Silver Lake

Summary  Link to more information about summary

Difficulty 1 Beginner
Length Up to 4.6 miles one-way
7250 feet
Navigation Easy to follow directions
Time Up to half day
Season Mid-December through April
Snowmobiles Use Low
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Tragedy Spring and Caples Lake
Start On the south side of Highway 88 at the east end of Silver Lake dam.

Description   Link to more information about description

Silver Lake offers an opportunity to ski a great number of miles with essentially zero elevation change. Skiers will often find excellent conditions for skating along the lake's shore because the wind and cold temperatures often create a firm, smooth surface.

Image of Silver Lake from ridge south of Tragedy Spring Silver Lake from ridge south of Tragedy Spring

As you might imagine, this is an excellent location to take children. But don’t expect to ski around the entire lake; they will probably prefer to ski a short distance and then climb the nearby hills and explore.

The frosting on the cake is the magnificent setting. Enjoy the contrast between the stark lake with the snow- and tree-covered mountains surrounding it and the protruding red of Thunder Mountain to the northeast.

There are several things to keep in mind when skiing at Silver Lake.

  • It is never safe to ski on Silver Lake. Where the marked route is shown on the lake it is assumed that the lake has been partially drained and no water is located here. Analyze the situation before skiing anywhere that there might be ice covered water.

  • The surrounding hills are more difficult to traverse on skis than they appear because of the dense woods and convoluted lay-of-the-land.

Mileage Log   Link to more information about mileage log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.2
Elevation change: Nil

From the trailhead (1) ski east for 0.2 mile on a snow-covered road to where you can see a clear path down to the edge of Silver Lake (2).

Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.2 - 2.8
Elevation change: Nil

Ski clockwise around the lake for 2.6 miles until you reach the south end of Silver Lake (3). Normally much of the water in Silver Lake is drained before winter sets in. As a result it may not be necessary to hug the shore defined by the high water mark.

Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 2.8 - 4.6
Elevation change: Nil

Ski north along the west shore of Silver Lake for 1.8 miles until you reach the site of Kaye's Resort (4). Under no circumstances should you attempt to cross the outlet of the lake near the dam.

Print version of map for tour