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Deer Creek/Boulder SnoPark

Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range
48.8648, -118.3972 Map & Directions
5.5 miles of trails
Elevation Gain
240 feet
Highest Point
7,100 feet
Skiers have kilometers of options, including overnight trips here. Photo by Holly Weiler. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Ridges/passes
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit
Saved to My Backpack

This SnoPark at the northern end of the Kettle Crest offers 9 kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails as well as non-groomed ski routes. Continue reading

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Hiking Deer Creek/Boulder SnoPark

Located at the northern end of the Kettle Crest National Recreation Trail, this non-motorized Sno-Park offers access to several popular ski trails. Parking is available on both the north and south side of Boulder Creek Road, a paved road connecting over Deer Creek Summit.

A SnoPark permit is required in either parking lot from November through April (or as posted). The northern parking lot is large and located well off the main road, with a portable outhouse provided on the edge of the parking area for the winter months. Parking on the south side is located in a plowed pull-off adjacent to the main road, and a CXT toilet is located a short distance up the hill from the parking area. 

The main trails on the north side of the road consist of the Camp Loop Trail (easy terrain) and the North Loop Trail (moderate to most difficult terrain). The Camp Loop Trail is roughly a half-mile round-trip and follows the road through the summer campground. Aside from a short initial climb out of the parking area, the trail is virtually flat and a good place to warm up or teach a new skier. Watch out for loose snow over the cattleguard at the entrance to the campground in the early season.

The North Loop starts at 4600 feet of elevation and quickly climbs to 4840 feet before beginning a long gradual descent. The trail takes a sharp turn at "Outback," descending down Third Creek almost all the way back to Boulder Creek Road in 5.4k of moderate terrain. At that point the trail grooming ends, and intermediate skiers should consider turning around to take the groomed trail back to the parking lot. Advanced skiers can choose to ascend the 2.5k ski route to complete the loop. Note that trail markings along this route were destroyed in the 2015 Stickpin Fire and have not yet been replaced. Since the trail is not groomed, skiers may find downfall across the trail following winter wind storms. 

The South Loop has similar considerations to the North Loop. The initial 2.7 kilometers is easy terrain and groomed for both classic and skate skiing. The grooming ends at the summer trailhead for Taylor Ridge, where the trail's rating becomes moderate and fire-killed downfall trees can become a stumbling block to completing the entire loop. For those who persevere through the downfall, the trail intersects Long Alec Road in 2.7 kilometers.

When there is sufficient snow depth, an ungroomed ski trail descends Long Alec Creek 11.5 kilometers (one-way) toward Curlew, or a short connecting trail ascends 0.7 kilometers to meet the Kettle Crest. The unmarked ski route continues southbound on the Kettle Crest Trail an additional 6.7 kilometers to just below Profanity Peak, or complete the South Loop by taking the Kettle Crest Trail north 5.7 kilometers to return to the parking lot.

WTA Pro Tip: This non-motorized SnoPark's groomed trails are devoted to Nordic skiing, but snowshoe travel is permitted along the outside edge of the ski trail. Snowshoe users are asked not to step on the set tracks for classic skiing, nor to walk in the trail if it has been groomed. The terrain surrounding the SnoPark lot is also popular for backcountry and Hok skiing along the Kettle Crest and off nearby Sentinel Butte. The area is dog-friendly.

Hike Description Written by
Holly Weiler, WTA Correspondent

Deer Creek/Boulder SnoPark

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.8648, -118.3972 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

This trail system is primarily maintained for Nordic skiers. Snowshoers may use the outside edge of the ski trails, but not the groomed main trail

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Republic, take Highway 21 north 22 miles to Curlew. Turn right and drive county road 602 (Deer Creek Highway) for 10 miles. The trailhead and Sno-Park will be on your left at the summit of the highway. There is room for about 20 vehicles. 

A Sno-Park permit is required from November 1 to April 30 (or as marked at the trailhead).

More Hike Details


Eastern Washington > Okanogan Highlands/Kettle River Range

Colville National Forest, Republic Ranger District

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Deer Creek/Boulder SnoPark

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