In this age of problematic snow, the trails at Razor Hone (at the bottom of the hill) are often suffering from too little snow and too much rain. Meanwhile, the “White Salmon” trails are often above the rain line and can be beautiful – both quality of snow and of views.
First off – parking is limited. The parking area is at Mile 51.5. It is strongly suggested to drive on to the turnoff for the ski lodge at Mile 52, make a U-turn, and then drive back to the parking area. (Going uphill, it is a blind corner.) As you park, please remember that other cars might not be able to pull uphill behind you – allow them to drive out downhill. See notes on Ridge Road if the parking lot is full. Note that parking *is not allowed* on the highway or in the chain on/off area across the highway. See separate page for more info.
Grooming: The solid-line trail is very occasionally groomed, but is usually packed by snowshoe and ski traffic. Check the grooming page for the latest information on grooming.
Main White Salmon Trail to the Knob: The first mile of trail is relatively level with no surprises. As you drop down to the second hairpin, note that the trail starts going downhill and you should ski under control and remember that you will have to ski back up. The trail branches off to the “New Southeast White Salmon Extension” which drops at a reasonable grade down to some additional views of Mt. Shuksan. The main trail reaches a low point and then climbs back up to the “Knob” with great views. The final climb is steep and may be difficult to ski back down. If concerned, consider the SE Extension instead. It’s about 2 miles out to The Knob. Mileage will be added to the map shortly.
Down the SE Extension to the overlook: This extension continues downhill on a modest slope and arrives at a large opening/overlook with a great view of Mt. Shuksan. Some think it more impressive than the view from the Knob! It makes a good alternative to the climb up to the Knob – and in spring, frequently has smooth ‘crust skiing’ for skate skiers. With a long climb back to the cars! See Trail of the Month article from the club newsletter.
Ridge Road – (also an option if the parking area is full – see separate page with more info): The Ridge Road (an old Forest Service road, but now a nice trail) is not groomed. It often has a packed trail left by previous users (thanks!) The Ridge Road is very reasonable terrain – except at either end – the ends are NOT old Forest Service roads. They are short, steep connectors – feel free to side-step or take your skis off and walk. It is about 0.8 miles one-way from the lodge parking lot to Hairpin #1.
Pete’s Shortcut – (not me – named for a Pete who is before my time…) This is a well-cleared trail that makes a steady uphill climb to the Ridge Road. It would make a nice 1.5 mile loop to go up the shortcut, left onto the Ridge Road and back to the main White Salmon trail. This includes a great view of Mt. Shuksan from the Ridge Road.
Snowshoe shortcut to The Knob: This shortcut is twisty and steep in places – and frequently used by snowshoers to go directly to the knob. Skiers should approach with caution!
The trails are obvious – don’t worry about getting lost – go out and enjoy the winter! (except the Connector Trail! See notes!)
The Salamander Connector Trail: The connector trail to the Cougar Loop is a work in progress. See separate page for more information.