Last weekend, just a few days into the New Year, Susan and I decided it had been far to long since we’ve been on cross country skis, so we set out on a cold but beautiful day for the Cascade Mountains.
We made our way out to a familiar spot called Crystal Springs Sno-Park. Susan and I had been once before with friends and really enjoyed it. Once you park, which there is plenty of, it’s a short walk to the trailhead.
This is a great location for first timers and experts alike because the trails vary in difficulty, with groomed tracks and other trails that are best suited for those not looking to remain in the track. Additionally, they have plenty of area for skate skiers.
Adjacent to the skiing are groomed paths for snowmobiles. They have done a great job of keeping snowmobiles and skiers separate.
Susan and I headed down the main path which ultimately leads into a clearing where you can continue on or head east or west down long trails.
One path, the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, headed one direction towards Hyak Sno-Park or towards Lake Easton in the other direction.
Susan and opted to turn around and head back to another part of the Sno-Park we had skiied before (the Erling Snordahl Ski Area). This area is really well marked and again offers a wide assortment of trails for all levels. Susan and I pushed into the woods and into deeper snow which was great.
For most of our time there, the only company we had besides ourselves was a busy wood pecker rat-tat-tatting on a nearby tree.
After a couple miles out, the sun was starting to drop in the sky a bit so we decided it best to make our way back to the car, as we still had a-ways to go.
The snow was perfect and our skis glided perfectly as we made our way out of the woods, into a clearing and eventually down the hill, back to the jumping off point for the trail. We clicked off our skis and made our way to the car. We had been out a little over two hours and were feeling great about our time out.