Washington’s Nordic ski areas provide quiet cross-country getaways

There are plenty of places to go when you ski the Methow Trails, the Northwest’s largest cross-country ski area.
There are plenty of places to go when you ski the Methow Trails, the Northwest’s largest cross-country ski area. chill@thenewstribune.com

Three things you’ll notice during a morning of cross-country skiing in the Methow Valley:

One, there sure are a lot bakeries for a town that seems to be brimming with fit people. Two, wow, it’s so quiet. Three, did the entire family just ski all day for less than the price of one alpine lift ticket?

Cross-country skiing might require more work than alpine skiing, but it has big rewards. You’ll burn considerably more calories, erasing the guilt from that pre-ski maple bar. With smaller crowds, the trails are usually peaceful. And it’s downright cheap compared with alpine skiing. In the Methow Valley, day passes for two adults and two kids younger than 18 comes to $48. (Kids 17 and younger ski free.) One lift ticket at Crystal Mountain is $74.

The Methow Valley is the epicenter for the sport in the Northwest, but there’s an abundance of trail systems in Washington. Here’s a closer look:


The state’s nonmotorized Sno-Parks are some of the most popular cross-country skiing trail systems in the state. To use these trail systems, you must display a seasonal Sno-Park pass ($40) in your vehicle. You can also access the parks by displaying a daily Sno-Park pass ($20) and a Discover Pass ($20 per day or $30 per year). For more information, visit parks.state.wa.us/winter.


Salmon Ridge: 30 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2efokKf.

Shadow Of The Sentinels: 15 kilometers, bit.ly/2efokKf.

Highlands: 18 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2efokKf.

South Summit: 30 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2efokKf.


Chiwawa: 15 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2eVY7QD.

Lake Wenatchee: 28 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2eVY7QD.

Nason Ridge: 28 kilomters, groomed, bit.ly/2eVY7QD


Pipe Creek: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Swauk Campground: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Salmon La Sac: 6 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Blewett Pass: Varies, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Cabin Creek: 15 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Crystal Springs: 11 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Gold Creek: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Hyak: 11.2 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Kaches: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.

Lake Easton: 7 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezVsPN.


Mount Tahoma Trails: 80 kilometers, partially groomed, skimtta.com.

Crow Lake: 9.7 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.

Hells Crossing: 9.7 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.

Goose Egg: 1.6 kilometers, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.

Pleasant Valley: 9.7 kilometers, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.

North Fork Tieton: 26 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.

Sun Top: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2ezPPkR.


COUGAR: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.

MARBLE MOUNTAIN: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.

WAKEPISH: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.

PINESIDE: 27 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.

SNOWKING: 28 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.

SMITH BUTTE: Varies, not groomed, bit.ly/2dMf2Jk.


Mount Spokane: 25 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2dMiJz3.

Deer Creek: Varies, groomed, bit.ly/2dMiJz3.

Frater Lake: 16 kilometers, groomed, bit.ly/2dMiJz3.


Mount Rainier National Park: Varies, not groomed, nps.gov/mora.

Olympic National Park: Varies, not groomed, nps.gov/olym.

Salmon Ridge: 30 kilometers, groomed, nooksacknordicskiclub.org.

Stevens Pass: 28 kilometers, groomed, stevenspass.com.

Summit At Snoqualmie: 50 kilometers, groomed, summitatsnoqualmie.com.

White Pass: 18 kilometers, groomed, skiwhitepass.com.


Echo Ridge: 28 kilometers, groomed, lakechelannordic.org.

Leavenworth: 26 kilometers, groomed skileavenworth.com.

Loup Loup Ski Bowl: 23 kilometers, groomed, skitheloup.com.

Mazama: 32 kilometers, groomed, methowtrails.org.

Methow: 31 kilometers, groomed, methowtrails.org.

Rendezvous: 44 kilometers, groomed, methowtrails.org.

Sun Mountain: 59 kilometers, groomed, methowtrails.org.