IMBA EPIC Ride - Ape Canyon to Plains of Abraham, Washington

Ape Canyon to Plains of Abraham

Overview

This ride initially takes you up the secluded but strenuous Ape Canyon Trail before continuing to the upper trail segments. The balance of the ride is across the vast pumice fields on the Loowit and Plains of Abraham trails at the base of Mt. St. Helens with views of several other peaks as well.

Terrain

As you ride along the canyon near the top of the climb, the views and terrain transform from shady forest to an amazing moonscape.

Access

Starting from the small parking area at the Ape Canyon trailhead off of FS 83, begin climbing up the shady singletrack of the Ape Canyon Trail.

More details

As you head up the trail and turn to the right, the first views of Mt. St. Helens are straight ahead looking from the south. Continue to climb up the well-traveled trail with a few switchbacks and sporadic views of the mountain.

Near the top of the climb, pass the steep slopes and rocky exposure of Ape Canyon on the right with a perfect view of Mt. Adams to the east. Next, ride through the moonlike pumice fields on a short stretch of the Loowit Trail (#216) and toward Pumice Butte where you'll see the remnants of trees that resemble pushed over matchsticks. Continue north to the Plains of Abraham Trail (#216D) with incredible up close views of Mt. St. Helens eastern slope.

Signposts note the trail junctions and mileage and dark volcanic rock cairns help identify the route. The trail climbs and descends along a hillside ridge to Windy Ridge Road (FS 99), but a good turnaround point is at the long staircase just south of the road. Before starting the return trip, catch a view to the north of the top of Mt. Rainier and then enjoy the downhill run on the Ape Canyon Trail.

Some of the information on this page has been sourced from: https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/4550979/ape-canyon-to-plains-of-abraham-imba-epic

 

 

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23.232 km / 14.435 mi

Total Distance

1,009 m / 3,309 ft

Total Ascent

1,005 m / 3,296 ft

Total Descent

1,397 m / 4,585 ft

Highest Point

Ride type:
Mountain biking
Road riding
Sightseeing
Commuter
Rail Trail
Gravel
Various
EPIC Ride
Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
Fitness Level: Medium
Terrain:
Shared Bike Path - Paved
Shared Bike Path - Dirt
On-Road Bike Lane
On-Road
Off-Road - Fire Trail
Off-Road - Rail Trail
Off-Road - Single Track
Off-Road - Downhill
Gravel Road
Mobile Coverage: Excellent
Services:
Water
Food
First Aid
Toilets
Bike hire
Carparking
Bike servicing
Accessible by bike
Accessible by car
Accessible by public transport
Accessible by shuttle
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