“Beautiful but rugged climb into sweet-flowing Gold Creek downhill.
— Eric Ashley
A big loop through a visually rich old-growth forest. There's also plenty of physical exertion as riders pedal narrow, often exposed, ribbons of singletrack.
The trails in the Dungeness area typically open in the Spring according to the USFS. Mountain bikers are allowed on a select number of trails in the area, and multi-use traffic should be expected in both directions.
The USFS asks non-hikers to avoid using the bottom section of the Lower Dungeness trail during wet weather to protect sensitive soil areas.
Need to Know
**03/11/2015 the Hood Canal Ranger District reports that Road FS2870-230
has no trailhead parking (Lower Dungeness and Gold Creek Trailhead) due to slide damage. And there is slide damage 1.5 miles in on the Lower Dungeness Trail.**
This loop has a lot to offer. There's smooth and wide, rocky and exposed,and plenty of rolling climbs finished off with a high speed descent to a rushing river below, all wrapped up in an old-growth forest.
From the trailhead, the Lower Dungeness Trail is a steep and rolling climb that peaks out just before the intersection with the Three O'Clock Ridge Trail. Many riders prefer to climb up Road FS2870
and descend via the Three O'Clock Ridge Trail to this point particularly to avoid soft muddy conditions in wet weather.
From there, a short descent brings riders down near the river to pedal in-between trees in an incredible old-growth forest. The next couple miles continue as a gradual climb through the woods until the trail ends below the Upper Dungeness Trailhead (fee based parking area).
Turn left over the bridge and begin a steady road climb that involves 1,000 feet of elevation gain before you reach the Gold Creek Trail across from the Tubal Cain Trailhead.
The Gold Creek trail is a fun excursion along a narrow ribbon of buff singletrack as riders hug the side of Dirty Face Peak. A few short and punchy climbs ensure riders get some more fitness. There is minimal technical challenges but plenty of steep side-slopes and exposure require composure and focus.
Keep left at the intersection at roughly 3.75 miles down the Gold Creek Trail. Near the end of the ride there is a small log bridge crossing Gold Creek before the trail transfers onto a decommissioned road on the way back to the trailhead.