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Groomed trail
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Distance
11.50 mi (18.51 km)
Warming hut
No
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White Pass is a fantastic ski resort that mixes a massive skiable area with the small-town, homey feel you get from being on the less popular side of the Cascades. Though it fills up on weekends, the lines for Tahoe resort drinking fountains are longer than the lift lines at White Pass.

Just across the highway from the resort's chutes and moguls, White Pass maintains a Nordic center with the best groomed options in a hundred-mile radius. Day passes are $15, assuming you show up while the Nordic center is operational: 8:30 A.M. to 4:30 P.M., Thursday through Sunday. Still, the place offers over 10 miles of groomed trails that wind through intact old-growth, in addition to backcountry and snowshoe connections, gear rentals, lessons, and all the base area accoutrements you'd expect from a ski resort. Dogs are allowed after 3:30 P.M. 

The groomed trails include classic tracks, space to skate, and ample snowshoe-friendly shoulders. They make a couple of convoluted loops around the Wenatchee and Gifford-Pinchot National Forests that appear shaggy and laden with old man's beard. Depending on your level of expertise, you'll want to seek out different sections of the trail system:

  • Lake Loop circumnavigates the solid white plain of Leech Lake for 1.5 miles. It involves some ups and downs on the northern half, but the southern shore portion is perfectly flat. You'll have restroom access and views of both the lake and Pigtail Peak.
  • Kendall Konnector is a steady half-mile climb linking Lake Loop to the upper trails.
  • Dark Meadows Loop is a relaxed, 1.3-mile loop through dense fir and hemlock.
  • Zig Zag Loop lives up to its name, as it is an aggressively winding, 1.3-mile course. Watch out when it's icy.
  • The Hill is a genuinely steep, expert's only option offering long views down the Clear Creek drainage and over to Spiral Butte.
  • Corral Loop is a flat beginner's option with restroom access.
  • Deer Creek Loop is a moderate loop nearly a mile in length. It is good as either an extension of the Lake Loop or a connector to the area's eastern trails.
  • Biathlon Loop doesn't offer much on its own, but the backcountry trail that splits off of it makes for an adventuresome shortcut up to Zig Zag. It's easy to miss the first blaze orange trail marker, but the 1/3-mile route is extremely, almost obsessively well marked from that point on. (For a more serious backcountry experience, the significantly less well-marked Pacific Crest Trail cuts right through the middle of the trail system.)
  • Dog Lake Loop is a moderate 1.5-mile jaunt around Dog Lake. This is a fun trail with some roller-coaster ups and downs and a bridge crossing, but the name is misleading; Dog Lake is off to the northeast.

If you're only interested in the eastern portion of the trail system, and you're not planning on taking advantage of the White Pass Yurt's hot cocoa, you can also park on the north side of the road by the Wenatchee National Forest sign, just east of the resort. Just ski north into the woods and you'll hit the southeast corner of the Lake Loop.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

White Pass Nordic Center Day Pass

Pros

Well maintained. Varied terrain. Amenities.

Cons

Trail pass required.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

4,494.00 ft (1,369.77 m)

Net Elevation Gain

439.00 ft (133.81 m)

Features

Shelters
Lodging
Snowshoeing
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Trail type

Loop

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington
Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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