After 2 fun trips to ride Blanchard Mountain and the Chuckanut Ridge near Bellingham, WA, it was time for something else. The weather agreed, and with a forecast of rain and snow for Saturday, I looked eastwards for drier grounds. Getting to ride at Ancient Lakes, near Vantage, WA, provided enough stimulation to drive the 2 hours there. By the way, the drought of the Pacific NW this fall has been almost completely washed off the charts by the heavy rain here the last week. Here’s the snow level near the I-90 pass:
My loop started atop the French Coulee trail. I love this beginning, just get off the freeway, get on bike, and bounce around on rocks. Dry sharp rocks. After that, a stream crossing gets the bike wet, followed by some deep dry sand to exfoliate my drive train.
Now that my bike was properly disinfected from potential algae growing on it, it was off to ride the South Babcock trail northwards to Ancient Lakes. Some gun nuts were firing away some fairly heavy artillery just past Sunland Road, with ammunition flying parallel to the trail! and hitting the ground 100 yards in front of where the trail crosses a bit farther west. Geez! What is wrong with some people.
As this was my third time here, I made it a point to explore a few new trails. What a delight this place is. And the hazy sunshine with dry, 40F air was also appreciated. My lunch stop was just past here:
Now then, time to get to the real Ancient Lakes and drop down on the fun and rocky single track (no rocks are shown in the picture):
Little trails winding through this beautiful shrub-steppe.
What a nice ride. I wish I knew of more places like this.
On the way back, I took the Sunland Road down to the Columbia to check out what’s down there. Lots of new construction, but it didn’t feel like a friendly community. Just houses.
Stats: 40 miles, 4000 ft. el., 6 hours, GPX track