Distance: 13 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet
Best Map: Adventure Maps Methow Valley
Buck Mountain is a great run and is one of the best mountain bike rides in the entire Methow Valley. Because of a handful of miles travelling on dirt roads, however, it doesn’t make the best hike. After climbing up on one of these roads for a few miles, the trail rolls across hillside after hillside. In the spring the flowers at your feet and snowcapped mountains in the distance will blow your mind. This trail is so much fun and is certainly a locals favorite.
Getting There: From the 4-way stop in downtown Winthrop, drive west on Hwy 20 for .2 miles. Turn right on the West Chewuch Road. Drive 5.7 miles and turn left on Cub Creek Rd. Drive 1.7 miles and park in the large pullout on the left.
On the Trail: There are many junctions, detailed below. There are currently mountain bike signs at each junction, but they come and go so stay on your toes.
The trail starts by continuing up the road you had been driving, which shortly turns to dirt. Bear right on a secondary dirt road in .7 miles. Continue grinding uphill on this road until mile 3.5 where you’ll see a large “Deer Country” sign. At that point, bear right onto a doubletrack trail, continuing uphill. In ¼ mile, upon reaching a flat spot, bear right, uphill, on a more primitive double track. After cresting your first hilltop and bombing down a short singletrack downhill, you’ll hit a junction with another rough double track at mile 4.6. Bear left, uphill. At mile 5.7 you will reach a major intersection with two ranching gates. Take a hard right (going straight follows dirt roads down to the Buck Lake area). At mile 7.9, after a sustained downhill, look for an easy to miss hard left hand turn that continues downhill into a grove of trees. At mile 9.6, soon after a logging area opens up and you find yourself traveling along a rough double track again, a signed single track takes off to the left. (If you miss this turn, the road you’ve been following will go all the way back to your car). At mile 11.5, you’ll reach a major intersection of two singletrack trails. Left goes to Buck Lake, but you want the right hand one sending you back to the Cub Creek Trailhead. At mile 12, intersect a driveable dirt road. Take a left and follow it one mile back to your car.