As you may or may not know Washington State has some great mountain biking trails and is known for being one of the best places to ride... weather permitting. You may have seen YouTube videos from the area showing all the custom downhill trails with jumps, drops and wooden obstacles but there are also some places to ride that are more natural and yet still challenging that you can ride without having to worry about breaking your neck!

Blanchard Mountain, Filmed and Rated by

Review Date: 12/20/2013
Trail Ratings
 Fun Factor:
4 Star Rating: Recommended
 Technical: 3 Star Recommended
Blanchard Mountain near Bellingham is one of those spots that is great for hiking and biking because it offers many different trails, scenic views and some fun downhill riding once you do your climb of course. The trails at Blanchard Mountain are carved through the trees, streams and rocks and offer a nice variety of riding conditions from smooth singletrack to rocky areas to large roots that can give you a challenge going up or down the trail.

Once you put out your effort going up the mountain you are rewarded with views of places like the Oyster Dome or Lilly and Lizard Lakes. It's most likely a good idea to get a map or do a little research before hitting the trails so you can end up where you want to end up and not get lost since there are several ways you can go.

Blanchard Mountain Video

Blanchard Mountain Review

Like most Washington trails, the Blanchard Mountain trails are fun to ride and make you feel like you are out in the middle of the woods because of all the surrounding trees. The uphill climbs give you a good workout without killing you and most of the time you are checking out the scenery so it takes your mind off of it.

The ride down is where the fun really happens. The trails allow you to go fast while still offering technical rocky sections with roots to make your way over. If there was some recent rain and its wet be aware that the roots will be slippery and can be an accident waiting to happen. Hiker permitted it's possible to get some real speed going down these trails and it can be really fun. If it's a busy day then you will have to watch yourself to make sure you don't hit anyone.

For the most part the trails are not too difficult and even if you are new to riding you shouldn't have trouble but may have to use your brakes more than others on the way down. If you are a more advanced rider then you can really have a good time making the roots and rocks your own personal obstacles and you can choose different lines for more fun. Overall it's a good place to get some exercise on the climb and some downhill fun on the descent. Your average dual suspension bike should do the trick and you should even be fine on a hardtail bike.

Blanchard Mountain Pictures

Directions to Blanchard Mountain

View Lilly Lake Trail in a larger map

To get to Blanchard Mountain hop on the 5 freeway towards the Lake Padden area close to the city of Bellingham. You will want to take exit 240 toward Lake Samish Rd and then make a left at the stop sign if coming from the south and right if coming from the north. Then make a left on Barrel Springs Rd. and take that for a little over a half mile. You will come upon a dirt road on your right (5 Mi Blanchard Hilltrail) and you will take that about a half mile and you will come to a dirt parking lot on the right where you can park. You might need a day pass to park there so keep that in mind. From there you can hop right on Lilly Lake Trail and eventually connect into some of the other trails. If you drive up the dirt road you will find other places to park with trail access but they may not be easy to spot unless you know what you are looking for.

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