Cross-country Ski - Palouse to Cascades Trail


Cross-country Ski - Palouse to Cascades Trail

LEADER PERMISSION. Blow off work mid-week and come practice your skate ski skills. This is an easy, all-flat SKATE ski trip aimed primarily at graduates from the Skate ski course. It is not suitable for first-time-ever skiers. No formal instruction will be provided, but we can practice balance, weight-shift and gliding skills. We will ski an out-and-back route on the Palouse to Cascades Trail and along Lake Keechelus from the Hyak Sno-Park.

  • G-XC 2 Advanced Beginner Groomed, G-XC 3 Intermediate Groomed
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 12.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 100 ft
  • Pace: 5 mph

Click [MORE +] below to read the full description before requesting permission.

Trailhead talk at 10 am (ready to ski) in the Hyak snowpark. If you didn’t find me in the parking lot, we’ll gather by the trailhead at the south end of the parking lot. We should be done before 1pm, depending on weather, snow and participants' ooomph.

Getting there: I-90 Exit 54. Turn south at off-ramp (from Seattle, make a right turn off the freeway). From Cle Elum, make a left turn to the intersection. Turn left, go about 1/8 mile and turn right. Sno-park is on first right.

(Note that you need a non-motorized WA State Sno-park Pass with the groomed sticker.)

[Leader Permission required.]

This is NOT a formal class, but an opportunity to practice and/or refurbish your SKATE ski skills, so we will be skiing at a sensibly sedate pace. We will make a few stops along the way. Any fast skiers will be expected to remain within reasonable reach of the group.

We will ski for about 3 hours total along  Lake Keechelus, so we may or (most likely) may not ski the entire length of the lake. It will depend on the group as a whole. Expect to ski at least 6 miles, up to ~16 miles if the group gets ambitious and the snow lets us. We will not stop for a full sit-down lunch, but will take quick hydration and snack breaks.

Please test your gear before leaving home to ensure that it is in proper working order.

When you request permission, confirm:

  • that you understand that this is a SKATE-skiing only outing (no classic skis),
  • provide a brief overview of your experience with skate skiing and
  • confirm that your equipment is good to go. 

Carpools can be arranged by the participants after I've sent my first Hello Skiers email.  Check out the Mountaineers Good Carpooling Practices for details.

Heated restroom and water are available in the parking lot.

You can check the latest road conditions on the WA-DOT website.  For kicks and giggles, you can keep an eye on the weather & avalanche forecast and the general grooming status.


Palouse to Cascades Trail

  • Green Trails Rattlesnake Mtn No. 205S

    Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

    Green Trails Mount Si NRCA No. 206S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials 
  • Cross-country SKATE skis. Please NO classic skis on this trip.
  • Poles
  • Boots
  • Hydration & snacks
Trip Reports