Washington’s popular Raging River trail system gets even better with 7 miles of new singletrack

While Evergreen MTB Alliance won't be able to build as many trails at Raging River as originally planned, the third phase adds a series of exciting new singletrack trails.
Photo: Vivika Stamolis. All photos courtesy Evergreen MTB Alliance

The Raging River trail system has been the main focal point of new mountain bike trail development in the Seattle Metro Area over the last several years. The new trail system was an instant hit when the first phase opened, and Evergreen MTB Alliance has only continued to expand the network since that time.

This spring, the third phase of development opened in Raging River, adding about 7 miles of purpose-built singletrack to this trail system. That brings the total miles of singletrack up to 32. One final phase of construction is planned, which will add an additional 7-8 miles of trail, bringing the system up to 39-40 miles.

Exciting new trails in Raging River phase three

Evergreen’s spring mountain bike festival at Raging River welcomed a multitude of new trails to explore. Evergreen added a small stacked loop trail system consisting of three trails totaling 2.3 miles that provide short after-work laps. These trails included two new blue trails with their own specific trail experience and flavors: “Ferdinand the Bull” and “Executive Decision” (the latter named after outgoing Executive Director Kraus). A climbing trail was rebuilt to access these trails for stacked loop options. “When you only have an hour to ride, you’re going to bang out a couple of loops [here],” said Yvonne Kraus, Executive Director of Evergreen MTB Alliance.

One of the most exciting new additions to the network is “Reverence,” which is a two-mile-long directional black diamond downhill trail that offers a technical mid-mountain experience.

Finally, “Wayback,” a short green connector trail, was added to avoid a road section between existing trails.

Evergreen MTB’s portion of Raging River phase three cost $170,000 to build.

Photo: Sean Sweeney

“Flow-gnar” coming in the fourth and final phase

Evergreen will soon be starting on an exciting new trail for phase four that’s currently known as “Trail E.” This final addition will offer a “flow-gnar” style of riding, pairing flowy features — like berms and rollers — with technical gnar — like roots and rocks. “It’s going to be three different sections built by very much a volunteer-driven effort, said Kraus. “One section by a volunteer group that’s done a lot of work for us and with us at Raging River. Another section built by women — we have a women-built downhill trail at Raging already that’s won some awards.”

Phase four will also focus on creating loop connectivity within the trail system that doesn’t currently exist by building a series of connector trails that will allow riders to tailor their loops and routes however they see fit.

Photo: Vivika Stamolis.

Fewer trails will be built at Raging River than were originally approved

Originally, Evergreen had proposed more extensive trail development at Raging River, but they’ve since reduced the scope of the final two phases of development.

“The scope has changed a lot over the last few years due to tribal feedback and collaboration with the tribes on where and how much and how complete is the system,” said Kraus. The final phases of the project were scaled back by almost 50% despite having already been planned and approved. This reduction came after a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process, where the Department of Natural Resources worked closely with the Snoqualmie Tribe.

“We are very, very excited about what’s opening and what’s still coming,” said Kraus. Kraus went on to say that Evergreen supported the SEPA process and the decision to reduce the project scope at Raging River. “We sent a letter of support, recognizing that we understand the significance — the impact of the project overall, what is very high-value ancestral lands right next to the Snoqualmie Tribe. We were very willing to reduce the originally planned scope by about 50% and then call the project complete. So, we’re not quite getting what we had hoped when the project’s fully built out.”

“However, it’s still a comprehensive system,” Kraus concluded with excitement in her voice. “It’s got something for everyone. You’ve got your backcountry experience, and you’ve got your quick front-country loops. It’s, overall, something we’re very proud of.”

Update July 11, 2024: This article has been updated with additional feedback from Evergreen MTB Alliance.

 

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