Photo by Marc Dilley: Spring Flowers emerging in the forests at the Leavenworth Ski Hill.
Ski Hill Loop
A nice ‘trail’ system following dirt roads through the forests. The many looping roads in this small tract of Forest Service-owned lands winds through forests over rolling terrain and climbs gently to offer a few views of Leavenworth. The Ski Hill ‘trails’ are popular places to walk, run, and mountain bike for three season use. Once snow-covered the roads are used for Nordic skiing in winter and are part of the groomed trail system maintained by the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club. The trails/roads are free to use for three-season use but you need a day pass or season’s pass to ski them in winter.
Nearest Town: Leavenworth
Summer Activities: Hiking, mountain biking, trail running, walking pets.
Summer Skill Level: 1 (easy). Summer Fitness Level: 1 (easy).
Winter Activity: Nordic Skiing.
Winter Skill Level: 2 (intermediate) for skaters and 1+ (advanced beginners) for classic skiers. Winter Fitness Level: 2 (intermediate) for skaters and 1+ for classic skiers. Note: Nordic skiers will find the trails here hillier than the other pods of skiing around Leavenworth. In particular, skating these trails takes far more technique and fitness than skiing the Nordic trails along the Icicle River (at the hatchery) or at the Leavenworth Golf Course.
Distance: Roughly 4 miles of trail and dirt roads if you interconnect all loops twisting around in this area.
Elevation: About 400 feet of gain
Access: Driving through Leavenworth, turn off Highway 2 in Leavenworth at Ski Hill Drive (near Kristall’s Restaurant) and drive north. After following this road about 1.4 miles, you will reach the Ski Hill parking area. Trails begin on the other side of the gate and initially head east. No permit needed to park.
Trip Instructions: Follow the narrow road as it winds through forests and climbs gently to offer views of the town. There are several loop options available, depending on time and energy.
Uses Allowed: Hiking, walking pets in summer, mountain biking, Nordic skiing in winter.
Uses Not Allowed: Motorized vehicles are not allowed in spring, summer or fall. In winter, snowshoeing, walking on the ski trails, or exercising dogs on the groomed ski trails are all prohibited
Permits/Fees. None needed in spring, summer, or fall. Day passes or season passes are required for winter use.
Leave It Better Than You Found It: This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull noxious weeds along your route, disperse old fire rings (they encourage more fires), throw branches over spur trails and spurs between switchbacks (make it harder to do the wrong thing than the right thing).
Important Disclaimer: Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Things change, conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes, fail to give complete information, or may not know all the issues affecting a route. So forget about finger pointing: If things go wrong, you are completely responsible for yourself and your actions. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.