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Jonathan Stull | 12.29.2016

Some of winter’s greatest spoils can be found on skis. When the snow falls and the inches begin to add up, our favorite backcountry wilderness areas become winter wonderlands. The white blanket that adorns the mountains and forests brings to the intrepid traveler a completely new and unique experience. With the rhythmic push and slide of the skis over snow, a meditation begins. There’s no better way to get outside in the winter cold. Here are some of our favorite trails!

  • Meadows + Solitude Loops: Tucked into the Callaghan Country alongside the Whistler Olympic Nordic Center, the Meadows and Solitude loops start from the Journeyman Lodge and tour the beautiful, scenic terrain that makes Whistler famous. Part of a large trail network, mix and match trail options to fill a day or more.
  • Tumalo Falls Ski + Snowshoe Trail: One of the busiest trails in the Bend area is also one of its most rewarding. The short, 2.5-mile trail to Tumalo Falls showcases Tumalo Creek and the 89-foot cascade. Continue past the falls to Happy Valley for a much longer and more challenging trail.
  • Glacier Point Cross-Country Ski: In the winter, the road to Glacier Point snows over and isn’t plowed beyond the ski park. No cars means no competition for cross-country skiers, who can make their way to one of Yosemite’s most recognizable views.
  • Mainline Trail: The second of two trails from Callaghan Country that we’re featuring, the Mainline Trail brings views of the Black Tusk to skiers and, of course, access to the Journeyman Lodge.
  • Clear Lake Butte: A moderate 7.2 miles, the trail to Clear Lake Butte offers fantastic views. And the Clear Lake Lookout Tower, if you can get it, makes the trail a unique winter experience. Still, the views toward Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood are worth the day trip as well.
  • Canal Trail: In upstate New York, the Canal Trail is a level 7+ miles that parallels the Black River Canalway, passing the ruins of locks along the way, especially along the latter sections of the trail. Keep an eye out for Pixley Falls.
  • White River Hut Cross-Country Ski: Much like Clear Lake Butte, the White River Hut Cross-Country Ski offers accommodations. The crowds fade away on the ski out, and the White River Hut is nestled deep in the backcountry, where solitude is abundant. Plus, the hut stocks sleeping bags and kitchenware, so you can pack light.
  • Lake Wenatchee State Park South Loop: Embedded in a much bigger network of cross-country ski trails, the South Park Loop passes the beautiful Lake Wenatchee and offers access to myriad combinations of cross-country skiing trails along the beautiful lake in the Cascades.
  • Trillium Lake Loop Trail: A moderate 4.5 miles, the Trillium Lake Loop circles Trillium Lake and offers frequent and striking views of Mount Hood. The trail is relatively level, and it is very accessible from Portland. Take the spur to the Mud Creek Loop for a greater challenge.
  • Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area: Less an individual trail than a network of trails, the Cabin Creek area in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness offers access to a variety of terrain for all skill levels on well-groomed trails in a mountain hideaway.


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