I started with Pete Lake. The trail is flat, snow-free, and in great condition. It was a calm, cold morning and the lake was glass. I didn’t see another soul from start to finish, other than my dog Maggie and a few bounding deer.
After Pete Lake, I drove 10 minutes to the Salmon La Sac trailhead, where I picked up the Waptus River trail. I admit I wasn’t expecting much from this trail, and I primarily chose it because it was low-elevation (snow-free) and not too steep (I needed flatter terrain for today’s run).
Waptus River was a pleasant surprise, much more scenic than I expected. The only issue with the trail is the burn area – there are about a dozen blowdowns across the trail, and they were a minor annoyance to navigate with my dog on leash. However, the burn area isn’t very big and all of the blow-downs are small enough to step over or walk around.
Both of these trails are great early-season choices that offer plenty of miles of snow-free trail.