Mount Tahoma Ski Trails
The 3rd most popular cross country ski area in Washington.
Monday 27 June 2016 03:25 GMT
Southeast of Seattle, the Mount Tahoma Trails Association maintains 32km of groomed cross country ski trails just southwest of Mount Rainier National Park, plus another 110km of ungroomed trails. They maintain the largest hut-to-hut no-fee system in the US.
Great views of Mount Rainier are common along the seventy five miles of trail. All three huts and the yurt offer views of this mountain and other major peaks of the Cascade Range. From High Hut on a clear night you can see the lights of Tacoma, I-5, and aircraft landing and taking off from SeaTac airport. Since many portions of the trail are located in areas closed to motor vehicle traffic year around, wildlife sightings are common. Bear, deer, elk, mountain lion, eagles, and other animals have been seen along the access roads and in the trail area. A word of warning . . . storms can and do move into the trail area quickly and can dump three feet of snow overnight. Winds of 80 mph are not uncommon at High Hut; be prepared, dont underestimate this trail.
Access roads from the main highway are plowed during the ski season. Currently they lead to two Snow Parking areas (92 Road and 1 Road). It is approximately six miles from the state highway to each snow park. These snow parks float up and down the mountain depending on the snow line. You must have a valid State Snow Park Permit; this provides the money ($5000+ each year) to keep the twelve miles of access road free of snow. Once you reach the snow park you will normally find a groomed trail that leads up to the huts and yurt. Snowmobiles and a Snow Cat, operated by volunteers try to keep the trails to these facilities groomed. Volunteers, weather, and funding dictate trail grooming!
The trails from each of our two Snow Parks are kept groomed from the snow park to each of the huts and the yurt as our first priority. Weather and volunteer labor permitting we will keep these trails groomed. The expert trails shown on the map are never groomed. Other trails are occasionally groomed.
Overall, Mount Tahoma Ski Trails is the 3rd most popular cross country ski area of all 15 Nordic ski destinations in Washington.