|Length||9.4 miles round trip|
|+1850, -1850 feet|
|Navigation||Road and marked trail|
|Season||December through mid-April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Pinecrest|
|Start||Dodge Ridge Ski Resort parking loop. Follow Dodge Ridge Road to where the one-way loop of the ski area parking lot begins. A right turn at this point leads into the parking area at the Crabtree Trailhead.|
There was a time when The Knob, also known as Peak 8145, was the sole domain of backcountry skiers in winter. That changed in the late 1990s when chairlifts 7 and 8 at Dodge Ridge ski area opened The Knob and the slopes to the north to downhill skiing. Though the tranquility of the locale is gone, The Knob remains a popular destination.
One interesting effect of the ski area expansion is the opportunity for a new loop tour in which The Knob tour is connected to the Gooseberry Road tour via the new ski runs. You can also connect The Knob tour to the Gooseberry Road tour by continuing to Burst Rock Junction as described in the Old Crabtree Road tour. Finally, others will find the descent from The Knob to the ski area lodge via the downhill ski slopes great fun.
The tour to The Knob is a continuous, moderately steep climb.
Note: The Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol has marked many backcountry ski trails in this area. Where applicable, the numbers and name of the trails are given in brackets. Visit their website to download a map showing all the marked trails or obtain a map at the Summit Ranger District office at #1 Pinecrest Lake Road near the junction with Highway 108.
Waypoint 1 to 3
Miles: 0.0 - 0.4
Elevation change: -50 feet
From the trailhead (1) ski on the spur road that weaves southwest for 0.4 mile until you reach the intersection with Crabtree Road (3). You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 2, which is located 0.1 mile from Crabtree Road. The road that intersects the spur road you are on enters from the east (left), is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort, and is sometimes groomed. You will know you are at Crabtree Road because a stop sign and road direction sign will probably be visible.
Waypoint 3 to 5
Miles: 0.4 - 1.6
Elevation change: +550 feet
Turn southeast (left) onto Crabtree Road and ski in that direction for 0.9 mile and then north for 0.3 mile until you reach Hair Pin (5) an almost 180-degree turn in the road. You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 4, which is located 0.4 mile from the previous road junction. The junction at mileage point 4 is a Y with the north-most (left) fork heading downhill and is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort. It is sometimes groomed. This tour stays on the larger, south-most (right) fork. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]
Waypoint 5 to 6
Miles: 1.6 - 2.1
Elevation change: +150 feet
Continue climbing south on Crabtree Road for 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (6). The road makes a left turn just before you reach the junction. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]
You can make an interesting short detour from the road junction by skiing west, at first through trees and then in the open, for 0.1 mile until you reach the top of a ridge from which there is an expansive view to the north and west.
Waypoint 6 to 7
Miles: 2.1 - 2.2
Elevation change: Nil
Continue east (straight) on Crabtree Road for 0.1 mile until you reach a pack station and Aspen Meadow (7). [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]
Waypoint 7 to 8
Miles: 2.2 - 3.0
Elevation change: +250 feet
Continue skiing slightly north of east on Crabtree Road for 0.8 mile until you reach a road junction (8). Crabtree Road continues to the southwest (right); it is the road on which the alternative return route comes back to this junction. The Knob tour continues slightly north of east (straight). [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]
Waypoint 8 to 9
Miles: 3.0 - 3.8
Elevation change: +400 feet
Continue skiing slightly north of east (straight) on Old Crabtree Road for 0.5 mile and then south on the road for 0.3 mile until you reach a ridge (9). [#11 Nordic Run trail]
Waypoint 9 to 10
Miles: 3.8 - 4.7
Elevation change: +450 feet
Ascend northeast and then north along Old Crabtree Road and the ridge for a total of 0.9 mile until you reach The Knob (10). You can't miss the summit with the top of two chairlifts located there. [#11 Nordic Run trail]
Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.7 - 9.4
Elevation change: +50, -1800 feet
Retrace the route for 4.7 miles back to the trailhead (1).
You can make the following
detour on your return
Retrace the route back to mileage point 9. [#11 Nordic Run trail]
At mileage point 9 leave the road and continue to the southwest (straight) down a gently sloping ridge until you reach Crabtree Road at mileage point 11. [#10 Augie trail]
Here you turn northeast (right) onto Crabtree Road and follow it to mileage point 8. [#7 Strider II trail]
This alternate route adds 0.3 mile to the return.