Palisades Tr1198 is a real excursion, a near-epic ride which includes a grinding hill climb, vertical cliff exposure, and terrain so rugged that even the descent includes 3000' of climbing.
White River Trails
About 1.5hrs from downtown Seattle, the White River area trails are extremely popular...and happen to also cover some great terrain.
Skookum Flats Tr1194 can be ridden nearly all year, although the glacial water flow of the White River demands some thermal protection most of the year. The higher elevation trails become available when the snow melts (April-July).
This very popular trail can be combined with White River Tr1199 and Noble Knob Tr1184 into a CCW Loop.
The 14,000' ascent which is listed for the CCW loop includes 4350' of very moderate ascent on the White River Tr1199 and 3300' of FR7174 ascent.
That still leaves a lot of rugged terrain to cover, but is not as daunting as it might seem.
Cliff exposure often describes the risk of a steep sliding crash for unwary riders.
The odds of walking away from a 2000' Palisades Tr1198 cliff exposure mishap are probably not so good, so maybe this is not a good trail for easily distracted riders.
Aside from the CCW loop, there are two shuttle opportunities, from FR7250 and FR7174.
FR7250.210 ends at Dalles Rdg Tr1173, providing easy access to Palisades Tr1198, Ranger Cr Tr1197 and Noble Knob Tr1184.
If the gate at the bottom of FR7174 is open, then 5.3mi/4400' of serious climbing can be avoided by shuttling up FR7174, parking at the Corral Pass campground.
Upper FR7250 TH Access: SR410E 20.3mi from Enumclaw to FR70 (Greenwater Rd). Go left onto FR70, then go 5.6mi to FR7200 (Twenty-Eight Mile Rd). Go right onto FR7200, then go 8.3mi to FR7250 (Alt: go 4mi further on SR410 to FR72 and go 7mi to FR7250). Go right onto FR7250, then go 2.1mi to FR210, then .5mi to TH.
Palisades, Ranger Cr. CW Loop: Strong climbers can ascend Palisades Tr1198, although the first .5mi is still hike-a-bike.
Bone Lake Trail 1172.1, Buck Creek Trail 1169, Christoff Trail 1171, Crystal Mountain Trail 1163, Deep Creek Trail 1196, Divide Trail 1172, Doe Falls Trail 1174, Grass Mountain Trail 1170, Hen Skin Lake Trail 1193, Ranger Creek Trail 1197, Silver Creek Trail 1192, Skookum Flats Trail 1194, Suntop Trail 1183
Doe Falls Trail 1174, Snoquera Falls Trail 1167
The Dalles Campground, Silver Springs Campground, Corral Pass Campground, White River Campground
Ranking consistently applied to all of the listed trails.