Ride Overview

Embark on an Epic Adventure in the Sawtooth Backcountry

Prepare for the ultimate Washington epic ride deep within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest near Twisp, Washington. This exclusive journey into the Sawtooth Backcountry promises unparalleled beauty and thrilling challenges, accessible only through a coveted lottery permit.

Crater Creek Trailhead:

Begin your epic day at the Crater Creek Parking Lot, where a gentle rolling climb awaits. Transitioning into steeper and more technical terrain, this ride offers approximately 2 hours of scenic saddle time, passing by ice-cold creeks and high-elevation lakes, including the breathtaking Cooney Lake.

Angels Staircase Ascent:

Prepare for a short but invigorating mandatory hike-a-bike to Angels Staircase, a symbolic high point that marks the culmination of over half of the day’s climbing. From this vantage point, soak in the expansive views and reflect on the magnitude of the adventure ahead.

Traverse and Descents:

Traverse along the mountain tops at elevations between 7,000 and 8,000 feet, immersing yourself in the rugged beauty of the backcountry. Experience thrilling descents through chunky and rocky terrain, navigating technical challenges and breathtaking alpine meadows along the way.

Final Climb and Mega Descent:

Embark on a final climb up and over Deadman’s Pass, a challenging yet rewarding hour-long ascent that blends riding and hike-a-bike. Reach the final saddle, where a breathtaking vista awaits, before launching into the exhilarating descent down Eagle Lake Trail. This epic ride offers a long and rewarding journey back to the starting point, leaving you with unforgettable memories and a sense of accomplishment.

Trip Details:

  • Duration: Full-day adventure.
  • Trail Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Recommended for: Adventurous riders seeking a unique mountain biking experience in the Angels Staircase area of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Explore this remote and rugged terrain and immerse yourself in the beauty of Washington’s backcountry.
By Appointment
1 Day Guided Trip


Per Person / Per Day


(per day)

Ascent: 5,310’
Decent: 5,310’
Mileage: 21

Day Trip Includes:

  • Professionally guided tour of remote single track
  • Shuttles


We always have another ride on the weekend that pairs well this this ride.  Consider making it an epic weekend by pairing this with Foggy Dew Ridge, a perfect compliment to Angels Staircase!

Meeting Spot 

Crater Creek Trail Head just outside of Twisp, Washington.  Detailed instructions will be email to you upon booking.

Shuttle Departure : 9:30 AM

Please arrive 15 minutes early.

CELL PHONES:  DO NOT WORK HERE, Have an offline MAP available for reference. 


Ride Description

This is THE Washington Epic ride that is found deep into the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest just outside of Twisp, Washington.  This ride is technically in the Sawtooth Backcountry, a recreation area coveted by many and available for guiding only through a lottery permit.  If we get lucky, the larches will be changing color for the season and our world will be full of beautiful yellow trees.  We’ll begin our day at Crater Creek Parking Lot, a gentle rolling climb that eventually turns a little steeper and technical, but rideable the entire way.  We have a solid 2 hours of saddle time to get to our water filter spot and a nice break by ice cold creeks and high elevation lakes.  We’ll grab a little food and relax as we enjoy the meadow scenery around us and Cooney Lake, a beautiful place for us to take some time to enjoy the scenery.  Depending on the weather, this is a great place for a mid ride swim!

We’ll saddle back up and start to make our way to the Angels Staircase, a short but sweet (30 min.) mandatory hike a bike that resembles a Staircase to where you may see and angel or two.  As we hit the high point, this is a great place to reflect on the work you’ve completed, over half of the climbing on our ride for the day is done and where the fun begins.  This high point brings perspective to just how big this area is, and just how small we are.  As we continue on our adventure, we traverse along the mountain tops between 7 and 8000 feet in elevation, before we reach our first descent.   This first bit down is chunky and rocky, the type of descending you’ll want to pick good lines and take your time navigating the technical terrain.  As we make our way to the bottom, we’ll eventually plane out in a vast alpine meadow and a whole new drainage, as deep in nature as you can get on two wheels in North America.  We’ll traverse along for another 1 – 1.5 hours, up and down this playful backcountry terrain.  We’ll have time to take breaks, eat food, and even filter more water as we make our way back towards our final climb back up and over Deadman’s Pass and down into the drainage where we began.   This final big climb up is roughly 1 hour, mixed with riding and hike a bike.  As we approach the final saddle where a convenient low point in these jagged back country mountains allows us to sneak through and reset, as we have a MEGA descent back to our cars.  This final descent, is called Eagle Lake Trail, and goes on for what feels like forever.  It’s a long rewarding end to a challenging, but rewarding day on the bike.  This is a big ride, but one of those rides you will never forget.  This ride is not for the faint of heart, but if you are looking for an accomplishment and some stories for your grandchildren, this is the ride for you!

Foggy Dew Ridge

47° Humidity:72% Clouds:100% Wind (SW):14mph overcast clouds
Tuesday, 05/21 50°FWednesday, 05/22 42°FThursday, 05/23 54°FFriday, 05/24 54°FSaturday, 05/25 37°F