Wondering where to go for fun in the snow? I happen to love cross-country skiing, and prefer to make a weekend trip around it when I can. We live in Seattle and if we have more than a short weekend for a getaway, we’ll head to the Methow Valley, a Nordic skier’s paradise. Much closer to Seattle is Lake Wenatchee, just east of Steven’s Pass.
Imagine skiing around a clear mountain lake ringed by fragrant ponderosa pine and backdropped by snow-laden peaks. When there’s a good amount of fresh snow (check the Lake Wenatchee snow report here), the groomed Nordic trails around the southeast shore of Lake Wenatchee are the place to ski. In all, there are around 35 kilometers of trails here, mostly groomed, and they range from flat, skating tracks to gentle hills. There’s also a snowshoe trail and a tubing hill.
STAY: Make the town of Plain your base. A great value, Beaver Valley Lodge (18630 Beaver Valley Rd, rooms from $90), has modern hotel-style rooms with kitchenettes, country oak furniture and quilt bedspreads. A handful of spacious suites with full kitchens are perfect for families. Plain is small, but the whole town is just steps from the lodge including a grocery, hardware store, restaurant and even a winery with a tasting room (Napeequa Vintners, open for tastings on weekends year-round). There are even groomed cross-country ski trails right across the street from the inn.
EAT: The hippest and most caffeinated place to be at 8am is Plain Hardware. Stop in for an expertly-pulled espresso, then pick up some wool socks, hats and gloves while you’re at it–this place has a little of everything. For a more substantial breakfast, hit up Plain’s Old Mill Cafe and choose from french toast, oatmeal and omelets for breakfast and soups / sandwiches for lunch.
GET THERE: From Everett, take US-2 E/Stevens Pass Hwy. Once you go over Stevens Pass make a left onto WA-207 N at Coles Corner towards Lake Wenatchee State Park for skiing, or follow the signs to Plain.