MTB Project Logo

blue Slate Peak

  3.7 ( 3 ) Favorite

Trail

27.8 mile 44.8 kilometer out and back
0% Singletrack
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 4,925' 1,501 m
Descent: -4,928' -1,502 m
High: 7,389' 2,252 m
Low: 2,492' 760 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 35% (19°)

Dogs

Off-leash
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Ted Stroll

No singletrack, but fantastic mountain scenery.

Ted Stroll

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Family Friendly It's steady climbing, but kids could ride a mile or two of it at the bottom, which is fairly flat.

In places, it parallels the PCT, however, and it stops just short of the Pasayten Wilderness. Forest Service policies prohibit bicycles in both venues.

Overview

The top 20% of the almost 5100 feet of climbing affords some of the most fantastic views of the Cascades imaginable. See the pictures, although they may not do justice to what you'll see in person. It's a long grind from near Mazama to Harts Pass, but from Harts Pass to Slate Peak is a wonderland. Of course, one could drive a jeep up to Harts Pass and then ride the rest of the way to Slate Peak, but that is too short a distance to be a great outing.

Need to Know

If you do drive part of this route, you'll need a capable four-wheel-drive vehicle, ATV, or dirt bike.

Description

Ride on the valley floor from the vicinity of the Robinson Creek or Ballard Forest Service campgrounds. After about a mile, you start climbing. It's not difficult until about mile 4, where you reach a promontory with a view into another valley. At that point, the road becomes rockier and rougher and the grade increases. But it's rideable. A mile or two of hard climbing and it eases off again, allowing one to resume a steady, almost middle-ring climb.

About mile 11.3, and about 3500 feet above the valley floor, one reaches Harts Pass and an intersection with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (bicycles forbidden under Forest Service policy) and other dirt roads. There's a Forest Service guard station there, with residents in the summer of 2015, and a picnic table.

So far, the scenery will have been unexceptional, though pleasant. But as you look up the road from Harts Pass toward Slate Peak, you get a glimpse of what's in store. Ascending, the road winds through a landscape that looks like the Swiss Alps. And you start to get better and better views of the Cascades.

To get to the old military observation site at the top, you go through a gate (motor vehicles must stop at this point) and do a tough final power climb. At the summit, you're standing on Slate Peak, a mesa that the military may have leveled off for their now closed observation tower. There, the views are nothing short of unforgettable. You'll be ringed by jagged peaks, some snow-covered, in every direction except north, where you see a magnificent valley (maybe a cirque) in the Pasayten Wilderness well below you. Don't forget your camera.

The descent will, naturally, be a blast and you'll be rewarded for all of that climbing.

History & Background

The Slate Peak observation tower is said to date to World War II. More detailed information should be available online. It's in a decrepit state now and one is well advised to observe the no-entry sign at the bottom. The views are good enough without climbing the tower.

Contacts

Rate This Featured Ride

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Ride

Check In

Check-Ins

Jul 3, 2017
Jeff D.
Beautiful day for a climb.

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#2639

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
33%
1 Star
0%
Rankings

#44

in Washington

#2,639

Overall
62 Views Last Month
2,262 Since Oct 4, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

0 Comments

MTB Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Mountain Bike

MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter