Trail of the Week: Smell the fir, pine on snowmobiles
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
The Entiat River Sno-Park contains 15 parking spaces and is used by a variety of visitors including snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
The groomed trails wind along the Entiat Valley corridor following the beautiful Entiat River towards Cottonwood Campground or you can climb to the crest of the Chelan Mountains and visit Junior Point at an elevation of 6,654 feet.
Junior Point is the site of a former fire lookout tower that offers breathtaking views.
Recreationists also can enjoy the yurt warming shelter located at Junior Point; there is a wood stove for warming up and table and chairs for relaxing during a cold days ride.
Access and length: From Highway 97A, turn onto the Entiat River Road and travel 24 miles to the Entiat River Sno-Park. Beyond the Sno-Park recreationists have a couple options:
1. Travel 3.6 miles to Shady Pass Road No. 5900 and continue 13 miles from Shady Pass turn off to Junior Point
2. Travel 12.5 miles to Cottonwood Campground
Elevation gain: 4,934 feet depending upon which route is taken (from 1,720 feet at the Sno-Park to 3,144 feet at Cottonwood, 6,000 feet at Shady Pass, 6,827 feet at Big Hill and 6,654 feet at Junior Point).
Fees: A Washington State Sno-Park Pass is required for parking. Permit fees are $21 for a day pass or $41 for a seasonal permit; a Special Groomed Trails Pass is not required. Entiat River Sno-Park offers parking for both snowmobiles and for non-motorized winter sports recreationists.
Allowed: Open to snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, walking and dogs.
Not allowed: Wheeled vehicles.
What you will see: Travelers will enjoy views of the Entiat River and smell the scent of fir and pine while traveling up to Shady Pass and Junior Point. Views on clear crisp winter days include the upper reaches of Lake Chelan, upper Entiat Valley and Glacier Peak. At times, it is even possible to see Mount Rainier from the Big Hill area.
Recommendation: Call the Entiat Ranger Station for current trail and snow conditions. Snowmobilers may obtain the latest grooming updates for the Lake Chelan area by calling 509-687-SNOW.
For current snowmobile grooming information for the Entiat and Lake Wenatchee areas, call 509-763-3103. Determine the status of local weather and find out the current avalanche danger by calling the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center at 206-526-6677 or go online to www.nwac.noaa.gov. Tell someone reliable where you are going and when you plan on returning.
Information: Entiat Ranger District, (509) 784-1511 or Chelan Ranger District, (509) 682-4900
—U.S. Forest Service
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