|Length||8.4 miles round trip|
|+1100, -1100 round trip|
|Navigation||Road and marked trail|
|Time||Most of a day|
|Season||December through early April|
|Snowmobiles Use||Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]|
|USGS Topo||7.5' series, Ackerson Mountain|
|Start||Crane Flat winter parking area on Highway 120 (Tioga Pass Road), 0.6 mile north of Big Oak Flat Road. Trailhead is 0.2 mile northeast where Tioga Pass Road is closed.|
Most guides of one form or another describe the tour on Tioga Pass Road or to Gin Flat and in passing mention that skiers can also explore Tamarack Campground Road. The campground road deserves more comment because it is an excellent alternative for extending the tour after arriving at Gin Flat.
Unlike Tioga Pass Road, Tamarack Campground Road is narrow and winds through timber, rocks and small knobs. There are no vista points along the campground road until you reach the destination, but the skiing seems more intimate, and you are more than likely to find yourself alone here.
The tour described here ends where the road first exits the trees with a view to the east of a burnt-out ridge. The 8.4 miles round trip to this point is long for a beginner-intermediate tour, but that rating is assigned to this tour due to the mild slopes and easy to follow roads.
The Devils Dance Floor tour is an extension of the Tamarack Campground Road tour. That tour is much more difficult with challenges due to navigation and terrain. Devils Dance Floor is also an amazing place.
Waypoint 1 to 2
Miles: 0.0 - 0.3
Elevation change: +100 feet
From the trailhead (1) follow snow-covered Tioga Pass Road for 0.3 mile until you reach Old Big Oak Flat Road (2) on the north (left) side. Both Tioga Pass Road and Old Big Oak Flat Road are marked with the numeral 4.
Waypoint 2 to 3
Miles: 0.3 - 3.0
Elevation change: +700 feet
Continue of Tioga pass road for 2.7 miles until your reach the southwest end of Gin Flat (3), which is the first level area you will encounter after leaving the trailhead.
Waypoint 3 to 4
Miles: 3.0 - 4.2
Elevation change: +100, -200 feet
At the southwest end of Gin Flat turn southeast (right) onto Tamarack Campground Road and follow it for 1.2 miles until you reach the location where the road exits the woods just east of Peak 7069 (4). This point is unmistakable.
Return to trailhead
Miles: 4.2 - 8.4
Elevation change: +200, -900 feet
Retrace the route for 4.2 miles back to the trailhead (1).