Enjoy Life in a Snow Globe
During the winter Lake Chelan is a snow-covered wonderland offering visitors a new list of seasonal recreation activities. Lake Chelan in winter dazzles visitors with its beauty, activities and feeling of “small town America.” Imagine gliding along a well-groomed cross-country ski trail that soars high above the clouds. Picture yourself drinking in the beauty of the Northern Cascade Mountains from a pair of snowshoes while perched on the top of a mountain ridge. Close your eyes and listen to the quiet sound of serenity. This dream-like experience can become a reality at Echo Ridge, a breathtaking Nordic ski area in the wondrous Lake Chelan Valley.
Echo Ridge Winter Trails
Cross Country Skiing
Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area Trails (Length: 25 miles of Groomed Trails) Offering consistent sunshine, dependable snow and beautiful vistas, Echo Ridge is only 9 miles from downtown Chelan, and 2 miles past the Echo Valley Ski Area. This is ridge top loop skiing at its best, with almost 25 miles (40 Kilometers) of groomed terrain for every skill level, and a cozy, new warming yurt. Some trails are open to skiers with dogs and walkers.
Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area, groomed by the Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club, is a professionally designed ski area offering trails that follow the contours of the terrain creating interesting and exciting skiing for all ability levels. The scenic ridge-top location provides rolling groomed cross-country ski trails, and breath taking views of Lake Chelan’s fjord-like valley and the Stewart Range. A variety of trails offer choices for all skill levels from beginners to advanced skiers including 13.3k of easy trails, 15.2k of more difficult and 11.1k of most difficult trails, all designed for classic skiing. These trails include 14 kilometers of wide platforms for skate skiing at all levels of difficulty. There is also a 3.9k snowshoeing trail loop system. While many trails are wide and inviting, some system trails are designed for single track skiing in a remote, back-county setting.
Echo Ridge is a U.S. Forest Service facility operated by the Chelan Ranger District and the Lake Chelan Nordic Club, and is a great skiing bargain. The daily rate for those 18 and over is $10 a day at the four trailheads. Season passes are available from USFS and discounts apply for Nordic Club members. Ages 17 and under ski free at Echo Ridge. Passes are available at the Ranger District Station. Sno-Park, Northwest Forest Pass and Golden Age Passes are not accepted.
Snowmobiling on Echo Ridge at Lake ChelanSnowmobilers agree that spectacular scenery makes the Lake Chelan area ideal, and 170 miles of well-marked, groomed trails and excellent snow conditions bring people back year after year. There are play areas plus warming huts with wood stoves. Uncrowded trails, sunny weather and spectacular trail conditions give us an edge over the rest of the state.
There are six Sno-Parks in the Greater Chelan Area system with trails regularly groomed from the week before Christmas until mid-March. Call (509) 687-SNOW for updated grooming reports. For snowmobile rentals, check the directory under Outdoor Recreation.
To park in a non-motorized sports Sno-Park, it is necessary to purchase one (and sometimes two) types of parking permits for your vehicle: a one-day permit, a seasonal permit and possibly a special groomed trails permit. A Washington State licensed vehicle must have a Washington State Sno-Park permit. (Sno-Park Permits are not valid at Echo Ridge Nordic Area.) Sno-Park Permits can be purchased from the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center.
All snowmobiles must be registered through Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) or a licensing agent, even if a person rides only on his or her own property. Operators from states not requiring registration must obtain a 60-day registration permit from the Washington State Department of Licensing. Snowmobile registrations are valid October 1 through September 30. The fee includes one Sno-Park permit (vehicle parking permit required at designated Sno-Parks) for each registered snowmobile, which must be on the towing vehicle. The fee also includes one decal for the snowmobile.
- Antilon Lake Sno-Park (Length: 102 Miles) Sanitary facility at Sno-Park, warming shelter and scenic viewpoints along trail.
- 25-Mile Creek Sno-Park (Length: 60 Miles) Sanitary facility at Sno-Park, warming shelter and scenic viewpoints along trail.
- Gold Creek Sno-Park (Length: 102 Miles) Sanitary facility at Sno-Park, warming shelter and scenic viewpoints along trail.
- Black Canyon Sno-Park (Length: 102 Miles) Sanitary facility at Sno-Park, warming shelter and scenic viewpoints along trail.
- Entiat River Road Sno-Park (Length: 40 Miles) Sanitary facility at Sno-Park, warming shelter and scenic viewpoints along trail.
At Echo Valley Ski & Tubing Area, there is a public tube hill (tubes are supplied). Open weekends and holidays. $10 all day, $8 after 1pm. Children 5 and under are free!
To get there, follow the Highway 150 toward Manson for about 1.5 miles. Turn right at Boyd Road and the ski hill is about 7 miles up the road in Cooper Gulch.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Looking for an enjoyable day of skiing without the crowds? Just seven miles from downtown Chelan, Echo Valley Ski & Tubing Area is a great family destination. Beginners through advanced skiers enjoy uncrowded slopes, low prices and outstanding snow conditions. Located at 2,500 feet in elevation, this area features three rope tows and a surface Poma Lift.
Enjoy the cozy fireplace lodge and eatery while viewing the slopes. Rental equipment is available on-site. Echo Valley Ski & Tubing Area (509) 687-3167 (during operating hours) or 509-682-3503 – www.EchoValley.org Prices: Children 5 and under ski and tube free! Daily lift ticket: $30/ day (tubing hill included). Tubing only: $15/day (includes tube). Open Saturday, Sunday and Holidays 10am-4pm, snow and weather permitting. Sno-Park permit not required in ski area parking lot.
Another great hill with small lines and great skiing is only a 90-minute drive from Chelan, in Wenatchee. Mission Ridge has more than 36 designated runs spread over 2,000 acres of terrain. It also has 66 acres of snowmaking, more than any other area in the state. Enjoy a high speed quad ride to the top. No other ski area in Washington receives as much acclaim for the quality of its snow as Mission Ridge. The combination of dry snow and 300 days of sunshine annually makes Mission Ridge well known throughout the Northwest.