Mount Spokane XC Ski Loop

At an elevation exceeding 4000 feet, Mount Spokane offers prime conditions for cross-country skiing. Groomed trails exceed 30 miles and include two warming huts. Grooming is typically exceptional and accommodates classic (track) as well as skate skiing. Plus, a patrol is on duty, just in case. In short, Mount Spokane offers some of the best cross-country skiing in the Inland Northwest. This loop is an easy 7-mile journey through this winter wonderland.

Location Selkirk Mountains
Rating 3.1 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (some uphill sections)
Distance 7.2 miles
Duration 2:15 hours moving time (cross-country skiing)
Elevation Gain 447 feet
High Point 4,804 feet (shoulder below Horse Mtn)
Low Point 4,393 feet (Junction Mica & Linder Ridge)
Trail Type Loop
Trailbed Groomed for skate and track skiing
Water At Selkirk Lodge
Status State Park
Administration Washington Parks & Recreation
Permits Snow Park and Special Groomed permits are required for parking during winter months
Conditions Grooming is typically excellent
Camping There are campgrounds in the state park. There are also two warming huts along the trail, Selkirk Lodge and Nova Hut
Maps USGS Mount Spokane
Trailhead Take I-90 exit #287 and head north on Argonne Road for 8.5 miles (Argonne will turn into Bruce Road). At the roundabout turn right onto WA-206 Mount Spokane Park Drive and follow it to the trailhead (about 16 miles). Alternatively, take the I-90 Sullivan exit and head north via Sullivan, Wellesley, Progress and Forker to WA-206.

Google Directions (47.903419, -117.09978)

Season Winter
Squirrel Density Dogs not allowed on trails except on skijoring days
Features Structure
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 44.5 miles
  • Lewiston 135.8 miles
  • Sandpoint 78.2 miles
  • Seattle 310.1 miles
  • Spokane 28.9 miles
Resources
Nearby Hikes
Date December 29, 2016

Junction #1From the trailhead above Selkirk lodge you have four options, all of which lead to junction #1. The left and rightmost ones are the easiest and the inner ones more difficult. From junction #1 you also have several options, with all leading to junction #2 except the very leftmost one (Linder Ridge, where we’ll return). For beginners or skate skiers the wide middle trail is recommended (the Larch trail on the far right can be very ice and debris-covered after storms). The middle trail (Alpine) steadily ascends and culminates in a short but steep downhill run to junction #2.

Nova HutFrom junction #2 take any of the three right-hand options, preferably the third from the right (that’s the widest and easiest one, called Lodgepole). All of these end up at or near Nova Hut. On Lodgepole you’ll have nice hillside views as you ascend. At the first Y bear right and you’ll almost immediately get to another Y. To the right a short spur trail leads to the Nova hut, featuring tables, a fireplace, and bathrooms. If you’re not in need of rest, however, go straight (ie, leftish) for maybe a 100 yards, then turn sharply left (going straight leads up to Quartz Mountain, a project for another day!).

A fun downhill on Twin Lakes Trail with filtered viewsNow the trail (Shady Way) leads through fairly dense forest, slightly uphill and is then followed by a nice sweeping downhill run towards junction #5. Bear right (ie, straight) at the junction and right again about 100 yards uphill. Now follows a prolonged downhill run on Twin Lakes with pretty views to the right. At the bottom turn left (that’s the second left) onto a connector to Mica Road. Mica Road is a broad larch-lined road that contours along the mountain, moving up and down along the way (this is a really easy stretch).

Linder Ridge TrailEventually the road drops lower and crosses a bridge (the low point of this loop) at junction #9. Take a slight right (not a sharp right!) and it almost feels like you’re staying on the same road, but the name changes to Linder Ridge. This road (through Inland Paper land) moves along the mountain flattish at first, then steadily ascends towards the Lodge. On approach to junction #1 bear right and you’ll end up just below Selkirk Lodge.

Enjoy this hike? Let us know in the comments below!

Ascent to trailhead from Selkirk Lodge
Ascent to trailhead from Selkirk Lodge
View from Mountain View Trail
View from Mountain View Trail
Junction #1
Junction #1
Blue Jay Trail
Blue Jay Trail
Alpine Trail
Alpine Trail
Junction #2
Junction #2
Sun piercing a cloudy sky above Lodgepole Trail
Sun piercing a cloudy sky above Lodgepole Trail
Looking back towards Mount Spokane (from  Lodgepole Trail)
Looking back towards Mount Spokane (from Lodgepole Trail)
Nova Hut
Nova Hut
Shady Way Trail
Shady Way Trail
A fun downhill on Twin Lakes Trail with filtered views
A fun downhill on Twin Lakes Trail with filtered views
Lots of larches along Mica Road
Lots of larches along Mica Road
View of downhill skiing area from Mica Road
View of downhill skiing area from Mica Road
Mica Road flows up and down
Mica Road flows up and down
Linder Ridge Trail
Linder Ridge Trail
Mount Spokane
Mount Spokane
Skiing uphill on Linder Ridge Trail
Skiing uphill on Linder Ridge Trail
Frosted trees on Linder Ridge Trail
Frosted trees on Linder Ridge Trail
A winter wonderland (taken off Linder Ridge Trail)
A winter wonderland (taken off Linder Ridge Trail)
Almost back to Selkirk Lodge!
Almost back to Selkirk Lodge!
Selkirk Lodge
Selkirk Lodge
Traimmap
Alternate Routes

  • Shorten the trail and turn it into a lollipop by circling around Shadow Mountain for excellent views
  • Refer to the trail map for alternative routes; there are miles and miles of groomed trails!


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