For your time, no other ride offers the proximity to Seattle (1.5hr drive), the grunt factor (4,500′ of climbing), the technical riding and descents, the remote alpine feel, and the incredible views that make Noble Knob a Bucket-List worthy trail. It is the quintessential Northwest ride.
“There are dozens of Bucket-List worthy MTB trails in Washington State, choosing one over the other is like choosing a favorite child. All things being equal, I think that Noble Knob on HWY410 has to be the Quintessential Northwest Ride. No other ride in Washington has as varied a terrain, and the views off of Corral Pass and the Palisades are to die for,” says Alex Wilson, mountain bike racer and Washington native.
Why it’s the Best
It’s not an easy trail by any means. The strenuous uphills are not only incredibly taxing on the ol’ biking legs, Noble Knob also serves up some very advanced technical spots on the downhill. “The fire road to the top is very long and steep, and the last third is exposed to the sun. An average time up is close to 1.25 hrs. There’s also a fair amount of Hike-a-Bike through some Rock Gardens at the end.”
The Epic Trail Sections
Noble Knob is a set of trails comprising an unforgettable ride of about 20 miles. “My favorite section is the Palisades, a sequence of Sheer Granite cliffs overlooking the valley with incredible views of Mt. Ranier.” If you’re only going to ride this trail once, make sure you don’t skip the Palisades. But, if you’re more of a Free-Rider, you might enjoy the decent of Ranger Creek, which will cut out The Palisades. If flowy singletrack is your game, you won’t find too much of it throughout the Knob, but “the closest thing would be the descent from Corral Pass to the Horse Shelter at the turn-off to Ranger Creek.”
One section that you need to watch out for while tearing apart this epic trail, according to Alex is “a huge Hike-a-bike section with a wood ladder through it, with numerous tight Switchbacks. I watched one guy ride them all the way to the ladder, but most anyone else will have to walk it.”
For the Next Bucket-List Worthy MTB Trails, we will take a detailed look at Utah’s best trail — Porcupine Rim (That’s right, it’s not the famous Slickrock Trail)
LENGTH: 21 miles
TRAIL TYPE: Singletrack, Doubletrack
AVERAGE TIME: 2 hours
ELEVATION CHANGE: 2,100 ft
REGULATIONS: It’s on National Forest Land so all Federal Regs apply, specifically, no Moto’s. The trail is snowed in by Mid-October and doesn’t open up till the end of June. Last season there was a gate over the Forest Road so you can’t shuttle it anymore.
Other great rides in Washington
Devils Gulch/Mission Ridge, Ape Canyon/Smith Creek, Esmerelda Basin, Lewis River, Moran St Park, Chikamin Ridge, Mad River, Kachess Ridge, Mt Jolly/W. Fork of the Tenaway.