E-bike Rules and Regulations
Electric-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) are increasing in popularity and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is in the process of assessing changes to how they are managed.
E-bike means a bicycle with two or three wheels, a saddle, fully operative pedals for human propulsion, and an electric motor. The electric motor may not have a power output more than 750 watts.
The electric-assisted bicycle must meet the requirements of one of the following three classifications:
E-bike Class 1
A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to assist when the bicycle reaches 20 mph. Trail users can use Class 1 e-bikes on
motorized trails and forest roads that are open to bike use and motorized use.
E-bike Class 2
A bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches a speed of 20 mph. Trail users
can use Class 2 e-bikes on motorized trails and forest roads that are open to bike use and motorized use.
E-bike Class 3
A bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to assist when the bicycle reaches a top speed of 28 mph and is equipped with a
speedometer. Class 3 e-bikes can only be used on motorized trails and forest roads signed open to motorized use.
Current Rules and Regulations
DNR is committed to providing equitable trail access to all trail users. Class 1, 2, and 3 e-bikes are currently allowed on motorized trails and forest roads open to motorized public use.
Visitors with a valid ADA parking placard for their vehicles can use Class 1 and 2 e-bikes on all non-motorized trails that are open to bike use and forest roads where bicycles are
allowed. Download the infographic
Legislative and Planning Process
In 2021, the Washington Legislature passed Senate Bill 5452 directing DNR and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to undergo a public process to collect information related to e-bike use on non-motorized natural surface trails and closed roads open to bicycles.
The feedback will help determine where such use may occur and which classes of electric-assisted bikes are acceptable on trails and roads under the agencies' management. The
departments reported findings from this process to the Legislature on Sept. 30, 2022. You can read the report here.
The current rules and regulations regarding electric-assisted bicycles can be found in RCW 46.04.169 and RCW 46.61.715. The Washington State Legislature has also passed SB
More than 7,000 people completed an online public survey providing input on e-bikes and their usage on state-managed land. The survey closed July 15, 2022. This feedback is included in the legislative report.
Two virtual town halls were also held in May. You can find these recordings of these virtual discussions on WDFW's YouTube page.
- Thursday, May 12: View a recording on YouTube.
- Wednesday, May 18: View a recording on YouTube.
You can also view a presentation given at the meetings here.
E-Bike Pilot Project
Currently, there is a Class 1 e-bike pilot project in the Darrington/North Mountain trail system. This pilot provides a source of data gathering to help inform the long-term suitability of e-bike usage on DNR lands. To participate, click here.