Looking for some snow to ski on? Looking for a serious workout? I’ve only skied on them a few times, but the motorized snoparks (groomed for snowmachines) are an option you might consider. No parallel tracks, possibly moguls, and stay out of the way of the snowmachines!
[NOTE: this page is on my own website and represents my own opinions. It is not part of the NNSC website or sanctioned by the club.]
The motorized snoparks are up in the mountains where there is snow – they have an adjustable starting point – they go up a Forest Service road to approximate snowline – and a wide spot in the road that allows a parking area, and that’s where they start the snopark.
Most users have a motorized snopark pass in their window – but motorized sno-parks are also open for non-motorized recreation (https://www.parks.wa.gov/130/Winter-recreation). A non-motorized snopark pass is acceptable (I saw this on the state website, Dec. 2022, but I can’t find it now).
From Bellingham, the three parks to consider are Glacier Creek, Canyon Creek (both up the Mt. Baker Highway) and the Mt. Baker NRA which is off Highway 20, east of Sedro Woolley. From the State motorized snopark (Mount Baker area) page, click on the snopark link for a map and information on grooming.
The times that I’ve skied Glacier Creek, the start has been down low – and there was a lot of uphill skiing, going up the road.
I haven’t skied Canyon Creek, but friends have. It is usually a long drive to snowline. When they went, they parked a little short of the official lot and hiked up to where they could ski.
I’ve skied the Mt. Baker NRA late in the season just after it was closed to snowmachines. It was a neat place to go – although I used backcountry skis rather than skate skis.
If you go, you will want a ‘winter-ready’ car. You will be sharing very narrow roads with big pickup trucks towing trailers with snowmachines on them. You will be in snowmachine territory – I was very conscientious in giving them plenty of space – but they were all uniformly very friendly to me too. I’d probably stay off of them on weekends though and aim for a time they aren’t too busy.
Let me know how it turns out!