Help establish nearby areas for non-motorized winter recreation.

Skiing in the Stemilt Basin in the bowl closest to Mission Ridge. Because it is readily accessible to skiers and snowshoers, this zone is part of the proposed non-motorized area. The same bowl is sometimes tracked up by snowmobiles, making it unusable to skiers. There are other nearby bowls snowmobilers can access that are not practical for the average day skier to access.

El Sendero needs public support to establish a wintertime non-motorized area in the Stemilt Basin that would accommodate cross-country skiers, backcountry skiers,  snowshoers, and winter walkers.

El Sendero has worked locally in the public’s behalf since 2013 with local stakeholders, DNR and WDFW to establish the state’s first wintertime non-motorized recreation area on public lands adjacent to the Mission Ridge Ski Area.

The Naneum-Colockum Recreation Plan, finished and signed in 2015, calls for the state to provide a few non-motorized wintertime recreational opportunities on the state lands between Wenatchee and Ellensburg. Chelan County is now developing its own, more localized, recreation plan for some of these same lands and seeks public input. El Sendero needs your voice to tell Chelan County to stay true to the public process and not to deviate from the State Plan, which calls for an accessible, non-motorized wintertime recreation area in the Stemilt Basin. El Sendero has had to defend this concept at every turn of the planning process and is still receiving resistance from a small (but vocal) subset of motorized users resistant to the notion that non-motorized users deserve a small sliver of the pie.

To see a map of the areas that are being proposed for specific activities CLICK HERE.

To be clear, motorized use is currently allowed on ALL of these state lands, yet there are NO state lands set aside for the much larger body of non-motorized wintertime recreationalists. It is a critical time to change that: SPEAK UP (AND SEND WRITTEN COMMENTS) SUPPORTING A NON-MOTORIZED AREA in the Stemilt Basin. Do so by:

What a few snow machines can do to make slopes un-skiable. This shot is from slopes above Clara Lake but the slopes in the Stemilt Basin look the same after a few snowmobiles have visited.

1) Attending the Recreation Planning Open House 

(March 21, 6pm – 8pm, Malaga Fire Station, 3760 W Malaga Road)

2) Submitting written comments supporting the non-motorized area between March 30 and April 30. 

(Send comments to and

More information from Chelan County (509-630-5303), or El Sendero (509-860-7332).

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