Winter Fun: Cross-Country Skiing & Snowshoeing

Less than an hour from downtown Yakima are miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Trails are off both Highway 12/White Pass and State Route 410/Chinook Pass. There are also options for overnight stays nearby.

Stay in one of the cozy cabins with a hot tub and enjoy the peaceful winter forest at Whistlin’ Jack Lodge.  Have dinner and enjoy the evening entertainment in the lounge. You can count on Don Forgey to put on a great show Thursday through Saturday nights starting at 7:30.

Bring the whole family to Bethel Ridge Retreat. A 30-minute drive from Yakima and close to the cross-country winter fun. After your trek in the mountain snow, come home to a three bedroom cabin with outdoor hot tub and cozy fireplace.


(photos by Herb Schmidt)

Trails on State Route 410. (Weather Report)

These trails merge to make a loop on either side of the American River and either side of State Route 410 to provide miles of connecting trails.

  • Hells Crossing: This is a very popular trail for cross-country skiers.  It is rated easy and follows an old road. There are 18 parking spaces. One can make a loop by going across State Route 410 at Union Creek on the other side of the road back to Hells Crossing for a total 14 miles.
  • Crow Lake Way: Trail offering 14 parking spaces and 6 miles of tracks.
  • Union Creek: a non-groomed area for all non-motorized users. This is for all snowshoeing and cross-country skiers with Back country experience with a marked route, featuring 8 parking spaces and 6 Miles of pristine winter trails.
  • Bumping Lake cross-country trail: circuit comprised of four to six miles of trail that will be groomed once or twice a week as part of the Washington State Parks’ Winter Recreation program.

Ski White Pass on Highway 12:

  • The White Pass Ski Area offers 18KM of meticulously groomed Nordic trails. It is double-tracked with a 10′ skating lane. (map)
  • Downhill Skiers will enjoy 43 downhill trails with 8 lifts, two day lodges, vertical drop of 2,050 feet with 20% of the trails designated advanced.

The White Pass Ski Area also offers accommodations to stay overnight and hit the slopes or trails early.

The area in and around the Yakima Valley:

When the snow falls on the Valley floor, the grounds at the Yakima Area Arboretum are beautiful and there are wonderful opportunities to cross-country ski and snowshoe. If you have children wanting to learn this sport or just want to take a quick cross-country ski outing in newly fallen snow, visit one of the most beautiful places in central Washington.


  • The Naches Ranger Station foyer is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week- handouts and forest road information available to the public during non-office hours. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tel. (509) 653-1401. Forest information can be found on kiosk bulletin boards in front of the Naches Ranger Station on Highway 12 in Naches.
  • Buying a snopark permit online

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michelle Hopkins at (509) 575-3010.

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