The Pacific Northwest is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. With myriad wilderness opportunities ranging from hiking to kayaking and more, Seattle is undoubtedly the hub of this natural wonderland. With distinct seasons, relatively mild temperatures, and a landscape that never ceases to inspire, the Seattle area draws millions of people who want nothing more than to work and play in this exceptionally lovely part of the United States.
One of the most popular of these weekend activities for Seattle area residents is exploring some of the region’s best off-road trails and tracks. Many of these fall within the state’s park system, and some are built and maintained by off-road enthusiasts. This is a fantastic way to experience the beautiful scenery in and around Mount Rainier and other wooded areas. The best part is that many of these trails are located within an hour of Seattle itself.
If you’re an off-road enthusiast who is interested in learning more about the Seattle area’s opportunities for adventurous 4×4 owners, or you’re a newbie who would love to get in the action, read on to find the best and most exciting trails and tracks in the region. Just be sure to visit the best Jeep dealer serving the Seattle area to make sure you have the right vehicle for the challenge.
Evans Creek Off-Road Vehicle Park
Located just under an hour from the city, Evans Creek ORV Park is located in the foothills of Mount Rainier and offers a little something for everyone, but, true to its name, Evans Creek is a haven for off-road enthusiasts of all sorts. Permits are required and can be obtained from the Forest Service. Many people who use this area report that rangers are on-site and frequently check for appropriate permits.
With clearly marked trails ranging from easy to difficult, Evans Creek is perfect for both experienced off-road drivers and beginners. The scenery here is incredible and the stunning views of Mount Rainier can’t be beat. However, nature has a way of presenting all kinds of challenges in this area, and it’s not uncommon for some trails to be closed due to heavy snowfall, even as late in the year as June or July.
Located outside of Seattle in Snohomish County is Reiter Foothills Forest, home to some of the best ORV areas in the state, if not the country. This spot has been used by off-road enthusiasts since the 1960s, but just recently the state stepped in to develop the area and create specific trails that can be used safely by vehicles and other outdoor lovers, such as hikers and backcountry equestrians.
As the Reiter Foothills are still under construction, the area is only open to off-road vehicles Thursday through Sunday during the summer months, and only on Saturday and Sunday from November through May. Volunteers are needed to complete the construction on the trails, and this is a great way for Seattle area off-roaders to contribute to what will eventually be one of the most popular ORV playgrounds in the Pacific Northwest.
As part of the Snoqualmie National Forest, Rimrock Lake is home to miles of trails that are designated specifically for off-road use by ATVs and 4×4 vehicles. The trails are open to any vehicle with current registration, and connect with the Green DOT (Department of Transportation) roads in the Ahtanum State Forest. The scenery around the lake is exquisite and there are ample hiking and camping facilities, as well as boating and kayaking on the lake. This makes Rimrock perfect for those who are looking for a weekend getaway that offers activities for those who aren’t necessarily interested in getting muddy on the ORV trails. While the official season for Rimrock is May 1 through December 1, the area may close early or open late due to heavy snowfall. Check with the Forest Service for more details.
Off-road adventures are undoubtedly the best way to experience the wild and natural beauty of the Seattle area, and these are just a few of the areas that are available to ORV enthusiasts. Get your Jeep ready, pack the cooler and all of your essential gear, and head out to see the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer. You’ll return to work on Monday refreshed and relaxed, and ready to plan your next 4×4 trip as soon as possible.