My Favorite Echo Ridge Loop Trail

by Guest Contributor, Guy Evans

Here’s one of our valley’s little secrets: we have some incredible cross-country skiing.  The Forest Service calls it Echo Ridge.  I call it nirvana, especially on a moonlit night.  But where to go?  So many trails!  This 8km loop offers views of the lake on both ends with fun, rolling terrain in between.

The Route

I love this loop because it offers a quick hour-long workout if I’m alone.  Or a more leisurely ski with kids and friends.  On clear days, the views of Lake Chelan, Stormy Mountain, and the Cascades keep you pulling your phone out for photos.  And on clear nights with a moon, your mind quiets as the trail winds its way among dark pines.

  • The route begins from the upper parking lot.  Head north on No-Where to Hide for 2 K.  This is a perfect warm-up.  As you approach Spaghetti Junction, the pitch nudges up.  Get ready to climb for about a kilometer.
  • Your climb up Outer Rim is complete at the High Five Junction.  If I am skiing hard on a cold day, this is where I peel off a layer or unzip to let in more air.
  • Morning Glory to Grand Junction and Zippity Do-Da to Chaos Corner offer a pleasant and gradual drop of vertical.  These sections meander through the trees but can be quick descents if icy.   Snowplow is your friend.
  • Finally Nuthatch leads you back to the parking lot over the final 2.5 km leg.  Here the views open up again to the lake and mountains.  Nuthatch is also one of the widest trails at Echo Ridge, perfect for practicing skating technique.

IDX Image

Route in Red 

The Setup

  • PASSES:  Day ski passes are $10 per person and can be purchased at the trailheads with cash or check. Kids under 17 ski free.  Season passes are an affordable $70.  Consider a purchase to support the area.
  • DIRECTIONS: Echo Ridge is 11 miles from downtown Chelan on the north shore.  It is a 20-30 minute drive depending on snow conditions and is best made in an all-wheel-drive vehicle, or a two-wheel drive with good snow tires.
  • RENTALS: Cross country skis can be rented at Lake Chelan Sports in downtown Chelan.


There are A LOT of trails at Echo Ridge.  I’ve been skiing there for decades and I still get confused.  The upside is you can ski for hours at Echo Ridge and never see another person.  High solitude scores.

To orient yourself in the area, download the Avenza Map app for your phone.  And then get the free Echo Ridge GeoPDF Map.  (To download Echo Ridge Map into Avenza, click the + at top of app, then type or paste URL (below right) after clicking “Tap to enter a URL”)

This slick combo will show your location real time on the Echo Ridge Trail Map.  A great aid.

Legs of My Favorite Loop – 8.2K

  • No-Where To Hide – 2K
  • Inner Rim to High 5 Junction – .8K
  • Morning Glory to Grand Junction – 1.5 K
  • Zippity Do-Da – 1.4K
  • Nuthatch – 2.5K

What is your favorite loop at Echo Ridge?

About the writer:  Guy is a fifth-generation Lake Chelan native and owner of Guy Evans Lake Chelan Real Estate. He has one daughter and enjoys running, skiing, writing, and serving on civic boards. If you are looking for a Realtor with marketing prowess, construction experience, local connections, and a farmer’s work ethic, welcome!

Follow his blog and contact him at Guy Evans Real Estate