After a failed attempt at riding 40 miles on a snowmobile trail in the Entiat, I decided to do swing by Squilchuck State Park and see about the little bit of trails that a few people have been working on. This was my first time riding snow singletrack, as it were. While there were about 4″ of fresh powder on the ground, there was a firm-enough base to ride. It was so beautiful that I did two laps on the upper loop.
And this stretch was also rideable:
The area is small, though, and I didn’t find the lower loop, so afterwards I went up the Beehive Rd. to get some exercise.
Having taken a liking to snowy singletrack, I was curious where else I could go. Hansen Ridge came to my mind. With temperatures and snow level pretty low on the west side of the Cascades, I headed out there to test my bike on the trails. However, around 1/4 of the way up the forest service road, the compressed-snow ended and a faint snowshoe trail started.
Unfortunately, that trail had not been compressed enough to ride on, so I turned around and headed farther up NF-55 to the Annette Lake trailhead. It’s open to bikes up to the Iron Horse trail. The trail was packed well, and it was about 50% rideable uphill, so beautiful.
On the Iron Horse trail, I rode west to the avalanche sign, where the snowshoe trail ended unfortunately. It’d be great if the Iron Horse trail got some basic grooming/packing by a snowmobile once a week! What an asset that could be as a multi-user winter trail in the I-90 corridor!
It was beginning to get late and dark, and so I rode east about mile almost to the tunnel when the snowshoe trail ended again.
On the way back, I ran into a couple snowshoers and we chatted for a minute. Then, I got to enjoy the downhill on Annette Lake trail – probably the most fun snowbike ride I’ve done, yet! (The Diamond Head trail to Elfin Lakes would be a close second – but it’s much longer.)