Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Skiing The Eagle Trail From The Coyote Snow Park

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge
Out And Back Ski Route

Coyote Snow Park is about an hour and a half from Fresno Between Shaver and Huntington Lakes off Highway 168. There a number of Nordic trails out of the parking area that all begin at the same trailhead. I like the Eagle trail to the Shaver Lake overlook. The round trip distance is about 5.25 miles with about 550’ of ascent outbound. The starting altitude is about 7,500’.

We had about 6 inches of new snow to ski on today and the trip took about 2.5 hours outbound and 1.5 hours on the return leg. I was the first skier after the fresh snowfall and needed to break trail to the overlook. There is relatively good signage along the way with the markers high above this year’s trail with only a meager amount of snow.

 Shaver Lake From 168 Near The Marina

There were others who followed me out and had the benefit of a trail to the overlook with with ski tracks. There is a quiet solitude to the ski, which requires some herringbone work on a few hills. When I arrived at the overlook, there was quite a bit of exposed granite that gave me lots of options for a place to take a break and have a lunch.

The trip back I saw some folks I know from Sanger, Pat and Ann Phillips with their dog who stayed close to them. There were about 5 others along the trail and the south facing portions were beginning to melt down to the dirt. I had my seasonal fall and it hurt since there was little snow to cushion the fall. My dogs didn’t go because this little snow would have meant that they would have run away from me and perhaps I would never see them again.

 Shaver Lake From The Overlook

 Shaver With Forebay On Right And Above 

Shaver Lake From A Turn Out Along 168

When I got back to the trailhead, a couple was using saucers to slide down a big hill into the parking lot. For the record I used 1,463 calories and held an average heart rate of 120 with a maximum of 148. Weight control would be a lot easier if I could backcountry ski once a week!

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