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Trip Report

Nason Ridge Snowshoe

Central Cascades

Trip Report By

Hiked Dec 11, 2016

Type of Hike

Snowshoe/XC Ski

Trail Conditions

Obstacles on trail:
    Trees down across trail.

Road

Snow and ice on road

Bugs

No bugs

Snow

Trail snow-covered at times - gear and expertise recommended
Looking for some exercise and fun in the snow, we decided to check out the snowshoe route along Nason Ridge. We had never been to the area before and so had a little trouble finding the trailhead. When you get to the fork in the road on Kahler Glen Rd, you'll see a sign for the Nason Ridge Trailhead heading to the right. Don't go right. Follow the hiking guide's directions and head to your left. That sign is for the summer trailhead, and at this time of year, there is no parking on that side. We got confused, though, when we went to the left as the directions indicated because we couldn't identify the winter parking area. If there was one, then it hadn't been plowed yet or just wasn't obvious. We wound up parking in front of the Honeycomb Lodge Restaurant. There were several open spots and no one seemed to mind. From there, we continued up a plowed road, passing through a few private homes. At the top of the road, we found the water tower described in the guide and pictured below. We walked to the right of the water tower and found the first blue ribbon marking the trail. Here we strapped on the snowshoes as the snow was about shin deep for me (I'm 5'6"). The snowshoes helped a bit, but the snow was so light and powdery that we were sinking in much of the way along the trail making for some good cardio. We noticed that the trail had been mostly broken through for the first 1/2 mile or so. We eventually met up with a group of women who we had to thank for doing the hard work for us. Their trusty pup Charlie helped too! We pushed on further for another few minutes and came to what we thought we be an impasse on the trail. A bunch of trails are down across the trail. We tried to see if we could go up and around the fallen logs, but did not have any luck. The group of women we encountered earlier rejoined us at this point and were able to find a way around the pile up. We made our way around it to the right and picked up the trail on the other side. It was awkward to do in snowshoes, but definitely doable. We continued on to Big Red and then maybe 30 more minutes past that and then decided to turn around. We didn't really get to a viewpoint or a clearing, but being in the undisturbed, snowy forest was a treat nonetheless. Stopping at at the Honeycomb Lodge Restaurant for a hot drink sounded really appealing, but we figured we'd get a jump on the Stevens Pass ski traffic instead. We'll certainly stop in next time as their fireplace looks like a lovely place to warm up with some warm food and beverages. Would love to know where we should actually park next time and where we need to pick up a permit if we really do need as the hiking guide says.

Comments

thx

will update description, the winter parking lot is directly across from the golf course cart barn and driving range, just before you get to the Honeypot Restaurant.

Posted by:


Shadowdad on Dec 18, 2016 10:10 AM

Awesome summary!

Hey! It was nice running into you guys on the trail. (I am Charlie's mom). Ran across this report and wanted to assist on the parking and permit side. The day you guys hiked, the snopark system wasn't up and running (I believe it was the first day of grooming). The parking lot wasn't marked on the day we were there. (I actually parked at the TH for summer access - where a NW forest pass required non-winter). Snopark permits are sold at all the area 'grocery' stores - Parkside & Midway and may be available at Plain Hardware, too.

I hiked to the saddle a couple days ago and seems the trail to the top is 2.5 miles (5 mile RT - not including the walk from the snopark to the TH).

I hope this helps! Cheers & Happy New Year.

Posted by:


nwadventurechic on Jan 04, 2017 06:56 AM

mountainmama on Nason Ridge Snowshoe

Nice to meet you too and thanks for the tips about the parking area! We stay at my boyfriend's cabin in Plain pretty regularly, so we'll definitely be back to that area and want to make sure we're following the rules! :) Happy New Year to you too!

Posted by:


clairenw on Jan 04, 2017 09:39 AM