Skate-Away for Easy Access at Snoqualmie

Keechelus skate 1
Skate-skiers on the Iron Horse Trail along Keechelus Lake.

Day 10: Jan. 9, 2016

  • Hyak Sno-Park
  • Kilometers skied: 25
  • Season total: 88K

It’s tempting to dismiss the Iron Horse Trail near Snoqualmie Pass.

Thousands of people use it every weekend. The trail is shared by classic skiers, skate-skiers, snow-shoers, hikers, sledders and even dog-sledders. Snowmobiles roar along nearby roads into the backcountry, adding to the chaotic feel.

On the other hand …

If you’re willing to overlook the crowds, the Iron Horse Trail offers easy access to some decent skate and classic Nordic skiing. On a weekend, get there early and leave by midday.

Keechelus skate 2
SkiZer rocks the King Felix hat on the Iron Horse Trail.

I think of it as a workout ski. Not great by any means, but what other major metropolitan area of the U.S. offers such easy access to Nordic skiing? I’m feeling pretty lucky it’s there.

The trail is flat and fast, great for skate-skiing. I pushed hard for 2.5 hours and got back to the car feeling tired and happy that I’d gotten in another day.

 

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