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ATV and ORV Riding Fun

Reiter Foothills Is the Pits for Off Road Vehicles... in a Good Way

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Rock crawling. Dirt biking. Trail bashing. Does that sound like your kind of fun?

For off-road wheelers of every persuasion, Reiter Foothills is the place where you can have just that. At just an hour and a half northeast of Seattle, located between Gold Bar and Index, Reiter Foothills is the closest recreation area for ORV lovers out of the four most popular in Washington State.

But don’t come just to test out your latest kit upgrade. Come and experience Reiter’s camaraderie. Here, it’s not uncommon for complete strangers to help each other out with parts taken from their own vehicle if they meet a new friend in a sticky situation.

Better known as Reiter Pit to locals, the publicly accessible land has played a huge role in the off-road community since the 1960’s.

Before the Department of Natural Resources temporarily closed the park in 2007, off-road addicts came from all over the country just to get lost in Reiter’s legendary rugged terrain, giving rise to a thriving tribe. During its closure, DNR staff took decisive action to make off-road recreation at Reiter Foothills safer for visitors and healthier for the environment.

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Reopened in 2009, the park now plays a revived role to the ORV community, eager to restore Reiter Pit to its heyday when it hosted national competitions and bike trials. Many of the groups that use the park are regular volunteers, helping to ensure that the trails are not only safe but fun and challenging for off-roaders too.

Four-by-four drivers can spend a whole weekend navigating six miles of high-density and high-intensity trails designated just for them. The most skilled drivers with elite equipment can expect to complete the most rigorous trail in about 45 minutes.

ATV riders have nine miles of trails to play on. Dirt bikers have access to five miles and to two open-space areas for trials bikers to master their technique and get a good adrenaline boost.

One of those areas is chockful of boulders for every kind jump imaginable. The other has a striking kettle feature where the ground sinks in to create a nature-made halfpipe.

As improvements continue, Reiter Foothills is seeing a comeback that has taken years of planning and community feedback to generate.

The next challenge for the DNR is the planning and building of trails for UTVs to be unveiled over the next two years. And eventually, campers will have a place at Reiter Foothills too.

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Ready to load up your ride and come for a visit? Then keep these four guidelines in mind.

  • While entry into Reiter is free, all ORVs are required to have ORV tabs
  • Visitors need a Discover Pass for parking
  • Each vehicle operator must carry a spark arrester with them at all times
  • ATV riders and dirt bikers must wear helmets

Looking for a guided experience during your visit? Chinook ATV is the place to call. 

Once you get a taste for off-roading at Reiter, you’re sure to return. Almost everyone does.

Shari Shephard

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