An Ellensburg Girls' Weekend Getaway Guide
By Shelby Walker
Sometimes it can be intimidating to get outside for an adventure when the trails are deep with snow. We’ve compiled this list of exciting trails for snowshoes or cross-cross country skis that are perfect for an afternoon of fun! They are all within an hour’s drive and range from beginner to intermediate skill levels. Most of the places listed here have more trails to be explored as well so you can make it your personal adventure.
Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
This trail is easily customizable so you can make it your perfect outing. If you want to go for a longer snowshoe, winter hike, or cross-country ski, then it has enough trail to make that happen. If you just want to go explore for a quick afternoon, you can see some beautiful land without having to spend all day out in the snow. If you do decide to make it a longer day, be sure to come prepared with layers, water, and snacks.
Gold Creek Snowshoe Trail
This is a perfect loop for beginner snowshoers or cross-country skiers. It is accessible and flat. The loop around Gold Creek Pond is around one mile but there are trails that you can explore that go off into the forest. Surrounded by the Central Cascades and with Kendall Peak right over you, this loop has beautiful views and offers endless possibilities for your next winter adventure.
Swauk Campground Sno-Park
This area has over 50 miles of trails, so, no matter your skill level or activity you want to try, there is something here for everyone. Although nestled in a snowmobile area, there are still over 50 miles of trails that are designated for non-motorized use. Surrounded by the beauties of Blewett Pass, this area is the home of some of Washington’s best snow conditions. With so much space and great conditions, you can explore creeks, meadows, and more that have been sprinkled with snow.
Summit Nordic Center
To do this trail system you will need to be more prepared. Some of the trails are brushy and overgrown so make sure you have a map to find cleared trails. There is a lot of opportunity for great exploring on snowshoes on the trails surrounding the Nordic Center. Lots of fluffy snow is almost always a feature of this area during the winter months. Plus, take advantage of easy parking at the Nordic Center!