Our Local Winter Trails
Whether you're cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or snow biking; the opportunities for winter recreation are abundant in this area. Check it out
4th of July Pass is a great place to ski or snowshoe! It starts from a high point afforded by the 4th of July Summit. Three loop trails wind through stately cedar, fir, and pine forests. Backcountry skiers can climb nearby mountains to carve turns. This area boasts 12.1 mi of groomed ski trails with a total of 17.8 mi of skiing and 15.7 mi of snowshoe trails.
Three ski or snowshoe routes are available from the Fernan Saddle Parking Lot which either do not cover routes ordinarily groomed for snow machine use, or use such routes only a short way before diverging off into areas not groomed.
Lookout hosts the popular downhill ski area, but it also has at least six Nordic, ski touring, and snowshoeing opportunities. Opportunities for ski touring and snowshoeing into the St. Regis Lakes and Copper Lake Basins maybe accessed from these trails, but be advised these are backcountry routes into areas where avalanche can be a real danger!
The Taft area is about 6 miles east of Lookout Pass on I-90 in Montana. The area’s location to the leeward of the Bitterroot Crest assures that it receives heavy snowfall and builds a thick snow pack each winter. These trails are on established roads that are sufficiently wide to accommodate snowmobile and ski use. The typical cautions of going early and yielding over to the side for snow machine traffic apply here.
Schweitzer's Nordic trails offer spectacular views in every direction with challenging and friendly terrain for all levels of enjoyment. Passes are required for access to the trail system. Nordic trail passes are $17 for adults and $14 for juniors/seniors.
Pine Street Woods
Located just west of downtown Sandpoint. Pine Street Woods provides opportunities for nordic ski, snowshoe, and fat bikes. With 7km worth of trails of varying difficulty, there is sure to be something for everyone.
The ski to Settlers Grove of ancient cedars is a beautiful winter outing along the banks of a clear mountain stream. The trip takes tenacity, but no special ski techniques, because the route follows a mountain road with quite moderate grades. The destination is a remarkable grove of cedar trees of great height and girth. The grove is beautiful in any season, but has a special beauty in the deep snow of late winter or early spring. It is recommended that the ski trip be taken during the late winter or early spring, when the winter snow pack has settled and possibly refrozen after thaws.
Palouse Divide has something for everyone. Nordic trails for skate skiers and traditional cross-country skiers; a snowshoeing area on the west side of Idaho Hwy 6; and several opportunities for backcountry skiers to carve turns on either side of the highway. About 12 of the 18 miles of trail are groomed periodically. The ski trails hug the mountainside and contour through a forested setting, making them suitable for most abilities. There are several steep pitches to navigate. Backcountry skiers can seek out turns on Bald Mountain Lookout or Dennis Mountain.
The ski tour into Marie and Skitwish Creeks is about as convenient to Coeur d’Alene as you will find, short of skiing up the trails in Nettleton Gulch. This is a ski tour that will require the use of “skins.” The initial climb over a ridge and descent into Marie Creek requires the climbing boost of skins and then their ability to brake the fairly steep descent. The route is over a hiking trail, so there is little room to maneuver as you ski down. If you follow the round trip up Skitwish Creek, skins will be required on this ascent.
Farragut State Park
Winter trails are groomed when snow is available and winter trail maps are available inside the Visitor Center. Fat tire bike trails are on the North side and Classic track cross country is on the South side.
Priest Lake Golf Coarse
|The Priest Lake Golf Course has the most extensive groomed Nordic trail system in the vicinity of Priest Lake. During the winter season, the area is blanketed with generous amounts of snow and the golf course is transformed into the Priest Lake Nordic Center. The trail system provides routes along the lakeside and also connects to the Hanna Flats trails to the north. The total of nearly 50 kilometers of groomed trails from beginning to intermediate level provide an ideal setting for family Nordic activities. Trails are groomed on a regular basis, conditions permitting, for traditional kick and glide skiers and skate skiers.|
Nordic ski trails and snowshoe trails at Hanna Flats are relatively gentle in a meadow and forest setting on the west side of Priest Lake. The trail system is well-suited for snowshoers and track skiers. The adjoining airstrip is a great workout for skate skiing. Two short loops are available for skiers and several interlacing loops for snowshoers. The Hanna Grove Nature Trail, located a little more than a mile from the trailhead, is worth checking out to see some old growth cedar trees and read about an old wildfire. Backcountry skiers could climb adjacent mountains above the flats to crank out a few turns.
Indian Creek State Park
Priest Lake State Park's Indian Creek Unit provides a change of scenery immediately adjacent to the lake. A compact trail loop system circles the park's visitor center area, and if that's not enough of a workout, another loop system to the north provides more mileage and more challenging trails. There is a new viewpoint trail that affords nice views of the lake and surrounding mountains on a sunny day. The park's visitor center and store are open on weekends for fresh coffee or hot chocolate. Snowshoes can also be rented at the visitor's center.
|Rocky Point is a nifty trail system on a peninsula on the east side of the lake north of Coolin. This area is best for snowshoeing. Parking is available at the Blue Diamond Marina.|
Chipmunk Rapids ski trails are a two-loop system of interconnecting roads. The trail head is near the Priest Lake
Visitors Information Center at Dickensheet Junction. The
groomed trails are called the Kaniksu Marsh Loop and the
River View Loop. There are other ungroomed trails in the area which are sometimes skier track set. These trails are mainly flat and used by novice to advanced cross-country skiers. The trails offer spectacular views of Kaniksu Marsh, Priest River, and the Selkirk Mountains.
Snow Peak Cabin
The ski is a touring opportunity to a cabin about three miles south of Sherman Pass in northeast Washington’s Kettle Range. The cabin is maintained by the Backcountry Horseman and is very comfortable. It will house a party of five comfortably. Its use must be pre-reserved with the Three Rivers Ranger District of the Colville National Forest.