This Lift-Served Bike Park Found Beginner Trails Were ‘Essential’ to its Reopening

Photo: The Summit at Snoqualmie

What began as a “dream” in 2017 is now a reality. After The Summit at Snoqualmie’s bike park shuttered in 2002, it reopened in late August with seven trails and a new vision for the park: one that riders of all skill levels can enjoy.

The Summit at Snoqualmie had a strong reputation for mountain biking and held a UCI World Cup downhill race in 1998 but “without enough business from recreational riders, the bike park closed in 2002,” wrote the Seattle Times.

Rider demand for a reopening of the bike park grew after its closure, and the popularity of bike parks across the country has grown exponentially with more resorts adding lift-served mountain biking to their summer activities every year. As mountain bike news consumers know, opening trails tends to birth opportunity for economic growth.

In 2017, The Summit at Snoqualmie announced a plan with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA) to reopen the park. Singletracks reported on the news five years ago.

“All of us here at The Summit have seen the tremendous benefits re-opening a bike park could have for our existing guests, staff, local community, as well as outdoor recreation enthusiasts in general within this region, especially given the impressive and ever-increasing network of high quality local trails along the I-90 corridor.”

At this point in time, Snoqualmie knew the process and the “dream” would be “long and involved.” The resort partnered with EMBA to map and analyze potential trails and to prepare National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for review since half of the park is positioned on U.S. Forest Service land. Fortunately, according to the Seattle Times, there wasn’t much opposition. In 2021, Snoqualmie received approval from the agency to begin digging trails that sat on public land.

“As you might imagine, we are eager to bring lift-serviced mountain biking back to Washington,” they wrote in a blog, noting they would focus on beginner and advanced blue and green trails “as these trails are essential for opening the park.”

EMBA designed and prepared a 5-year plan for the resort, and conducted trail design and flagging services for Phase 1 Trails which were primarily located on private property. Portions on USFS land however required environmental reviews. Snoqualmie contracted EMBA and used its staff trail builders. Construction began in the summer of 2019, according to EMBA. Builders started on two brand new trails but also refurbished some of the trails from the 1998 World Cup.

Now the park seems to have a map of trails for riders of all skill levels.

Green Party is the park’s easiest trail. Bermy Loamax — a double pun and spinoff from the Weekend at Bernie’s character — is intermediate-rated with flow, berms, and rollers. The Wapiti trail kicks up the technicality with roots and rocks. Lost and Found is a black diamond trail with steep sections and rock drops. Slab and Tickle, as the name implies, features some long rock rollers and “no easy ride arounds,” and Black Forest is an expert-only tech trail.

The trail mileage totals five miles and there are plans for more in the works. It’s open Fridays through Sunday for the remainder of the season with day pass prices ranging from $30-$50.

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