Placeholder Routes & Places

Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Hyak Lake & Nordic Pass

A straightforward but beautiful snowshoe from the base of the Silver Fir ski lift through the around surrounding Nordic Pass to the lakes that lie above.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There was ample snow depth for snowshoeing, but some areas where we would have preferred to go were still brushy so we had to reroute slightly.  In particular the Nordic Pass Trail was still too brushy for snowshoes or skis.

We arrived at the Silver Fir parking lot around 9am and had the entire place to ourselves because that section of the ski are has not yet opened for the season.  We immediately entered the trees and took a route through the forest, staying on the north side of  Hayak Creek for about a mile before crossing the creek and passing under the power lines (a path jokingly signed "I-90" by the ski area).  We skirted the north side of Hayak Lake then headed west to Grand Junction, a point where several Nordic trails meet.  We stopped for a snack break in the warming hut, which was empty of people but full of ski area signs that had yet to be put out for the season.

On entering the warming hut we had not seen anyone else all day, but when we exited we found that a few other parties had arrived, including some with other Mountaineers friends and acquaintances.  After chatting for a while we followed the cat track northwest from Grand Junction toward Surveyor Lake.  We were deterred by some fencing that is normally buried by snow, and rerouted to another cat track leading toward Divide Lake.  We left the cat track at about 3800' and went cross country for about a quarter mile W/NW to a knob about midway between Surveyor and Divide lakes where we stopped for lunch at noon. 

The weather was stellar all day, cold but clear and beautiful with low Solstice light even at midday.  But the forecast called for deteriorating conditions around 3pm and we could see some clouds coming in, so we decided to turn back after lunch at about 12:30, saving Divide Lake for another day.  We followed our tracks back to the cars, except that we skirted the south shore of Hyak Lake instead of the north shore we had followed on the way in. 

After arriving back at the cars at about 2:45pm we headed to The Commonwealth (restaurant next to Dru Bru) for a quick bite before the drive home.  The Commonwealth was packed in spite of the ski area being only partially open.  There was a wait for a table and the service was only OK, perhaps not the best place for an apres-snowshoe bite, especially with the ski area opens up in earnest.