When you think of custom manmade downhill trails you think of the Northwest part of the country such as Oregon and Washington. And if you don't live in or near these places and you like your downhill trails with jumplines then you are missing out on some top notch trails. One very popular local hotspot is Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, WA. Galbraith is a privately owned mountain where they allow trail builders to come in and design and build custom trails of various skill levels.
There are also 2 sides to the mountain that you can access that offer different types of trails so you will have plenty of riding to do if you want to make a weekend out of it. You will need to park in 2 different places to access the trails but they are not far apart. You also have the option to ride from one side to the other but you will have to ride back to your car of course and it can be a lot of work.
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Galbraith Mounain Review
Galbraith Mountain is a great spot to build your mountain biking skills as well as use your existing skills to have a great time blazing down the trails and taking whatever jumps and ramps you feel you can tackle. Some of the more difficult trails such as Evolution and Unemployment Line offer a variety of jumps and drops that will leave you smiling the entire run. Other trails such as Cabin and Bob's offer a more down to earth ride with natural obstacles rather than manmade ones.
One downside to Galbraith is that in order to go down the fun trails you will have to ride up the fire road. So if you have a strictly downhill bike then you will be doing some pushing up the fire road because there is no shuttle service to take you to the top. If you have a decent trail bike then you will be ok for many of the trails as long as you don't plan on riding down like a pro would ride the trails. Just make sure to have front and rear suspension with at least 5 inches of travel for the bigger trails.
You will run into some hikers at Galbraith but they stay on the fire road for the most part and many of the trails are marked as one way and bikes only so you can fly down them without having to worry about running into anyone. Since there are so many trails to choose from you don't have to worry about it getting too crowded on the mountain when the parking lot is full. You will most likely see more people on the fire road than the trails themselves.
Some of the trails to try out are Evolution, Unemployment Line, Atomic Dog, Cheech and Chongs, SST, Cabin, Meth Lab and Bob's. There are other trails as well so if these don't float your boat then there most likely will be something that does.
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Directions to Galbraith Mounain
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To get to Galbraith Mountain take Interstate 5 towards Bellingham and it's fairly easy to find. If you want to hit up the south side get off on exit 246 toward North Lake Samish and make a right if coming from the south and a left if coming from the north. Then take a left on Samish way at the stop sign and drive for about 1.3 miles and you will see a dirt parking lot on the left right as you pass Galbraith Lane. Park there and ride your bike up Galbraith Lane and make a right on Tower Rd and ride until you see a gate on the left. Then go around the gate and start riding up the hill. It's a good idea to find a map if you are going for your first time or going without anyone who knows their way around.
If you want to ride the north side then you can exit on Lakeway Dr which is more in the heart of Bellingham. If you are coming from the south the exit wraps around and drops you on King St and you will need to go right and then make a quick left on Lakeway Dr. If you are coming from the north then you will make a left at the exit. Then take Lakeway about 1.8 miles to Birch St and make a right. If you take Birch all the way to the end there will be a parking lot for public use. If its full you can park on the right side of the street but just be sure not to block anyone's house or make too much noise or leave any messes.