Bikes and skis move fast, but project planning takes time, writes The Summit at Snoqualmie on their website. We realize much time has passed since we first announced our intentions to build and operate a mountain bike park. While progress may seem slow, much work has happened behind the scenes.
As previously announced, we contracted with the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance (EMBA) to help design and build our mountain bike trail plan. The EMBA team’s trail planning expertise has prepared us for the final steps needed to make this project a reality. Here’s a snapshot of the timeline so far:
2017-2019 – Project Summary
Fall 2017 – Evergreen builders completed a trail feasibility assessment and identified project phasing options for new trails at the Summit.
Summer 2018 – Project Team completed further plan refinements in an effort to maximize terrain, better accommodate all rider-levels and riding styles, and minimize the impact on environmental resources like streams, wetlands, and forest.
Summer/Fall 2018 – Summit staff began planning with US Forest Service staff to begin the environmental review process on the entire proposed project.
Spring 2019 – Summit leadership provides a green light to move forward with initial trail construction on private land in summer 2019!
Silver Fir: The Best Zone For Riders
The Summit Mountain Bike Trails will be accessed via Silver Fir Express and operate out of Silver Fir Lodge. The Silver Fir area provides the best mix of terrain, soil conditions, and most vertical drop combined with a quick lift ride. From Silver Fir, there’s also easy access to the Central Express region of Summit Central. Simply put, Silver Fir offers the best possible mountain bike experience at The Summit.
The preliminary trails design plan retains the technical downhill roots of our past, complemented with modern flow trails, freeride trails, jump lines and an easy green trail that meanders through the forests of Silver Fir. The project crew has also mapped a short and easy cross-country style loop at the base of the mountain. We chose to operate out of Silver Fir to create the best possible rider experience, which means we will be building the trail on land leased from the US Forest Service. Discussions with the USFS began late fall 2017 and a trail proposal was submitted in late summer 2018. While the Forest Service approval process is underway, it can take up to 2 years or more to complete. Environmental surveys at Silver Fir will proceed as soon as the snow has melted, and will be provided for public review and comment once complete.
Breaking Ground Summer 2019
While trails on Forest Service land might still be in the planning process, we won’t sit Idle. Some of the proposed trails are on The Summit’s private land. This means we can break ground this summer on trails that lie on Summit property, near the Central Express zone. We are happy to announce that EMBA will lead the trail build, continuing our strong partnership with the best trail building crew in the region. Starting these trails now gives us a significant head start on what will be followed up by another epic season of trail building, to get the system completed and ready for opening.
The Summit and EMBA teams are stoked to break trail on what will ultimately be an incredibly fun network of lift-accessed trails just an hour from Seattle. Washington, and the I-90 corridor, in particular, is already becoming a nationally recognized mountain biker’s paradise. The addition of lift-accessed gravity trails here at The Summit will fill a much-needed interest and will continue to elevate Washington as one of the best places to ride for all types and levels of mountain bikers.
When Will The Trails Open?
While it is important to remember that defining a process like this on public land has variability, we’re working hard to move this project along as quickly as possible. Watch for bike park updates in which we’ll address the trail plan details, the target opening year, and updates on the first phase of trail building progress this summer.
Everyone at The Summit and EMBA is extremely excited about the summers ahead and know all of you are too! Stay tuned for more updates this summer.