17.4 miles RT

If you like the Yellowjacket trail at the Chickadee trailhead in the Methow Valley, you will love this trip. It's like Yellowjacket on steroids - twisty downhills, uphills that don't kill you, and more zippy downhills that make you want to do it again. If that's not enough, there are views galore up the Chiwawa River valley and toward the Sugarloaf Mountain area. All in all, a great ASS ski.

There's a catch, of course. To really enjoy it it helps to obey ASS Rule #1. This is because snowmobiles like this area too. So get in early, or on a weekday, and soak it up.

Take the trip to Goose Creek Campground (ASS trip #2) and continue along Routes 7A and 7B (using the USFS numbers) past the Deep Creek Campground and through Burgess Meadow. Turn right onto USFS route 7C for some downs, but mostly ups, until intersection N. From here USFS route 7D goes 10 miles to the French Corral Sno-Park and entry to the trails around Sugarloaf Mountain (this is ASS trip #15, and it is nothing if not a workout.) For the Beaver Creek Loop, turn left onto USFS Route 8C for several sweet miles of ups and downs, and then left onto USFS Route 8B for about 1.9 miles of screaming, hold-onto-your-precious-parts, ride down back to Burgess Meadow. From here, retrace your tracks (if you obey ASS Rule #1, yours will be the only tracks) along USFS routes 7B, 7A, 7, and 2 back to the car at the Fish Lake Sno-Park.

To repeat: On weekends, Mountain Springs Lodge takes its guests on guided snowmobile trips. And - you guessed it - they hit part of this trail. So, unless you want to marvel at the sight of 18 snowmobiles putzing along in single file, each rider sucking up more exhaust than the guy in front, take ASS Rule #1 to heart.

Big Jim Mountain from the Beaver Creek Loop

More views. There are lots.

Burgess Meadow near Route 7B: A flat spot on a roller-coaster outing

Entering a winter wonderland from an open meadow along the Beaver Creek Loop