Crystal Springs Dog Sled Trails


Cross-country Ski - Crystal Springs Dog Sled Trails

Explore the interesting network of Dog Sled Trails from Crystal Springs Snopark. Registration is restricted to fit intermediate to advanced cross country classic skiers. Back-Country skis with full or partial metal edges are recommended. We will ski a loop of up to 10 miles and 500ft. elevation gain. Only part of the trail system may have been recently groomed and tracks will not have been cut on the majority of our route.

  • N2 Nordic Advanced Basic Ski
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 500 ft
  • Pace: 3 mph Average Moving Speed

8:00am Parking Lot #1 Crystal Springs Snopark, 1 mile off I-90 exit 62.

Full directions will be emailed to participants once registration closes on Feb. 11 at 5pm.This deadline has since been extended to Feb. 12 at 5pm to be able to assess driving conditions due to a storm warning.

This trip will be co-led by Chris Ensor and Cheri Solien

We will explore some of the Dog Sled Trails and the Iron Horse P2C (Palouse to Cascades - formerly call the John Wayne) Trail east towards the Whittier Tunnel and part of the snow covered roads towards Meany Lodge and Stampede Pass that are close to the Erling Stordahl trails from Crystal Springs Snopark, exit 62 off I-90.

The portion of the Iron Horse Trail we will take to the east of the Stampede Pass road is joint use and may have or may not been groomed for snowmobiles the day before. We will have to share with snowmobilers on this section. The Dog Sled Trails may also have been groomed for sleds a few days before, but classic tracks will not have been set. These are officially off limits to snowmobiles but not all snowmobilers respect this. As we share the route with dog sleds, there may be some dog droppings to avoid.

The route is undulating with some quite steep but short hills in places. We will ski a loop of up to 10 miles and there may be some repetition. The elevation gain will be approximately 500 ft.

We have lunch sometime during our ski. We will find the best location we can out on the trail. 

We will travel at a moderate speed of about 3 MPH. This would not be a good trip for slow skiers, for those who rely on well groomed trails with classic tracks set or for skate skiers. The conditions we will find on the day are often difficult to predict in advance. Classic Nordic backcountry skis are recommended but in most conditions regular classic track skies are fine. Please consult the leader if you wish to use other types of ski.

Please note: The trip is not suitable for first-time Nordic skiers even with Alpine experience. As we will be skiing an approximately 10-miles N2 level 500 ft. elevation gain round trip, you will need to have good stamina and  the skills for herringbone climbing and wedge descents including wedge turns on quite steep hills. If you are uncertain of your ability and stamina or the equipment you have to manage this type of trip please consult Chris Ensor



A WA State Snopark Pass non-motorized day or season pass with special groomed sticker is required:

You can buy a day pass or season pass on-line. As a day-pass is $20. if you plan to go ski a few times at least, a season pass with groomed sticker combo ($40 + $40 = $80 total) will be more economical. As soon as you have ordered it you will be able to print out a temporary pass that's good for about 2-3 weeks until your season pass arrives in the mail. Please note: you must buy your snopark pass in advance.


This ski trip will follow the WA State Phased Approach to Reopening Business and Modifying Physical Distancing and the Mountaineers hiking guidelines for COVID-19 that apply on the date of this trip.

All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before attending an in-person Mountaineers activity during our COVID-19 response. By proceeding with any of the upcoming activities you are already registered to attend, you affirm that you have reviewed The Mountaineers COVID-19 Code of Conduct and the guidance for participants and leaders available on the COVID-19 Response page, and you agree to follow this guidance during each activity. Please remove yourself from any upcoming activity if you are unable or unwilling to follow The Mountaineers guidance at the time of the program.

CARPOOLING: Also, to help ensure your safety and the safety of our fellow hikers, the leaders asks that you only carpool to the trailhead with other members of your household registered for the same trip.  

PROTOCOL: All participants will need to have a face covering (mask, bandanna or muff), hand sanitizer and a backpack containing the 10 essentials. Wherever possible all group member will maintain the 6ft minimum social distancing protocol and be ready to pull up face covering over mouth and nose when this is not possible passing others on the trail and at the trailhead.

MORE INFORMATION: Full trip information will be emailed out to those who sign up as soon as registration closes on Feb. 12 at 5pm. This 24 hour extension is to be able to assess driving conditions due to a storm warning..  In the interim, any questions can be emailed to the trip co-leader Chris Ensor


Crystal Springs Dog Sled Trails

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Trip Reports