Tripp’s Knob XC Ski Loop

Ideal for skate skiing, the Tripp’s Knob Loop is a fun excursion along a lesser-traveled trail in Mount Spokane’s Nordic Ski Park. It leads to a cozy, little-used warming hut on Tripp’s Knob.

Location Selkirk Mountains
Rating 2.3 out of 5
Difficulty Moderate (some uphill skiing)
Distance 7.6 miles
Duration 1:39 hours moving time (cross-country skiing)
Elevation Gain 890 feet
High Point 4,481 feet (Trailhead)
Low Point 3,802 feet (Junction #6)
Trail Type Loop
Trailbed Groomed for skate and track skiing
Water Only at Selkirk Lodge
Status State Park
Administration Washington Parks and Recreation
Permits Snow park and special groomed permits; paper company permit during the summer
Conditions Grooming is typically excellent, but snow levels are not always sufficient for these lower elevations.
Camping There are campgrounds in the state park and a warming hut on Tripp’s Knob
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. From the Selkirk lodge, ski down to the trailhead (about 2 miles)

Google Directions (47.897883, -117.077032)

Season Winter
Squirrel Density Dogs are not allowed when trails are groomed, except on skijoring days
Features Structure
Distance From
  • Coeur d’Alene 46.6 miles
  • Lewiston 138.0 miles
  • Sandpoint 80.8 miles
  • Seattle 312.2 miles
  • Spokane 34.4 miles
Nearby Hikes
Date February 18, 2017

TrailheadThere are a variety of ways to get to the trailhead to Tripp’s Knob. The fastest is zipping down Linder Ridge, the longest is out towards Shady Mountain, downhill to Mica Road, and along Mica Road to the trailhead. A great alternative route heads out to Nova hut, then follows Wild Moose and Moose Meadows down to the trailhead.

Tripps Knob warming hutSki downhill on Lower Tripp’s Loop, a wide logging road frequented by skate skiers. The road is wide and typically groomed for classic skiing as well, as long as there is enough snow, which, depending on snowfall, can be a challenge at these lower elevations. Over the course of a mile, the trail drops about 600 feet of elevation, then contours levelly along the side of the mountain for just short of 2 miles to the spur trail up Tripp’s Knob. The spur trail heads uphill for a half mile, gaining roughly 200 feet in elevation, curls around Tripp’s Knob, and emerges onto a forested top. There isn’t much of view from there, but it features a nice little warming hut and an outhouse.

Inside of Tripps Knob warming hutFew skiers pay a visit to this out-of-the-way hut, so chances are pretty good you’ll have it to yourself. On the other hand, chances are slim that it’s cozy and warm with a fire already burning…

View from Upper Tripps LoopFor the return trip, head back on the spur trail and a tiny bit of Lower Tripp’s Loop, then take a left (uphill) for a steady ascent on Upper Tripp’s Loop. This trail will gain about 600 feet over the next three miles and end at Mica Road. On Mica take a right for a short fun downhill slide back to the trailhead.

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

Small brook on Lower Tripps Loop
Small brook on Lower Tripp’s Loop
Tracks on Lower Tripps Loop
Tracks on Lower Tripp’s Loop
View of Tripps Knob
View of Tripp’s Knob
Heading up Tripps Knob
Heading up Tripp’s Knob
Top of Tripps Knob
Top of Tripp’s Knob
Tripps Knob warming hut
Tripp’s Knob warming hut
Inside of Tripps Knob warming hut
Inside of Tripp’s Knob warming hut
View from Upper Tripps Loop
View from Upper Tripp’s Loop
Paper company land that has been harvested
Paper company land that has been harvested
Tracks on Upper Tripps Loop
Tracks on Upper Tripp’s Loop
Upper Tripps Loop is mostly uphill
Upper Tripp’s Loop is mostly uphill
Fog was closing in
Fog was closing in
Junction of Lower Tripps and Mica Road
Junction of Lower Tripp’s and Mica Road

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