White Pass might be better known for its downhill slopes, but the White Pass Nordic Center’s machine-groomed trails could be the perfect fit for anyone looking for a family-friendly day-trip from Seattle. Located in the Cascade Mountains just south of Mt. Rainier, White Pass’s eleven miles of double-track paths meander through the Wenatchee and Gifford Pinchot National Forests, and circuit around the pretty (if unfortunately named) Leech Lake.
What Makes It Great
The Nordic Center, right by the White Pass downhill ski area, is a friendly, no-frills kind of place that quickly lets you get to the important bit: enjoying a winter day outside. After buying a day pass ($15) and rentals from their yurt tucked in the woods, you can strap on your skis at the picnic table and be on your way.
The trails are groomed for both classic and skate skiing from Thursday through Sunday. Dogs are also allowed on the trails after 3:30pm Thursday through Sunday, and all day Monday through Wednesday. You can also explore the center on the area’s snowshoe trails. Take in the tranquility of the white winterscape and keep an eye out for possible wildlife sightings, like Rocky Mountain Elk, Bald eagles, and marmots.
If you’re new to cross-country skiing, the Nordic Center’s Introduction to Nordic Skiing Package is a great way to dive in. It includes a lesson, ski rentals, and a trail pass for $45. Lessons are available Thursday through Sunday at 10am and noon.
Who is Going to Love It
Cross-country novices, families, or anyone who wants to spend a winter’s day unwinding by drifting along rolling trails through frosted woods.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Park at the White Pass Nordic Center, just behind the Village Inn Condominiums, at 48935 US Hwy 12 in Naches.