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Ben There Done That: Stevens Pass Nordic Ski

Get your glide on while enjoying mountain valley scenery at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center.

Take advantage of breaks in the weather to head into the mountains. If you’ve never stepped into cross-country skis, Stevens Pass is a great starting point. Nordic skiing is an easy-entry sport and it doesn’t take long to learn the basics.

The ski trails are settled in a mountain valley, with terrain varying from evergreen forest to open meadow. The Main Line trail is the easiest and travels for 7.3km stretching from the Nordic Center at 3,000 feet to the base of the base of Mill Valley, the backside of Stevens Pass Ski Resort at 3,760 feet.

Credit: Ben Dery
Nordic skiing at Stevens Pass

Off the Main Line, you’ll find a mix of trail difficulties and your best chance to see wildlife. There is a resident bobcat (named Ronny Bob), a variety of birds, and you may even run into some deer.

Start your ski at the Cascade Depot, a few miles east of the Stevens Pass summit. Here you can buy a trail pass ($24 for a day pass, less for kids and seniors), rent skis, and even hire instruction.

Credit: Ben Dery
Cascade Depot, the base of the Nordic ski area

Clip into your skis, and head up the initial hill toward the west. You can either stay in the ski grooves or attempt to work your way up in the middle of the trail.

Ed’s Hut is roughly 3km from the Cascade Depot. It’s a warming hut and is a nice place to get out of the weather for a bit and have lunch.

Credit: Ben Dery
Nordic skiers arriving at Ed's Hut

This is also the setting for biathlon races. Don't be surprised to see professional skiers practicing for larger events! Ed’s Hut is at the edge of the biathlon range. You can sit on the porch, and watch the biathletes come into the range, shoot their targets, and continue on.

Credit: Ben Dery
Professional Nordic skiers at Stevens Pass

If you’re new to skiing, this is a unique way to experience the outdoors. It’s all about getting outside, getting comfortable with a little glide, and enjoying nature.