- Big Loop
- Hume Rd – all the way to the turn around
- Meadow Loop
- Little Loop (the short steep section is optional)
- Lane’s Lookout
- Samson Rd to Loggers Saddle
- East Dennis Loop
The Palouse Divide Challenge is a individual-paced, individual-monitored, individual-reported accomplishment for skiers and snowshoers at the Palouse Divide Nordic Ski area. It involves skiing every maintained and groomed trail at the Palouse Divide. Total distance covered is approximately 25 miles but actual distance covered may vary depending on the route chosen. Because this is a voluntary event, there is no monitoring of the time of duration nor are there any checkpoints to prove that the participant actually travels all of the trails at the Palouse Divide. Instead, we are relying on the integrity of each participant to truthfully report their achievement.
The Palouse Divide Challenge involves skiing or snowshoeing every trail at the Palouse Divide including Big Loop, Hume Rd – all the way to the turn around, Meadow Loop, Little Loop (the short steep section is optional), Lane’s Lookout, Samson Rd to Loggers Saddle, and East Dennis Loop.
RULES & CATEGORIES
There are not many rules for this event. The main one is that you are on your honor to truthfully report your accomplishment. You may not use any form of assistance (towing, motor aid). If you have to resort to walking a portion of the trail due to adverse conditions (nasty ice, trees across the trail, bare spots) you need to carry your own skis or snowshoes.
The trails may be covered in any order as long as all sections are covered. There are 2 categories for individuals participating in the Palouse Divide Challenge: Elite and Master.
The Elite category is for those (animals) who are able to complete the entire course in a single day. The Elite skier or snowshoer will have completed 25miles with considerable elevation gain and be deserving of champagne, a hot tub and a back massage. Unfortunately, you will have to arrange these rewards on your own.
Elite Course Recommendation
For single day (Elite) participants, one recommended course is to ski lower Big Loop to the junction with Hume Rd. At this junction, continue to the left and follow Hume Road downhill to the Hume Rd turnaround. You will know you are at the turnaround when you see the back side of a big metal roadsign that says “no vehicles past this point …”. Retrace Hume Rd all the way back to the Divide Rd. At the Divide Rd, turn left up the hill and ski 1.6 miles out to Lane’s Lookout and back to the Hume Rd junction. Continue on the Divide Rd towards the main trailhead. In about ½ mile you will meet the entrance to Meadow Loop. Turn left at this junction and follow Meadow Loop until it meets Little Loop. Turn left on Little Loop and follow the loop (clockwise ) and then proceed back to the Divide Road and back to the main trailhead (where you left your car and a snack). Cross the highway and ski Samson Rd – all the way to Loggers Saddle. Return on Samson Rd to the main forest road 377. Turn left on road 377 and head uphill to the East Dennis Loop. Ski around East Dennis loop and then return back downhill to the main trailhead (where you parked your car and left your beer in the snow).
Congratulations, you have completed the Palouse Divide Challenge.
The Master skier/snowshoer category is for the more seasoned participant who chooses to savor the natural beauty along the trails at the Palouse Divide over the course of the winter season. For this category, the individual needs to ski every trail (listed in the course description) over a period of multiple days. There is no time limitation other than that all trails must be covered in a single winter season.
There are no prizes for completing the Palouse Divide Challenge, no money nor free trips to Hawaii. However, we will post your name and the date of your accomplishment on the Palouse Divide website. Look on the website under “Awards” and you will find your name immortalized for all to see. And if you desire, we will mail you a cheezy certificate of accomplishment too.
When you have completed the Palouse Divide Challenge, send an email to email@example.com and we will make sure your name gets posted on the website. We will send you a certificate denoting your achievement as well.