The Rimrock area, a dozen miles east of White Pass, is mainly known as a summer fishing and boating spot. Once the lake freezes over, though, the area offers some very underutilized cross-country ski trails. Though the ski season may be short at these lower elevations that hover around 2,600 feet, Goose Egg, just east of Rimrock Lake, is a great family-friendly side trip if you are in the area.
The trail that leaves from Goose Egg Sno-Park is a relaxed groomer that is maintained by the Forest Service throughout the snow season. You can check current trail status here, though the site is infrequently updated. Spring conditions can become soft at Goose Egg.
The trail follows the Tieton River as it flows west and winds through a riparian forest before joining a wide forest road for about a mile. When the road jogs away from the river, continue straight over a short, narrow hump that might require caution in icier conditions. The groomed portion of the trail continues in the shadow of Goose Egg Mountain until just before the Tieton bends north toward the highway. Throughout, watch for glimpses of the lake's eponymous rimrock up the river valley, and watch for downed trees at the end of the trail.
The trail offers a portable toilet and a riverside picnic area just before the forest road swings to the south. It's impossible to lose your way because the path follows the power lines that run along the shore of the Tieton, and Highway 12 is never far away. That said, Goose Egg is one of the few public groomed trails in the area, and a good choice for the beginning skier.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.