Trip Report    

Bikepack - Lost Lake

First ever snow overnight bikepacking trip and first ever joint trip of cross-country skiing and bikepacking.

  • Fri, Mar 3, 2023 — Sat, Mar 4, 2023
  • Bikepack - Lost Lake
  • Lost Lake
  • Bikepacking
  • Successful
  • Snow and ice on road
  • The first 2 miles are either on Palouse to Cascade Trail   which was  freshly groomed for XC ski or on the parallel road groomed for snowmobiles. The rest was on Forest Development road 5480, groomed for snowmobiles. Grooming had happend on the snomobile route the night before (conditions report by Nordic Pulse website) but 6 inches of new snow had fallen since which made the climb  challengind for the fat bikes beyond Roaring Creek Drive when the snow got deeper and grade steeper.  From then on the fat bikers had to push for the last mile, mile and half to campsite.

This was our first ever attempt to do a bikepacking trip in the dead of winter on fat bikes. We wanted a well-known, close-by destination to put the loaded fat bikes and our winter gear for winter riding to test. We were joined by our XC ski friends who wanted to test out an ungroomed terrain with an overnight pack.  Both groups got what they wanted out of the trip and more.

We started at Crystal Springs Snopark around 3:45 PM. Out XC ski friends had gotten a head start about 2 hours prior.  They were supposed to be going slower but in reality their speed up and down was pretty similar and given the conditions, skis were indeed the best mode of transportation. We were in communication with them via In-Reach to In-Reach and earlier by text while we still had coverage.



Emma's loading her fat bike  (Photos by Emma Agosta)

As mentiones in Route Conditions, after the first couple of miles on nearly flat terrain along the P2C, which were very rideable with only 2 inches of new snow, road 5480, which has been groomed the night before had upwards of 6 of new snow over the groomed surface and some recent ruts from snowmobile activity during the day. This made the climb on fat bikes challenging  beyond Roaring Creek Drive when the snow got deeper and grade steeper and riding was no longer possible.  From then on the fat bikers had to push for the last mile, mile and half to campsite.

We arrived to the camp our cross-country ski friends had set up, near the lake and under the protection of the treee canopy, right before sunset, after a 2:15 min of total riding and pushing time. This was a 5 mile route that we had pre-ridden on fat bikes in much less time under more firm conditions. The very last 1/10 of a mile from the junction to camp was in fresh snow that was thigh deep. We were wallowing in it while trying to push a fully loaded fat bike. Fun times! Comical, indeed!




last 3 photos by Janette Powell

The evening at camp was delightful (literally), between the great food and desserts spread and fantastic company.  We slept all cozy in our tents and hammock till daylight, then had another great breakfast meal at camp and packed up for the return trip.




Last 3 photos (by Emma): Top left: Emma's tent; Top right: Dom's hammock! Left: Amazing dessert spread 


IMG_7357.JPG                                                      Photo by Janette Powell

IMG_9343.JPGPhoto by Emma Agosta


 The descent was much easier on bikes (and undoubtely easier on skis too). The groomer had visited again in the evening and there was only an inch or so of new snow on top of the groomed surface. Being a "powder day" snowmobiles came up early and we met several coming up the road on our descent but they were mostly curteous and slowed down and waved at us. Some got even very curious abous us on bikes and wanted to know if they were e-bikes. "Nope, no yet", was my response! :-)

Photo by Janette Powell



Mixed modes of transportation with only marginally different speeds on both ascent and descent. Last two photos by Emma Agosta


                                                       Photo by Janette Powell

We were all back at the cars together at 11:30 or so and had a wonderful brunch at our van.

Super-fun trip with super-fun people!

Lesson learned:  While the winter gear selection was perfect and we were warm and "snug- like- a- bug" at camp and in the tents, we realized that for riding a fat bike snow conditions make all the difference. We had ridden our fat bikes on this route on snow before in much firmer conditions and it had been a lot easier. While we knew grooming was recent, the heavier than expected precipiation the night and morning before the ride, made for challenging riding and mandatory HAB (hike-a-bike) on the steeper/deeper sections. A small-frame person like me found pushing a very wide fat-bike by the handlebars in several inches of new snow very physically demanding and painful to my further. It was suggested to me, to try to set-up some kind of harness to make it easier. I ended up pushing from the saddle a bit and also getting some help for the steeper/deeper part by my companion.