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  1. #1
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    Best Mountain bike towns in Washington

    I'm sure this info is somewhere on this forum but not having much luck finding.

    I'm looking into moving to Washington for a change of pace. Looking for primo mountain bike accessibility (roll out of the driveway to the trails type). Prefer a town with more than 5,000 people and less than 50,000. I work from home so job market is not important. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    You you mind/want snow in the winter? That will limit things pretty quickly either way....
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

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    We don't mind snow so long as there are winter sports within proximity. Not a deal breaker either way.

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    Ballard, or Fremont...










    are not on this list.

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    I'd argue that anything on the West slope of the Cascades, within an hour and a half of Seattle, no longer qualifies for the "change of pace" category. Avoid King County.

    If you just have to live in Washington, look on the dry side of the state at Roslyn, Cle Elum, Levenworth, Cashmere, Winthrop.

    Otherwise, there's just too many great mountain towns in the inter-mountain-west states if you don't need to be here for the tech industry...

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the feedback. We like the forest and relative proximity to the ocean that Washington offers. Does anyone have experience with Port Angeles or Sequim? That area looks appealing from what I can tell. Looks to be sheltered from some of the precipitation. Real question is mountain bike opportunities?

  7. #7
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    What Kellyc said. I would also add Wenatchee to that list, and Spokane has good access to mtb as well. Olympia has access to capitol forest and a few other areas and has a bit slower pace than Seattle.

  8. #8
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    Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance - Washington's Largest Mountain Bike Club and then the wiki/trail page.
    Some fun riding out of PA and Sequim.

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    This is a good thread....related to your question:

    Where to live in Washington for year round single track?

    Bellingham would be on my short list although it might not be "from your door"....

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    May want to look at Poulsbo/Port Gamble area. Trails that are in a vast area that opens up some real estate possibilities. That trail network is nice in that its largely biker developed and maintained without many restrictions on what can be built. The downside it's not state owned land; so who knows what the future holds. There are about at least 5 other trail networks within 40 minutes drive. Also has quite a few breweries and decent eating options. Sequim is on the Olympic Discovery Trail,but its mostly bike path riding close to town with some trails further south on the Hood Canal side of the Olympics. I need to explore the Pt Townsend, area it seems to have some trails

  11. #11
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    It is nice being in the rain shadow in Sequim but like people of said there is more riding on the Peninsula over by Port Gamble or Poulsbo. The nice thing about the area around Port Angeles and Sequim is property is relatively affordable. Meaning you can build some features in your backyard. Other then that, most riding will be 45 minutes away or so. Slim

  12. #12
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    What type of riding do you like to do?
    What winter sports do you like to do?
    What MTB tows have you been to before that you liked?
    do you ride in wet/cold conditions or would you hang the bike up and wait for fare weather?
    Epic trails get built in the Northwest by epic people!

    Sustainable quality trails please.

  13. #13
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    Best Mountain bike towns in Washington

    Why WA? The majority of places I'd be looking using that criteria are not in this state.
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    Focusing on the "primo MTB" requirement: If you ignore the 2M people to the left Issaquah or Snoqualmie. Looking toward the future with Tiger Mt, Olallie, Hansen, and adjacent areas, Snoqualmie may be the better choice and is further out of the people zone.

    Other than that, Primo = Bellingham. No other place with the quantity, variety, and quality of trails. Plus it's a great town and close to water. Plus it's close to North Shore and Whistler.

    I love Wenatchee and Leavenworth and putting them together with Lake Wenatchee probably equals primo. But the latter two have a short season and the qty/variety is not as high as the above.

    If you call Hood River a part of Washington or live across the bridge, it is definitely primo.

    Otherwise, Bend, Bozeman, Oakridge(??), Ashland (maybe), Nelson BC (Amazing).

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Ballard, or Fremont...










    are not on this list.
    Ballard and Fremont have a great variety of recreation.........if you like bars.

    I am prejudiced, but Wenatchee is the best in my book. Lots of variety of close by, year round recreation. Mountain biking is really becoming on a par with skiing for the recreational driver here.The local Evergreen chapter has so many trail projects going we have a hard time coming up with enough volunteers to get it all done. Wenatchee can compete with most any recreational center in the West.

  16. #16
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    Wenatchee...agreed

    Wenatchee Outdoors Forum - great local resource
    Last edited by rbwen; 05-28-2014 at 01:14 PM.

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    The more I research and think about it, the gloomy conditions of the coast area may be an issue. I knew it was overcast but less than 30% sunny days may have me wishing I was back in Austin. Looks like Wenatchee may be the best option for WA. I'm open to other areas in the US. If you guys could live anywhere just for MTB with reasonable housing cost where would you be? The comments are greatly appreciated.

  18. #18
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    If you want to live anywhere, just want to mountain bike, why not Moab, UT.

  19. #19
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    Bingen. Why does nobody ever mention Bingen?

    It's in Washington, and beautiful, and competes in all recreational categories.
    Rolland

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtxandy View Post
    The more I research and think about it, the gloomy conditions of the coast area may be an issue. I knew it was overcast but less than 30% sunny days may have me wishing I was back in Austin. Looks like Wenatchee may be the best option for WA. I'm open to other areas in the US. If you guys could live anywhere just for MTB with reasonable housing cost where would you be? The comments are greatly appreciated.
    Spokane area has cheap housing, and there are tons of trails very close.
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  21. #21
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    Best Mountain bike towns in Washington

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    Bingen. Why does nobody ever mention Bingen?

    It's in Washington, and beautiful, and competes in all recreational categories.
    More than 5000 people?
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navigator View Post
    Focusing on the "primo MTB" requirement: If you ignore the 2M people to the left Issaquah or Snoqualmie. Looking toward the future with Tiger Mt, Olallie, Hansen, and adjacent areas, Snoqualmie may be the better choice and is further out of the people zone.
    Agreed. I'm really enjoying North Bend.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtxandy View Post
    If you guys could live anywhere just for MTB with reasonable housing cost where would you be? The comments are greatly appreciated.
    1. Southwestern Colorado: Durango
    2. Northern New Mexico: Taos
    3. Northern Arizona: Prescott

    What I'd lose in skiing I'd gain back in living in a more moto friendly state.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtxandy View Post
    The more I research and think about it, the gloomy conditions of the coast area may be an issue. I knew it was overcast but less than 30% sunny days may have me wishing I was back in Austin. Looks like Wenatchee may be the best option for WA. I'm open to other areas in the US. If you guys could live anywhere just for MTB with reasonable housing cost where would you be? The comments are greatly appreciated.

  25. #25
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    I'm in Snoqualmie, and I'd argue it's as good as it gets for MTB in the greater Seattle area. There's a big difference between best in the area where jobs are at vs. best anywhere and bringing a job with you. I would be looking at the Rocky mtn states, or at least the east side of the Cascades. Since you mentioned coast access, Hood River Oregon is almost dry side, has the biking, and is 2.5 hours from the coast (but there's an income tax on that side of the river).

    Quote Originally Posted by kellyc View Post
    Agreed. I'm really enjoying North Bend.

  26. #26
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    OP, I love it here in WA, but if I had a job that allowed me to live anywhere then I wouldn't live here. I'd consider Durango CO. Great biking out the door, killer skiing and you're close to Moab. Add in gorgeous hiking and fishing opportunities and you got yourself a pretty fine place to live.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt pirate View Post
    Ballard and Fremont have a great variety of recreation.........if you like bars.
    Or sailing.

  28. #28
    That Waters Guy
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    More than 5000 people?
    Sure, it's just that 90% of Bingen's population actually lives in Hood River.
    Rolland

  29. #29
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    Bingen is paradise, expect the $.50 toll to cross the bridge will bleed you dry.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greydon Clark View Post
    Bingen is paradise, expect the $.50 toll to cross the bridge will bleed you dry.
    Yeah, I used to hate the toll too, but in my aged youth I now figure it costs an extra $180 a year to live in Bingen, if you go to HR every other day.

    I'm paying 10 times that just to drive to Seattle every day across the 520 bridge.

    Ironically, as soon as they finish the bridge, I'll be biking in every day, so I won't have to pay for it. Woot!
    Rolland

  31. #31
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    Just spent a week riding and brew pub'ing in Bend, Oregon. The community vibe is great and winter sports are readily available. It'd be high on my list.

  32. #32
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    Freaky, I couldn't agree more from a tourist perspective. I try to get down there every year for a week or a long weekend just to ride some long "Bend" miles. But, if you want to start a loooong thread on the OR forum page here. Just tell everyone to move there. Stuff starts flyin'.....

  33. #33
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    Live anywhere, outdoor activities, reasonable cost. Nevada side of lake tahoe. Primo MTB and the lake all summer, primo skiing/riding all winter.

  34. #34
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    If you want to jump on your mt. bike & ride ride out the "back door"... I'd say Wenatchee or even Yakima (where I live)... or anywhere else on the east slope (Ellensburg, Roslyn, ?)... These towns have trails from the edge of town right up into the Cascades and are centrally located for easy drives to everything else (and WAY less traffic/parking issues. I often ride desert single track as an option on my commute home from work... and I know my friends in Wenachee do too. And often, due to the "rain Shadow" effect of the Cascades, we ride desert trails right through the winter (off and on anyway, we do get snow & ice on the east slope... that's what the fat bike is for!). If you don't need a city to work in, Chelan & Winthrop areas are awesome too!

    Welcome to WA!!

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    Thanks again for all the info guys. Very helpful!

  36. #36
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    I live and ride in and around spokane, wa. Tons of great riding around, waaay less rain, way more sunshine, houses are affordable, unlike the west side........

  37. #37
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    shhhh ....

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Sagebrush Slug View Post
    Bingen. Why does nobody ever mention Bingen?

    It's in Washington, and beautiful, and competes in all recreational categories.
    I grew up there. Went to school in White Salmon and the riding there is epic. Definitely check out White Salmon, Hood River, Bingen and Underwood. Amazing riding.

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