Smithfield Canyon Ski/Snowshoe, 20 February 2022

Three hikers: Kathy, Ralph, Brent(leader) and six skiers: Chris D., Carina, Chris C.,. Dave P., Jane and Dave W. gathered under gray skies for a trip up Smithfield Canyon.

We departed from the trailhead in calm, cloudy conditions.  The snow was more firm than expected, causing our skiers to shed layers as they worked  hard to get up the icy grade.  Perhaps inspired by the Winter Olympics, we encountered more people than usual enjoying the trail.

Lunch was at our traditional spot, 2.5 miles up the trail at the gate.  Temperatures were still mild but an up canyon wind had us reaching for hats and gloves.

Hard, fast snow created challenges for our skiers descent, but everybody returned without incident.  The general consensus at the end of the day was that walking with spikes was a better choice in these conditions.

Trip Summary:
  • Participants:  Brent (leader), Dave W., Dave P., Jane, Kathy, Chris C., Ralph, Carina and Chris
  • Drove 11 miles to the winter parking area in Smithfield Canyon
  • On the trail at 10:35, lunch at the gate (with brownies provided by Kathy), 12:05 - 12:30, back at the trailhead at 1:25. 
  • Overcast skies, mostly calm but breezy at times, with temperatures in the mid 40s.
  • Traveled 4.8 miles with about 650 feet of ascent

Thanks to Brent, Jane, and Ralph for photos and Dave W. for photos and GPS data.

Beginning in Smithfield Canyon, near the campground
Open water in Summit Creek
On the wide, packed trail below the gate
Some skiers used climbing skins for better traction on the ascent and more control on the descent
Cross-country skiers and a hiker using trail crampons
The summer trailhead, our lunch spot
Ski carry
There has been little trail traffic above the gate
Carrying skis and snowshoes back down
Interesting features along the trail
Rose hips and red-twig dogwood
A partially frozen Summit Creek

Our GPS track shows about 4.8 miles and 650 feet of ascent.
You can look at our route using Google Earth or download our GPS file.