Riding Issaquah’s Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park

Duthie Hill Park Mountain Biker on Berm

Arguably one of the top mountain biking destinations in Washington state, Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park is a spectacular spot for those looking to cut loose on the trails and get a little dirty.  With something for everyone, this park caters to riders of all skill levels – from the little balance bike aficionados to the bold and daring searching for opportunities to catch air.

About Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park

Nestled on the edge of the Issaquah-Sammamish Plateau, hiding within 120 acres of Pacific Northwest forest, you’ll discover over six miles of intertwined mountain bike trails that make up Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. A central activity area serves as basecamp to the flowy single-track (bike width) trails that start and end in the central clearing. 

The variety of trail types at Duthie include:

  • Cross-Country (XC) trails offering a combination of climbing and endurance riding for various skill levels, from beginner to advanced
  • Freeride trails, for more downhill riding focused on jumps and complex trail features
  • Jump Lines (rows of jumps) for those looking to get airborne

Location

The park is about ten minutes from Issaquah off of I-90 (as of writing there is construction causing a detour to the park adding 5-10 minutes), or about five minutes south of Hwy 202 off of Duthie Hill Rd.  There are two parking lot options for the park – a main entrance located at 26300 SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd. Issaquah, WA , and a second, smaller lot located off SE Duthie Hill Rd.  We recommend utilizing the main lot for your visit as there are more spaces available and navigation to the main “access road” trail is an easier ride for newer riders. Both lots can get busy on weekends so we also recommend arriving early to get a parking spot if planning a weekend ride. 

Arriving at Duthie Hill Park

The main entrance to Duthie is well-marked with a large wooden sign. During peak hours (weekend afternoons, and some sunny weekday evenings) if you find the main lot full, give the second lot off Duthie Hill Road a try. On particularly busy days you will also find visitors utilizing street-side parking near the outside of the park and Trossachs Blvd. Do be cautious if riding from street-side parking to Duthie, as surrounding roads are high traffic areas.

Once you have parked, checked your tires for air, and slapped on your helmet, navigating into the park is fairly simple.  

From the main lot, there is a short two-lane path (lanes are one-way only so be aware of signage for that) that will lead you to the park’s access road. The main “access road” trail that runs through the center of Duthie is not open for general car traffic, but occasionally vehicles that are there to service the park or of those offering classes or events in the park have access to utilize the road. As you near the start of the access road, if you look south (right) across SE Issaquah – Fall City Road you will notice the entrance to Grand Ridge Park, another fabulous mountain bike trail system that also appeals to hikers and trail runners. 

Once on the access road, following it as far as it goes will bring you to a large clearing with a shelter in the center.  In total it is about a mile to get from the main parking lot to the central clearing, and is an easy ride with no technical skills required. Congratulations you have now arrived at the heart of Duthie!

If you are entering from the alternate lot, signs will lead you along a short trail that crosses over a long board walk and eventually into the central clearing. The board walk hovers over a marsh that can flood the trail in winter, and as such, in wetter seasons there is always a chance this section may be under water.  Once you are over the board walk stay to the right and follow the entrance trail.  You will have a small climb to get you up to the center of the park.

Riding at Duthie

Once you are at the center, your hardest decision will be where to start! Posted maps utilize a ranking system similar to that of a ski hill, ranking trails based on their difficulty levels.  Markers at each of the trail heads will also alert you before entering each trail as to their respective difficulty levels. Trails marked green are for all experience levels, blue are for more advanced riders, and black trails are the most difficult. 

In the central clearing you will find a large picnic area, logs for seating, and various features for practicing technical skills. There are two pump tracks – a loop of small bumps and banked turns designed to be ridden completely by riders “pumping” up and down body movements instead of pedaling, wooden features for skills practice, and a couple of small jumps. On any given day you’ll find riders of all ages and abilities warming up for rides and learning new skills. Just like all sports, so much of your improvement and enjoyment will come from practice, so don’t be shy about being a novice! On all of our visits, we’ve always found Duthie to have a super friendly and supportive atmosphere.

Choosing a Trail

Beginners: If you are looking for a basic and beginner friendly trail, then Bootcamp is the trail for you.  This may be the easiest trail at Duthie, but it will not cut you short on fun.  There is no steep climbing or difficult features on this route. The first half of the route includes short, gentle climbs and descents, while the second half incorporates some fun downhill mini pump-track like sections. This trail is great for building confidence in younger riders and newer adult riders alike.

Experienced: For riders that have gotten comfortable with Bootcamp, a great next step are the XC options such as Step It Up, Movin’ On, and Braveheart. For those ready to tackle some freeride options we recommend trails like Ryan’s Eternal Flow Line, Big Tree, Double Trouble, and Gravy Train. 

For thrill seekers looking for jump lines (literally lines of jumps) be sure to check out Voodoo Child, Paramount, and Flying Squirrel. 

Learning to Ride

For those just visiting the area or locals looking to learn the ropes with the help of a qualified professional, some great local resources include:

Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance: Offers classes, volunteer opportunities in the park, and more. Evergreen actually designed and built the park in partnership with King County and continues to care for and maintain the park.

Progression Cycle: This awesome local bike shop located just over a mile from Duthie offers demo and rental bikes, gear, bikes and parts for sale, and mechanic services. The staff there are friendly, and they offer great, knowledgeable service.

That wraps up our “virtual tour” of Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park. Have a park or trail you’d love to see us cover? Visit our contact page and let us know!

DISCLAIMER: Please note that Mountain Biking involves an inherent risk, and should be approached with caution. It is not the direct recommendation of Discover the Eastside to participate in any of the above activities, especially without proper safety protocols, and is done so at the own risk of our readers.

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