“A casual mix of gravel and dirt trails that goes through Whipple Creek County Park.”
— Mike Lenz
Walk up the steep hills, and the south loops are easy for the whole family to enjoy.
This route is a combination of mixed use gravel paths and dirt singletracks. Lots of roots and some fallen trees to roll over on the single tracks. Great for beginners. Gravel paths have some steep walkable climbs, but otherwise it's all green. Take any of the pigtails to ride the primitive trails. You can use the various paths, not repeating and roll for about 1000 feet of elevation gain over ~8 miles. It's a nicely maintained tame park.
You'll find horses, bikes and walkers using the park. New horse and bike riders are common in the park that don't know trail etiquette. Help them kindly follow the guidance posted at the trailhead.
Need to Know
It's common to find horse waste on the trails. The bridges have extra wood in the middle to support horses and inadvertantly crash fast moving bikes.
Off I-5 take the 179th exit (Number 9) and head west. Turn left on NW 21st. There will be a brown metal Whipple Creek Park sign. Head to the end of the road and park in the gravel lot. There will be an outdated park map posted at the trailhead. From there you'll have a wide range of options. Head due south (the trail that heads straight from the parking lot) and take the first right (West) onto Raspberry Lane
At the Y take Cedar Loop
, in 80 yards you'll see Rabbit Hole
on your right. It's pretty tame unless it's wet. When wet the mud is sticky. Nimbly make your way between trees. It will end in a t-bone into North Ridge Way
Turn left on North Ridge Way
and it will take you back to the North-South Connector
Once you cross the two bridges and walk up the hill to get to the South Ridge Loop
keep heading south until you hit the wide open clearing. On your left is where Stone Mill Loop
starts. The switch back is good for the heart and the faster riders will have fun trying to pass each other the flowing climb.
Once to the top it connects with the South Ridge Loop
. Limit your speed as there are many blind corners and the odds are good that there are horses around the corner.
A good place to stop with new riders is the picnic table in the clearing on the west end. (At the picnic table happens to be where 45th Parallel
After a rest continue to the shadowed, north side of the South Ridge Loop
. It is a open wide gravel ride, great for a slow poke pedal with kids. Take a left at the interaction with the North-South Connector
. Roll past Everson's Cutoff
then at the 180 degree left be ready to be over your back wheel and slowly descend. Watch out for the steps in the bridge at the bottom. New riders will want to walk this descent.
(On your right will be Whipple Creek Way
, which leads to the east end of the park.)
Continue on North-South Connector
crossing over the second bridge and head straight up the hill. This is a steep switchback that leads back to the parking lot. The short tour of the park is complete. This tour covered most of the gravel trails in the park and one of the many primitive trails.
There are dozens of pigtails, side paths, deer paths and other unmarked ways to enjoy the park. If you get lost. Just keep riding until you come to one of the many interactions and follow the Exit signs out. If you find the North-South Connector
, take it north and it will always take you back to the main parking lot on the north end of the park.
History & Background
This is a county park shared by horses, bikes, and joggers.