Imagine a magical mountain biking playground where dozens of trails weave through the trees with jumps, berms, rollers, and drops that are prime for progression. A place where confidence is boosted by every lap, new session buddies are made, and high fives abound… welcome to Duthie Hill Park in Issaquah, Washington.
The Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has forged a gem within this 120-acre forested park, packing in so much bang for the buck that it’s hard to believe until you put your wheels on the ground to explore it. So we sent Instructor Jeremiah Stone out with the no-fun, very tough task of scoping it out and reporting back on exactly what makes this area a must-ride for every mountain biker.
Trail Hit List
Bootcamp is a flowing green trail that offers a series of corner combos and an easy return to the top. Add a new focus to each lap – bike-body separation, footwork, compression, hip rotation, line choice – and you’ll take your cornering game to a whole new level. (Psst… here are our tips to Corner like a Pro)
Gravy Train is a short and sweet jump trail that features a progressive series of gap jumps that steadily grow larger and more technical towards the end. Like the frog in the pot, it starts off mellow and heats up into some full-on gaps later. I found myself grinning ear to ear and hustling back to the top for more Gravy!
The key skills you’ll utilize will be cornering and jumping with opportunities to work up to drops of all flavors. This park has been built to challenge everyone you can progress no matter where you are in your riding journey. Plan to come and session the trails and features so you can take your time, focus on specific skills, and warm up to new challenges.
Fuel for your Ride
My pre-ride coffee spot was Caffe
Ladro. They hit me with a great Americano and had several tasty baked goods and
gluten free treats! After the ride, I was struck with a pizza craving and found
myself cruising over to MOD Pizza. Although it’s a chain, they consistently
serve up a good, quick pizza, and sometimes that’s exactly what you need!
“There’s a breakfast spot in town called The Egg and Us that had Swedish pancakes and a boatload of egg-centric dishes. Levitate gastropub had a huge selection of WA and PNW craft beer and cocktails with awesome burgers and American fusion dishes.” – Instructor Matt Beall
You may spot some local legends such as Simon Lawton and Kat Sweet. Both are accomplished racers and are super-involved in the local scene and events. Other pros swing through from time to time, taking part in the joy that a playground like Duthie Hill can offer!
In the Vicinity
Tiger Mountain is another riding
zone with phenomenal trails that pushed my limits and made for an epic great day.
Tiger Mountain is also a popular spot for flying sports like paragliding and
hang gliding. There are several guides around there that offer tandem flights
if that’s a thing you’d enjoy!
Ready to ride this special slice of mountain bike heaven with us? Join us for a 2-Day Camp, Jumping, or Intermediate/Advanced Clinic September 7 + 8, 2019!
Enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I’ve ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike.
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability...
Hands down, enrolling in the Intermediate/Advanced clinic was the best thing I've ever done to improve my speed and ability on the bike. I am so much faster on singletrack and through technical sections/jumps that even if people are more fit than me, I still keep up with them (and kind of love watching them do a lot more work than they need to). Richard and Kris are fantastic and break things down in a way that makes sense and is manageable. By the end of my first clinic, I was jumping off ledges and power climbing up sections that I couldn't drive a car up. You could buy a $5,000 carbon bike and do 10,000 ft rides every day, but you will get the best return on any investment you make in your riding by attending a Ninja Skills Clinic. ~ Regina J.
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park....
My 14 year old son and I (I'm 43) went to the Intermediate/advanced skills clinic at Malibu Creek State Park. We both race and ride at a very fast pace. Getting faster for us is about making sure our fundamentals are solid and we can continue to use those fundamentals to smooth out our flow to increase our skills and confidence. Richard has a way of breaking down all the information to make it very understandable and usable. My son and I have been to other skills classes before and knew what to expect, mostly. Richard was able to coach us to better form riding high speed flat corners! We brushed up on and cleaned up some less helpful habits. We really worked to understand the how and why behind some skills that we already had but didn't know we that we did. All in all we had a blast! Richard was fun and informative. Taylor was helping Richard out for the day. It was fun to watch her demo some skills at speed. Her input throughout the day was informative and light hearted. It was a fun day on the bike with some great people and coaching. This will not be our last Ninja training clinic! Thanks for everything Richard and Taylor! ~Eric Zubick
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding...
I have, like many cyclists, been riding bikes since childhood. Feeling like I hit a plateau in my technical riding skills (because I had), I began searching for a mountain bike skills camp. I wanted to attend a camp that would push me to be a better rider, but I needed it to be in a great location on actual trails. After a fair amount of searching, I decided that spending a weekend at a Ninja Mountain Bike Skills camp would be perfect. It didn't hurt that the camp was in Big Bear. The condensed review: It took only a few hours of trail riding with Richard and Daniel to drastically change my riding for the better. The long review: The camp was broken into morning and afternoon sessions, separated by an amazing lunch on each day. The morning sessions were, in general, based on technique and riding isolated technical features. The afternoon sessions functioned more like a capstone; we rode incredible trails, like Fall Line and Skyline, and put our newly-learned skills into action. Richard and Daniel were attentive to both the class as a whole as well as each individual. The pacing of each individual lesson (I'm a teacher, so I viewed each piece as a lesson) was wonderful. There were constant checks for understanding as well as incremental assessments of our skills on the bike. We were never once, all weekend, bogged down in repetition, nor were we rushed through a skill or concept. I was blown away by the sheer volume of skills that were taught in such an easy-to-grasp manner. Of course, we were not standing by our bikes the whole time listening to a lecture: we were actively riding while Daniel and Richard looked on with critical eyes. Richard was clear in his introduction...
G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area.
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know....
Ninja Mountain Bike Skills is a warm and friendly environment to learn new skills and hone ones you already know. It's a non intimidating environment where mistakes are welcomed so corrections can be made. I own G2 Bike is Aliso Viejo and this clinic has been ran out of the Aliso Woods area and when I interviewed the clients they had all but great things to say. None arrogant instructors and easy to follow steps. The biggest bang for many was meeting new area riders at their skill level, gaining confidence, and getting the bike set up and fit properly. G2 Bike looks forward to many more of these clinics in this area. Thanks Richard for all you do for the MTB community! ~ AJ S.
We are a group of passionate, dirt-loving, community oriented, world class mountain bike skills instructors committed to helping you reach your personal riding goals through clinics and camps. We are excited to work with riders of all ability levels and share the joy (STOKE) of mountain biking.