Pinnacle Peak Road/Trail

(Pinnacle Peak, a.k.a. Mt. Peak, Mt. Pete)

* Climbing Pinnacle Peak * The Forest Trails on top of Pinnacle Peak * Mud Mountain Rim Trail * Mud Mountain Road * Deep Lake Trail *

* Introduction * Wheels Outside the Garden * Wheels in the Garden * Garden Trails *


Pinnacle Peak is a small volcano sitting right at the edge of Enumclaw. Locals also call it Mt Peak or Mt Pete. On the north side, a challenging trail takes you from the Plateau up 1000 feet in only one mile. Mountain bikes are allowed in this King County Natural Area, but the ride is considered well beyond expert. A steep road climbs the south side is closed to motorized vehicles, but open to mountain bikers and recumbent trikers who have high enough stamina and low enough gears.

Pinnacle Peak is one of several small volcanoes in the Enumclaw area. Since we live in a high rainfall area, the rock mountain is covered with trees and other vegetation. A few thousand years ago, Mt Rainier experienced a cataclysmic eruption, triggering the Oceola mudflow. The resulting lake of mud left the peaks of these volcanoes as islands, rising abruptly from the flat surface.

The grade on the back side road has no letup until the top. Although the surface is smoother and wider than the trail, the climb is nearly as steep. I made it on my mountain bike, but not without frequent rest stops. I have yet to see if I can ascend this mountain on the trail trike.

At one of those rest stops, I looked out across the valley into Pierce County and the edge of the Cascade foothills.

At the end of the road, you drop down to connect with the north side trail for the final ascent of Pinnacle Peak. It is amazing how largre trees can grow on nearly solid basalt.

At the top of the road, the descent feels like you are dropping off the Earth. I worried about the wet brakes and rims on the 25-year-old mountain bike, never able to let off a little squeeze on the front and a lot on the back for the entire trip down.

Now, if I can ever make it up on the trike and not warp the disk brakes on the way down--well, we'll see.