Monday, January 13, 2014

Mt. Spokane Fatbiking

Late Saturday afternoon I decided I would get up early Sunday and take the Pugsley N/R to Mt. Spokane.  Beat the crowd up the hill.  After checking out the snowshoe and snowmobile info at The Friends of Mount Spokane State Park website, I settled on a plan - I would use the Entrance Loop from the Snowshoe Trail Guide as a starting point. Park at the Entrance parking lot (just past the ranger station), take one of the Snowshoe Trails (either 122 or 121) up to the Snowmobile Trail (#120)  and ride around.  Maybe see if I could make it up to the Sno-Park lot.  Well surprise surprise I actually got my bike and gear ready Saturday night, got up at 6am and left the house around 7.  Got there good and early and mine was the only vehicle in the lot.

I chose to go up 121, but it was pretty steep and I couldn't find a spot to get started without either my foot or tires sinking into the snow, so I mostly walked the bike up to #120.  It would've been easier if I'd taken the time to put on snowshoes, but I left them in the truck.  I  mostly walked to the left or right of the set of snowshoe tracks in the middle of the trail.

Forthwith on to youtube (search wileydogger if you're inclined to watch a bigger screen):

0-24 sec:  After hiking up 121, I took the Snowmobile Trail. Thought I was heading towards the Sno-Park, but after awhile was going downhill. I had gone the other direction and ended down at the Bear Creek Lodge area, just below the Entrance.
24-32: back up above on 120, above where trail 121 & 122 meet 120. Lots of walking.
33-54: somewhere on 120. You'll notice lots of debris on the trail from the heavy winds the day before.
55-1:19: I went up 120 some more to see if I could make it to the Sno-Park.  Gave up on that, and rode back down to 121/122. OK, well, um there was some unpacked snow between the groomed snowmobile and the ungroomed snowshoe trail that I knew wasn't going to end well, but it was too late to stop.
1:20 to end: Down Trail 121 to the Entrance lot.  I swear this trail sign said 122, but the maps say it's 121.

With temperatures hovering just around 32F, the snow wasn't optimal but it was fun. I mostly had the trails to myself, and met some friendly snowshoers on the way down.  No sign of any snowmobiles until I was driving back down the mountain.

There's a fatbike gathering in Winthrop next weekend that I'm on the fence about going.  Don't really want to drive 3 1/2 hours, so if don't go can head back to Mt Spokane again. If it all doesn't melt by then.


  1. Lots of talk over here on the west side about fat biking, but most of us are just too far from the snow to justify the purchase. Is fatbiking really as loud as it seems in the video? A constant rumbling of crunching snow?

  2. I was a little surprised by the rumble when out there, but think it was louder than usual due to the crunchy snow conditions. I got the fat bike not just for the snow - it's great for dirt and rough off road riding/touring. One of the reasons I got it was to make it easier to ride the eastern part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail and the Columbia Plateau Trail. Not sure how close you are for beach riding, but I hear they're fun on the beach - see the Washington bike forum over at, page 2:

  3. We have a fair amount of beach around Tacoma, mostly pea-gravel/sand. I had no idea about the fat bike group, thanks for the link. I've read the 26InchSlicks account of the JWPT via fat bike; all of the WA fat bike buzz makes a purchase very tempting.