Cle Elum - South Snowmobiling
The 5th most popular snowmobile trail in Washington.
Thursday 21 July 2016 05:42 GMT
Southeast of Seattle, the Cle Elum area has over 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails at elevations ranging from 2,500 to 7,000 feet. The trails are groomed by Washington State Parks & Recreation (800-233-0321) using funds from the Sno-Park fees.
Along US90 heading toward Cle Elum are several snowmobile Sno-Park areas from Snoqualmie Pass to the town of Easton. Here are the best Sno-Parks along US90: Gold Creek at Exit 54 then 1 mile north of Summit East; Crystal Springs at Exit 62 then 0.5 mile south on FS54; Lake Easton State Park at Exit 70. The Gold Creek Sno-Park provides access to the Keechelus Ridge routes which climb from 2,200 feet in dense forest to 5,000 with awesome vistas. The Crystal Springs Sno-Park provides access to the Stampede Pass routes, which include Dandy Pass Loop, Tacoma Pass, Meadow Creek and Lost Lake.
In the Cle Elum Valley, there are several Sno-Parks that provide access snowmobile riding. To reach the Salmon la Sac Sno-Park, Use Exit 80 of US90. Then follow to Roslyn, take a left at the stop sign onto highway 903, go approximately 14 miles to the Salmon la Sac, take a right off of 903, continue about ¼ mile to plowed parking area. Highway 903 is plowed from the Last Resort Restaurant and Mini-Mart all the way to Salmon la Sac Sno-Park (approximately 9 miles). The right side of the highway shoulder remains snow covered for grooming and shared-use access. Parking is permitted in designated areas only along the west or lake/riverside of the road without a permit. Look for signing!
CLE ELUM VALLEY TRAILS:
Bear/Corral Loop, #4305: Utilize plowed parking available at the Last Resort. Pay attention to signing. Elevations 2200 to 3500. Good views of Cle Elum Lake and Valley, Cascade Range, Teanaway, Stuart Range and Mount Rainer. Basically this route provides a short loop ride, with limited play areas, and access to Coal Mine/Cle Elum Ridge trail.
French Cabin Creek, #4308: Utilize the plowed parking near the French Cabin Creek Bridge, permit not required, park only where signing indicates. Route accesses Thorp and French Cabin Creek areas. Vistas provide great views of the Cle Elum Valley and Lake.
Cooper River Road, #4600: Utilize the Salmon la Sac Sno-Park, permit required. Or utilize roadside parking north of Cooper Bridge on Hwy. 903, park only where signing indicates, permit not required. Views of the Cle Elum River Valley and Lake, Cooper Lake, Cascade Range, Three Queens and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Kachess Lake, Mount Rainier. Road has groomed route to Stave Creek loop and Cooper Pass, which provides a large area for riding, watch for drifts.
Fish Lake Road #4330 and Fortune Creek: Utilize Salmon la Sac SnoPark, permit required. Main Fish Lake road provides 10 miles of groomed trail from Sno-Park to the Fish Lake Guard Station. Views of scooped out glacial cut valley and Cascade Range. Good route for beginners. The Fortune Creek route is recommended for experienced riders only because of the rough and steep terrain. Destinations include: Gallagher Head and Lake Ann. Great views of Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Mt. Stuart, Ingalls Peak, Mount Daniel, Cathedral Rock, Mount Rainier and glimpses of the Leavenworth Ranger District. Please respect Wilderness boundaries; motorized vehicles are not permitted in Wilderness.
Coal Mine Trail/Cle Elum Ridge: Community trail between Cle Elum and Roslyn that allows snowmobile access to the groomed trail system along Cle Elum Ridge to groomed trails north of Cle Elum Lake. This is a fairly flat linear trail at the beginning with gradual elevation gain as you get up on the ridge. Watch for skiers and walkers. Main trailhead parking can be found at between first and second on Stafford Street in Cle Elum.
Overall, Cle Elum - South is the 5th most popular snowmobile trail of all 28 snowmobiling rides in Washington. Several of the better snowmobile trails are nearby Cle Elum - South including Cle Elum - North, Lake Chelan - North Shore, Lake Chelan - South Shore and Clear Lake Sno Park.