3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
The Cross Mountain Trail is a gentle ski tour that leads through a beautiful spruce forest and above treeline into the alpine region of the Lizard Head Wilderness.
This well-marked trail follows a wide summer path through the forest at a gentle grade, until treeline, where the trail markers disappear and alpine meadows provide excellent ski terrain below the summits of Cross Mountain and the stunning volcanic neck of Lizard Head.
Nearby 14,000-foot peaks including Mt.
Wilson, El Diente, and Wilson Peak are visible from these alpine meadows, and countless 13,000-foot peaks, both nearby and in the distance, provide excellent views in all directions.
Because the tour follows a summer trail that was, in the past, a dirt road, the trail is gentle and easy to travel.
It is also wide enough to allow uncrowded ski turns on the way down, but the main attraction is the alpine terrain once the trail emerges from the trees.
Skiers have many options for bowls, meadows, and knolls to traverse once above treeline.
The terrain is gentle and benign for the most part, but the nearby flanks of steep peaks are steep enough to avalanche in the right conditions, and skiers should steer clear of these steep slopes if they are unsure about avalanche conditions.
There are also options for good tree-skiing to the west of the trail, but these options require re-ascending to the trail after making a run in order to return to the parking lot.
This is a quiet area and skiers are unlikely to encounter other backcountry travellers in the area.
Because of the remoteness of the terrain, groups should be prepared for self-sufficient travel and carry first aid and rescue equipment, as well as emergency satellite communications, as cellular service is non-existent.