Set against the scenic backdrop of Enumclaw, Washington, the Crystal Mountain Loop is a stunning 14-mile journey packed with exhilarating challenges and awe-inspiring vistas. With steep climbs, alpine lakes, exposed switchbacks, and breathtaking ridgelines, this intermediate-level trail offers a rewarding experience for riders seeking both adventure and natural beauty.
Starting from Enumclaw, drive along Route 410 until reaching Crystal Mountain Road—watch out, if you hit Mt. Rainier Park, you've gone too far. Turn left and proceed up the road. For a clockwise loop, park at the 4-mile marker next to dirt road 7190-410. If aiming for a counter-clockwise run, continue for another mile and turn right onto the first dirt road past the horse camp, leading to a parking lot at the base of the ski run known as Northway.
Though the trails at Crystal Mountain are primarily designed for hikers, mountain bikers can still find their niche. Based on rider feedback, the most efficient way to conquer the loop is in a counter-clockwise fashion, starting at the Northway trail and then descending via the Crystal Mountain Trail. This route connects into Silver Creek trail, which leads back to the Northway parking lot.
Though Crystal Mountain Loop is not particularly friendly to mountain bikers in terms of purpose-built features, it offers a unique experience that balances grueling challenges with natural beauty. The ride is a test of both skill and endurance but rewards riders with unforgettable views and the chance to connect with nature. Clockwise or counter-clockwise, the experience remains unparalleled. A must-try trail for any serious mountain biker.