Kate Bonnett riding up Freund Canyon before the descent.

                 Kate Bonnett riding up Freund Canyon before the descent.

Freund Canyon is Leavenworth’s backyard mountain biking hill. In under two hours you can leave Leavenworth on a bike, grind uphill, scream downhill on fast trails, and be back in town. If you’re a Leavenworth visitor with a family in tow, some can shop for Christmas ornaments and play miniature golf while you engage in something sensible. If you’re a local, Freund can give you some quick yahoos before manning your desk at Yahoo…or before you arrive at Andreas Keller to play the accordion. Any way you cut it, Freund is a friend.

Maps:

Freund2013

 

Activity: Mountain Biking
Nearest Town: Leavenworth
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 2
Distance: 12 miles (roundtrip)
Elevation Gain: Leavenworth: 1,175 feet. High point described: 2950 feet. Gain: 1,775 feet.

Access: One beauty of Freund: You ride right from town without firing up the car.

Trip Description:

  • From the intersection of highways 209 and 2 (east end of town), ride 1.7 miles north on the Chumstick Highway (Highway 209).
  • Look for a sign for Freund Canyon and Red Tail Canyon Farm and turn left here. Ride another 0.6 miles north on a small paved road paralleling Highway 209.
  • At a dirt/gravel road before Red Tail Canyon Farm, turn left. Pedal about 100 yards and go under a gate stating ‘Friendly Creek Tree Farm.’
  • Keep riding up this road 0.4 miles and you’ll see a singletrack trail on your left and a sign stating ‘Freund Canyon Trail.’ You’ll be coming down this trail. Most people do the loop that follows in a counter-clockwise direction because this gives you more singletrack riding on the descent and because collaboration reduces the likelihood of collisions.
  • Keep riding uphill along the road about 1.2 miles to a log-staging area at an elevation of 1,860 feet.
  • A singletrack trail begins here and leads uphill. In roughly 0.5 miles, the trail intersects a ridge with a downhill trail following the ridge system. Ride the ridge trail another day if you want a tougher downhill ride.
  • For now, follow the mellower, cross-country trail that cuts below the ridge. It follows an old road bed that has grown in. Eventually this trail cuts back on itself and (after 1.5 miles) reaches a saddle at 2,970 feet where it intersects the more technical downhill trail following the ridge system. This is the high point of the ride.
  • Technical riders with rugged bikes can make a hard left and follow the ridge trail, which climbs about 100 feet before taking a fairly direct line down. Riders on cross-country bikes should go straight through this intersection and start a long downhill run.
  • For the next 3.1 miles, the trail makes a steady drop down a grown-over road bed with many rolls and burms that can launch riders with massive speed, massive distances. It’s the type of descent that can turn newcomers to the sport into mountain biking fiends. Note: Be careful of the creek crossings. The first can catch you by surprise and, if you hit the steep dip into the stream with speed, you’re likely to find yourself kissing your front tire.
  • This singletrack ends on the road you climbed earlier. Take a right and, in 0.4 miles, you’re back at the paved road.
  • Retrace the ride back to Leavenworth.
Sarah Shaffer taking a photo opportunity. A good spot to drink some water and suck wind. The fall colors were gorgeous this day.

Sarah Shaffer taking a photo opportunity. A good spot to drink some water and suck wind. The fall colors were gorgeous this day.

Alternate Approach: See our mountain-biking guidebook entry for Tumwater Mountain. Approach from Leavenworth via Ranger Road which turns into Forest Road 7701. At a road junction 2 miles up FS Road 7701 (el 2,620’), take the right road and traverse 1.2 miles into Freund Canyon. You’ll pass a few spur roads on your right that head downhill, but stay on the higher road that traverses until you reach a T- intersection with the singletrack descent of Freund Canyon. A left turn at this T-intersection takes you uphill for a half mile to the saddle at 2,970 feet described above. Turn around here and ride the singletrack to the bottom of Freund Canyon. Follow the frontage road back to Highway 209 and then follow the highway back to Leavenworth.

Land Ownership: Forest Service lands and roads. The dirt road at the bottom of Freund Canyon is bordered by private property—please stay on the road until you reach the trails described in our trip description.

Fees/Permits Needed:
None required.

More Info:
Click Here for more information from the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance

Condition Update. April 22, 2011. The trails here are often ridable by the third week of April but this year it’s been a colder spring and there are still patches of  snow and plenty of mud. Das Rad Haus reports the trails will need at least another week of warmer temps to be ready. If it remains coolish, it could be two weeks before the trails are snow-free and dry.

Condition Update. June 7, 2015. Freund Canyon was logged during the early part of 2014. This was a good thing for forest health — the trees were too thick, fuel load too large, and potential for catastrophic wildfire too high. Unfortunately, the logging reamed the main descent at Freund Canyon (the purple line immediately north of Rosy Boa on our map). In the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015, locals affiliated with Das Rad Haus in Leavenworth, rebuilt the main trail and strung together a long series of high-speed banked turns. Currently the ground surrounding the descent is vegetation free and sterile, technical riders into the rush of speed will enjoy the remake of this descent. 

Don’t Ride Soft /Wet Trails.  Please stay off trails and when they are wet/soft and you’re leaving wheel ruts that are deeper than 1/4 inch (these become grooves for water and greatly accelerate erosion). A rule of thumb to consider: Could 100 people ride the trails in this condition without messing up the surface? If the answer is ‘no’ please turn around.

Don’t Just Be a User. These trails need frequent maintenance and much of the work is done by volunteers. If you use this trail system, help maintain it. To help with trail maintenance parties, contact Das Rad Haus in Leavenworth (509-548-5615) or Central Washington Chapter of Evergreen.

Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull  some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over spur trails that are not part of the formalized trail system (make it harder to do the wrong thing than the right thing).

Important Disclaimer: Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route.You are still are completely responsible for yourself, your decisions, and your actions. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.

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