5.8 miles RT
Elevation gain: 400 feet

Long flat stretches and gentle uphill climbs lead to the gurgling waters of Meadow Creek at the Meadow Creek Campground. The campground itself is buried in snow this time of year, but it is a perfect place to stop for a break along the tree-lined creek.

From the Sno-park, take a left onto Meadow Creek road (what the Forest Service calls Route 3). Stretch out your legs for an accommodating 0.7 mile flat stretch. The road then yanks to the right and up a hill, continuing a modest climb until flattening out a quarter mile from the intersection with Route 4 (the route to Pole Ridge). At the intersection stay to the right, dropping to cross Meadow Creek in 0.5 mile. The campground is an additional 100 feet along the road and to the right. It is easier to stay on the groomed trail, but you also can take off your skis and tromp through snow to a picnic table in the campground – exactly the sort of thing my kids would do when they were younger.

To return, retrace your tracks.

Meadow creek at daybreak. I took these two pictures some 10 years apart. The stillness at this spot remains.