Yesterday I headed over Stevens Pass to explore some of the multi-use (i.e. snowmobile) trails out of the Fish Lake Sno-Park. Snowshoers and runners typically are not welcome on groomed ski trails, but everyone is allowed on the snowmobile trails. I figured it would be a great chance to get in some longer miles on runnable snow-covered trails. It was a Monday, so my hope was that I wouldn’t see many people and that it would generally be a nice quiet day pulling my pulk through the woods.
Of course, groomed snowmobile trails are simply snow-covered forest service roads. I knew this, but I guess I was hoping that a blanket of white would magically make them appealing. Unfortunately, a road walk is a road walk and it wasn’t my most inspiring long “run.” (In quotes because it was really more of a walk – not a lot of running happens when you’re pulling a pulk in 2-4 inches of soft fresh snow.) Also, although I had the trails to myself and never saw a snowmobiler, the smell of two-stroke engine exhaust lingered along certain sections of the trail, probably due to the inversion layer. Yuck. But I got ‘er done.
One cool highlight: I did a short out-and-back down a random road. On my way back, I noticed animal tracks over my sled track! During the 30 minutes I spent walking to the end of the road, someone came out of the trees, walked in my sled track for ~25 meters, and then headed back into the woods. Neat-o! My best guess is a bobcat?
Last night I stayed in the Fisherman’s Cabin behind the 59er Diner. It was relatively cheap (for the area and the season), and exactly what I wanted – nothing more, nothing less. Warm and dry. A comfy couch to put up my feet and do some work in the evening, and an equally comfy bed. A microwave so I could make tea and soup for dinner, and coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. And heaters so I could dry out all my gear before heading out again in the morning.
This morning I headed to Lake Wenatchee State Park for a few more miles. If you’re looking for some relatively uncrowded and scenic snowshoe routes, the park is a good option. The snowshoe trails were all marked with flagging and easy to follow, even the ones that hadn’t seen footprints since the last snowfall. Currently, you can get away without snowshoes (I left mine in the car) but there’s also some fresh powder to traipse through if you’re excited about breaking trail.
There aren’t a ton of miles to be had and it’s not exactly “wilderness,” but Lake Wenatchee State Park was much more low-key than some of the options closer to Seattle. Here’s a map to give you a sense of what’s there. My main goal was active recovery, so I wandered around the park, took a few pictures, and called it good. Next time I’m excited to show up with fresh legs and head up to Nason Ridge!
Before driving home, I stopped by the 59er Diner one last time to grab some food. They made me an Egg Stacker with veggies (basically a veggie and swiss scramble stuffed into an english muffin). SO GOOD. 59er Diner and Cabins for the win!