Mountain Loop Hwy 1-28-24 Virtually No Snow.jpg

Trip Report    

Cross-country Ski - Big Four Coal Creek

Very little snow. Lots of rain.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • A bad snow year on the Mountain Loop usually means there is snow coverage on the road, at least enough to ski on.  Today it was melting before our eyes.  

    Consistent light rain all day with a few periods/sections of heavy rain on the road between Verlot and Deer Creek.

    The Stillaguamish is running very high.  All feeder streams are dumping lots of water into the river.

    Mountain Loop is clear of snow all the way to the seasonal locked gate at Deer Creek Road.  The washout/one-lane portion with the automated stop lite is still there however there are signs that indicate work is being done (machines, rock, etc.) during the work week.  


Trip plan was to ski to Big Four and then up Coal Lake Road for a ways if avalanche conditions allowed.  Because of low/no snow we had to walk about 1/2 mile east of the gate to get to any skiable snow and then it was only if we hugged the shoulder of the road.  We could have walked all the way if we had wanted to.  No chance of post holing today...well maybe to the depth of 1" :-).  Many people were doing that today.

We skied, if you can call it that, to the Big Four Picnic Shelter.  We watched what is usually a frozen waterfall feeding the Ice Caves roar down the rock face.  We didn't go over to the Ice Caves so can't comment on their condition.

We attempted to ski up Coal Lake Road but there has been a timber sale and the road is gated with very clear and prominent signs and a gate saying road and surrounding area is closed to any recreational use. Just as we were turning around to head back we heard multiple, loud avalanches on both the Ice Caves and the Perry Creek side of the valley.

Given the poor snow conditions we turned around and headed back to our cars.  The "ski" back was a least a little downhill.  

Oh well, maybe later this season or next year.