Big Hurt Mountain Bike

For 2022, the Big Hurt MTB leg is going to be quite a bit different.  The Washington DNR has built a myriad of new trails in the Foothills Trail System, some of which were made with mountain bikes specifically in mind.

Race day morning racers will navigate their way to the new trailhead for the Foothills Trail System (see Getting to the Start Line section below). The start will be in the same place as prior years.

From the start, racers will be greeted with a steep road climb, now with beautiful views to the North to distract you from the pain.  Shortly after the road “levels off”, you will turn right onto a trail section called Freefall.  In just 150ft or so, you’ll turn left onto Firnobyl.  Follow Firnobyl up and across a road, then down the flowy goodness into the tree line.  At the “T”, go right up to a 3-way intersection where you will stay right onto Freefall again.  Just before the tree line, there is another intersection, stay left and follow back out to the road where you started on Freefall.  Cross the road and enter Phantom Bear.  Follow the main loop past the Trials area, into a clear-cut and up a techy little climb.  Not long after that you’ll come out onto a gravel “road” where you will go right and immediately left onto a road.  Follow down to the “mandatory viewpoint” where you will promenade, and maybe drink some water while you soak in the 360 view.  OH WAIT…THIS IS A RACE!!  Go back to the road and go right down a pretty loose section of road and then onto a trail to the right onto I-5.  Have fun on a sweet little downhill, then a little climb to another intersection where you will go down to the right, then a short while later, another right.  You’ll climb up to a road crossing where you will do just that, and continue down Sunnyside.  After ¾ mile of so, you will veer onto another loose gravel road and then stay right up a loose gravel road.  Just as the road levels out, take a trail that goes hard left and down.  Follow this super fun trail down, down, down until you come to a VERY hard left and go down the way you came up, back to the parking lot. 

Whew.  Now for a road ride.  You’ll go right out of the parking lot and down CAUTIOSLY down to a stop sign where you will STOP.  (BEWARE: the road is pretty smooth except for 1 terrible bump that will throw you from your bike if you aren’t paying attention).  After stopping, turn right onto Black Diamond Road and go until you hit another stop sign where you will STOP.  Then go forward down the road (now Pine St.) until you come to about 9th street where you will take a right on an overgrown little trail that will take you down to Valley street and sea level.  Turn left and follow instructions from there. 

You Did It!!  Remember, you might want to use the GPX file for practice, and the course will be well marked and staffed on race day.

We will announce the 2023 Mountain Bike course in July. We cannot finalize a plan until logging operations are complete and we can assess the situation.

Course Description
We will announce the 2023 Mountain Bike course in July. We cannot finalize a plan until logging operations are complete and we can assess the situation.
Cyclist Competency

The Foothills trail is a multi-use trail, including motorized use so watch for other traffic. It varies between smooth and flowy, to tight and rough with loose rocks. Some off-road riding experience is strongly recommended.

The bike racer must be capable of racing/riding on public roads that are open to motor vehicles. The racer is responsible for knowing the course. There are minimal signs and no mileage markers on the course.

Assistance along the course is not allowed. There will be a mechanic available at the start line for any last minute emergencies (emergencies only please, have your bike maintained and ready before the race!). There are no other services provided along the course. The racer should start with sufficient water and food for the entire course. The bike racer is responsible for providing a safe bicycle. The racer should be able to repair flat tires without outside assistance.

Getting to the Start Line

Cyclists competing on a TEAM are required to be dropped off at the start line on race day. IRON Division participants are expected to get a ride, but can sign up for a shuttle for $15(space is limited). You can reserve a shuttle during the registration process, or email The shuttle bus will leave from the Big Hurt HUB downtown at 8:00 a.m.

The race starts at 9:00 a.m.—allow 30 minutes to get to the gate from downtown Port Angeles. Plan to arrive at the gate by 8:30 a.m., as there is a 1/2 mile ride or walk uphill to the start line. There is a racer briefing at 7:30 a.m. before the 9:00 a.m. start. There is room to park for team members and spectators if they wish to watch the race start or stay to watch racers coming through after the first loop.

Directions from the Hub: Go South on Lincoln Street to 8th Street and go Right. Follow to the 2nd light which is Pine Street and go Left. After the stop sign, it will turn into Black Diamond Road, which you will follow several miles until you come to Little River Road where you will take a Left. In just under a mile there will be a gated road (yellow gate) on your left which will be clearly marked.

Equipment and Safety Rules

While there is a fair bit of dirt and paved road riding, the trail portion of the route is fairly rough, loose, and steep. Some mountain bike experience is highly recommended. It is also strongly recommended that you use a mountain bike, ideally with a little suspension and definitely good brakes.

Helmets are mandatory. Bikes must be in good condition. Motorized bikes of any nature are not allowed. Bicyclists may not receive assistance or spare parts from anyone after starting the race.

There are hazards along the route including narrow shoulders, truck traffic, dogs, etc. Pay attention out there!

No ear buds, earphones, or anything else that would limit hearing can be used during this or any leg of The Big Hurt.


Spectators are welcome but they must make their way up to the start line just as the riders. Riders will start, do a long loop, and come by the start line again as they exit the trail to head back to town so that would be a convenient place to watch.

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