We want to provide and new and exciting way to experience the mountain via biking and hiking.
The east side of Mount Rainier has become underutilized since the closure of West Side Road. Westside Road entrance located less than a mile from the Nisqually entrance, on the left had side of the road. The road is gated closed three miles after the turn. .The road is closed to cars and gated 3 miles up due to a major washout years ago. The road used to allow cars easy access to great hikes but now hikers have an extensive walk on the road which takes too much time to get to trailheads. The history of Westside Road goes back to 1926 when it was originally built to allow motorists to encircle the park thru the high alpine wilderness giving a rugged back country experience via car. But due to lack of funding the road was never finished. There are numerous trailheads off Westside road that may be easily reached by bicycle, just waiting to be explored. Gobbler’s Knob, South Puyallup trail, Marine Memorial, North Puyallup Trail, St. Andrews Creek Trail, Denman Falls Trail are a few of them. A Mt. Rainier Greentrails map is useful in finding the trailheads.
Leave your car at just before the gate. There is plenty of safe roadside parking all the way up Westside road to the gate.
Bike Racks at every trail head waiting to be used
The road is in good condition for mountain bikes, it is not too steep and suitable for all fitness levels. Biking the road gives much quicker access to the many trailheads and adds a fun, fast downhill finish to any adventure.
Carefully place your bike in one of the carved grooves in the bike rack made out of a gigantic fir tree. You will find the Lincoln log-looking bike racks at each of the trailheads. A terrific short hike is 2.4 miles to the old fire lookout on Gobbler’s Knob – it is one of the 4 remaining lookouts built by the CCC’s in the 1930’s. Enjoy the breathtaking views of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. Hike back to the road, then cruise downhill on your bike (careful on the sweeping gravel turns) a great cool down to end your first bike/hike trek. (total time 4-5 hours)
On your way home stop at Whittaker’s Espresso and Café for coffee and treat-Enjoy!