For Winter Fun and Adventure!
Editor's Note: Our South District is now open, but was closed from Fall 2006 to Fall 2008 due to a washed out bridge.
This page was created during this closure. It does a good job of
capturing the essence of our North District, so we're keeping it
Looking for world-class winter fun for your friends and family?
Are you imagining spectacular views of
Mount Rainier as a perfect setting for your next skiing or snowshoeing adventure?
Are you yearning to "getaway from it all" to a warm, cozy hut?
It's time to Go North!
North District is Open with Expanded Operations
Our North District is open with expanded operations!
Expanded Plowing and Parking.
Great News: The 2006/2007 season's extra plowing and almost
doubled parking spaces will remain in effect this season!
Please note that
heavy snow fall may reduce upper lot parking, requiring visitors
to park lower down the road.
More Grooming and Volunteers.
We now have a brand new Snow Cat and
our previously best Snow Cat deployed together in our North
Plus, we had an all-time record volunteer patroller
year. Together, we expect to do the best job ever of
many miles of North District trails!
Note that grooming can be impacted by severe weather,
equipment problems and/or volunteer availability.
Click each of the above for
more pics, including pics
of the hut's fabulous new floor!
Warm up and Relax in a Backcountry Hut
Are you ready for a perfect day in our backcountry?
Venture into a pristine winter scene on groomed trails that lead
you to Glacier Vista; an awesome winter wonderland. Spend
hours playing and exploring in the snow. Then return to a
cozy backcountry hut to warm up and relax with friends.
Now that's winter fun at its finest!
As many as 14 individuals can stay overnight high above
the Nisqually Valley at Copper Creek Hut.
The warm and cozy Copper Creek hut is waiting for you.
To make reservations, start with our
hut reservations page, or
call or stop by
Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford.
Trails and Vistas for All
Our North District combines beginner-friendly hut access
with many miles of groomed and backcountry trails appropriate
for almost any skill level. Families with young
children often make the trek to Copper Creek hut.
Snowshoers will enjoy exploring the many ridges
above the hut. Whether you're a beginner or an
expert, a skier or a snowshoer, looking for nice groomed
trails or un-groomed backcountry adventures, our North District
has a trail for you!
Overlook Trail with an optional un-groomed Loop.
A great trail for first-time skiers. It starts at the
upper SnoPark (at 3300') and is now groomed out for
At the 1/2 mile point, there is a turn-off on the right
to an un-groomed trail flagged with orange tape.
This un-groomed trail forms a 2-3 mile loop back to the
main trail that is excellent for snowshoers or intermediate
Rainier Vista Trail - Southwest End.
The main trail used to reach Copper Creek hut, excellent
for beginner to intermediate skiers. There is
a short (0.2 miles) steeper section just above the upper
SnoPark, but the rest of this groomed trail has a
very beginner-friendly, gradual ascent over 2.7 miles to
reach the hut turn-off. (From the turn-off, there is 0.4 miles
trail with a short steeper section to reach
Copper Creek Hut at 4200').
The Rainier Vista Trail continues
to the north.
Valley Vista Trail.
A lower trail, groomed when there is enough snow,
often with more wildlife.
This trail starts on the Rainier Vista Trail 1.5 miles above
the upper SnoPark and goes
about 3.4 miles before returning to Rainier Vista Trail near
the Copper Creek hut turnoff. The trail starts at
3840', goes down to a low of 3450', then returns to 4160'.
An un-groomed trail, that goes from Copper Creek hut
0.7 miles mostly North to the Rainier Vista Trail.
Combining this trail, the Rainier Vista Trail and the Hut Turnoff
trail makes a nice short 1.4 mile loop from the hut.
Rainier Vista Trail - North End (Puyallup Ridge Trail).
A now regularly groomed trail starting at the Copper
Creek turnoff going about 5.8 miles out to the old
Puyallup Ridge Lookout tower. Much of this trail
is relatively flat. For a real challenge, do
the 18 mile round trip from the SnoPark to the Lookout
and back! The views of Rainier and the
surrounding Cascades don't get much better (see our
Photos section for examples).
Puyallup Ridge Loop Trail (Morge Lake Loop).
This 2.7 mile frequently groomed trail provides an
alternative route for
part of the Puyallup Ridge trail.
It starts just past Morge Lakes, stays on a relatively
flat traverse along the West side of the ridge, and
returns to Puyallup Ridge trail about 0.9 miles from the Lookout.
Mountain View Trail.
This is a short (0.2 mile) groomed trail that goes from the
Rainier Vista Trail north of the hut to a location with
a nice vista of Mt. Rainier.
Pick the trails that suit your style, then "Go North" soon.
Our Backcountry Map will help. Get one at
Whittaker Mountaineering in Ashford or at
Whittaker Mountaineering MTTA Map. For more information, see our
Don't miss the winter fun! Come visit us soon!