Ask any local mountain biking nut where to ride, and there are two words you’re almost guaranteed to hear: Duthie Hill. To wit, as one forum commenter put it, the place is just “drenched in awesome sauce.” The park’s 120 acres on the Sammamish Plateau offers several miles of flowy XC single-track, technical freeride trails, and plenty of jumps and obstacles suited for any level of expertise.
What Makes It Great
Duthie Hill is like a playground for grown-ups (with bikes being the preferred toy). As I think so many of us who love the outdoors can agree, the adult world could sure use some more opportunities for sanctioned fun.
The bike park centers on a 2.5-acre clearing, surrounded by dense second growth forests. While the trails are ever changing, there are currently several smooth XC trails that can be made into about a five-mile loop and two miles of freeride trail of varying difficulty. “Movin’ On” and “Braveheart” are both more technical routes. “Bootcamp” and “Step it Up” are known for their bermed turns. “Semper Diricus” is a great line to learn how to jump, and to practice making bigger and bigger drops. “G.H.Y. bikes trail” is tight and technical. The adrenaline pumping “Ryans’s Eternal Flow,” which rides like a rollercoaster, is not to be missed. All of the XC trails have an array of advanced features, like logrides, ladders, drops, and skinnies, but most of obstacles can also be avoided if you’re not yet ready for them. The routes are marked with signs to indicate difficulty and whether there are mandatory features. To help you get ready to take on any of the trails, train in the practice area, which has drops of various heights, skinnies, tables, and step-down jumps. If you want even more trails, Duthie Hill connects to Grand Ridge Park to the north, which has six miles of single-track, and Soaring Eagle Park is just a mile south on Trossach Boulevard.
Who is Going to Love It
Anyone who sees mountain biking as more than just a hobby; it’s a lifestyle. In Fact, Duthie Hill was developed and is still maintained by people who truly love the sport: Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance’s staff and volunteers, thanks to a King County Community Partnership grant. And, because they made it so awesome, Duthie Hill has become the go-to hangout for bikers (and it’s the perfect spot to practice and improve your skills). Ride there enough, and the bikers of Duthie Hill just may take you into the fold.
There are also online forums like Washington MTB to get you psyched and help you to connect with other bikers.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From I-90, take Exit 18 for East Sunset Way/Highlands Drive. Stay left on Highlands Drive and follow for 2.1 miles. Turn right onto Issaquah-Fall City Road and follow for two miles, when it becomes Duthie Hill Road. Follow for one more mile and turn right, where you’ll find a small parking lot (with room for about 30 cars) next to the maintenance shop.