In 1965 Fort Ebey started being converted to a state park.  Today visitors can walk through the bunkers and the foundation for the turrets now make a nice bench in which to enjoy the views.

The most popular and  iconic trails here is the Bluff Trail.   Its proximity to the edge of the bluff and stunning views offered of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula on clear days is truly an incredible thing to experience. Unfortunately bicycles are not longer allowed on most of the trail.  There are a couple of sections to the south of the battery that are still open to bikes and they should not be missed. 

I rode the open sections of the Bluff Trail in both directions just to get the full experience.       

At the south end of the park is the Cedar Hollow loop which also offers more of the killer views.   It is well worth some of the grunt work involved to get to the views.

After I got done looping in all the Fort Ebey trails I made my way back into Kettles Park and enjoyed some really nice singletrack through the forest.  I was feeling pretty pooped at this point, but the temperature had climbed to 68 degrees so it was pretty easy to keep on going despite complaining legs.  I pretty much rode all the trails of Kettles which brought the mileage up to a little over 20 miles before I called it a day.   A day that I call simply awesome!   Expect more information on this place the site in the coming weeks.