Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide White Pass Nordic Center

WTA is a nonprofit that needs you

We’re just as excited as you to get the summer hiking season started. We're psyched our website and work for trails help you get outside.

But we're a nonprofit run on donations from regular people. If everyone who visited this website this holiday weekend donated $9/month, it would fully fund our work for the next 2 years. Of course, time spent outdoors is priceless, but every donation large or small helps us support those experiences for everyone.

Please take 2 minutes to chip in $9.

$9 button

Thank you and happy hiking!


link

White Pass Nordic Center

South Cascades

The Nordic Center across from the White Pass Ski Area is a great alternative for those who don't want to zoom downhill. Take it a little slower and soak in the views by snowshoeing around a large lake rife with winter wildlife. Continue reading

Location

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
Jump to Map & Directions

Length

1.86 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 250 ft.
Highest Point: 4500 ft.

Rating

0.00 out of 5

(0 votes) Log in to rate
  • Mountain views
  • Waterfalls
  • Lakes
  • Ridges/passes

The Nordic Center across from the White Pass Ski Area is a great alternative for those who don't want to zoom downhill. Take it a little slower and soak in the views by snowshoeing around a large lake rife with winter wildlife. With more than 13 kilometers of groomed nordic track, the trails here offer an all-day workout if that's what you seek. Shorter loops can be made of course, and a seasonally established snowshoe trail provides a little more rugged route.

Beginning from the Yurt, cross the groomed track and head toward the lake. Be sure to step over the nordic ski tracks, not in them, and look for cross-country skiers. Look for an orange diamond sign emblazoned with a black snowshoe -- these will be your markers as you make your way around the lake.

The snowshoe track sticks close to the lakeside. Head east past your first marker, and begin your wending way along the side of the lake. The Lake Loop of the groomed trails parallels this track roughly, so you may see skiers to your right as you weave in and out of the forest on the edge of the delightfully named Leech Lake.

At the northeast end of the lake, the groomed trail and snowshoe track meet up briefly to cross a bridge. Here you will see some interpretive signs telling you about the wildlife that can be found in the area. Continue across the bridge and look for the snowshoe track at the junction of two groomed trails. Here you have a decision. If you want to stick to the lake, it's about three-quarters of a mile along the track, and you'll simply continue across the bridge and look for the snowshoe route on your left past the bridge.

If you want more of a workout, head up the hill at the intersection previously mentioned. You're heading on a steeper grade and a usually less-packed trail to Dog Lake and a small waterfall a little more than a half mile away. The trail becomes more forested as you had uphill. You'll cross three groomed trails along the way -- first the Corral Loop, where a summertime horse camp lies buried under snow. The second trail crossing is with the Deer Creek Loop -- an intermediate cross-country trail. Finally, arrive at your third trail junction, where four trails converge.

To your left, The Hill ascends steeply, while straight ahead is the Biathlon Loop and to your right is the Dog Lake Loop. At the groomed trail, turn right and hike for a short distance on the edge (not in the center or on the ski tracks), looking for a trail disappearing into the woods on the opposite side of the road.

Hop onto that trail, heading for those waterfalls! The grade is slightly shallower than what you've been on, and it wends and weaves through large trees and dormant creeks to a last junction. The falls are just down the spur trail to your left.

After enjoying the falls, return to the trail and complete the loop by taking the trail you did not arrive by. This loops back around to the four-trail intersection, and you'll once again hike a short distance on the road to where the snowshoe track resumes. From here, you'll retrace your steps back to the lake and bridge, and look for another snowshoe track entrance on the near side of the bridge. Use this track to complete your circle of the lake and return to the yurt and parking lot.

Hike by WTA Staff
Anna Roth

White Pass Nordic Center

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.6397, -121.3924 Open in Google Maps

Trailhead

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Gifford Pinchot National Forest administered by Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

White Pass Nordic Trails - Ohanapecosh Maps

Getting There

Drive Highway 12 east toward White Pass. Turn left into the Village Inn parking lot. Leech Lake and the trails around it are straight ahead, past the Village Inn and overflow parking for the ski hill.

 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

White Pass Nordic Center

12 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports