“This is a beautiful ride with plenty of challenging singletrack on a ridge overlooking the valley.
— Tony Locati
This 13-mile loop is moderately difficult and involves about 4.5 miles of climbing that mostly comes at the beginning of the ride (if traveling counter-clockwise). These uphills are evenly divided between easy and moderately difficult grades; one-quarter mile is strenuous. Nearly 70 percent of the ride follows level terrain or descends. About half of the route is paved; the other half is on compacted dirt roads and gravel roads in good condition.
There is a short uphill stretch of degraded doubletrack where you must push you bike. Buck Lake is a nice place to camp, fish, or enjoy a picnic lunch. Deer and other wildlife are often observed near the shore. The sun-drenched hillsides south of the lake are awash with wildflowers in he spring and summer. There are some nice views of the Cub Creek and Chewuch River drainages form Forest Service Roads 140.
Note: due to logging operations in 2012/2013, the route from the Cub Creek road side was closed. This is an alternate round starting from Buck Lake. We'll provide a 2014 update on the logging soon...
Need to Know
Getting to Buck Lake trailhead: 12 miles north of Winthrop on West Chewuch rd. From Hwy 20 go west to CR 1213 to FR 5130, the west to FR 100, then southwest to the lake.
Camping is available (8 stalls) at the lake. Please don't park in the camping sites for day use.
Beginning at the Buck Lake parking lot, follow NF-100 doubletrack forest road North West until it connects to NF-50 to the left about 1 mile in. Follow NF-50 doubletrack until around mile 2.5, where you turn right onto Buck Mountain Trail
singletrack. At mile 3 continue straight on Buck Mountain Trail
- if you turn right here it takes you to Cub Creek Road
and the logging area that has closed some sections.
Around mile 3-4, you'll finish your climb and begin the amazing descent down the Buck Mountain ridge with vista views of the Methow Valley below. At mile 9, you'll finish your descent and connect to Buck Lake Trail
that is a combination of single and doubletrack back to the Buck Mountain parking lot.