The Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area near Lake Chelan is up and running with plenty of early season snow as the new year gets going. 

Echo Ridge is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Forest Service and the Lake Chelan Nordic Ski Club, which grooms the trails. 

It's located about 10 miles outside of downtown Chelan, and is known for its views of Lake Chelan Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. 

"You have a variety of opportunities to enjoy at Echo Ridge, and the convenience of it being so close to Chelan, and having those great views is wonderful," said Forest Service spokesperson Robin DeMario  

She says the trails at Echo Ridge have been groomed daily and will be open for the next several months. 

The resort on the Chelan Ranger District has about 25 miles of trails for cross country skiing and just under 10 miles of snow shoe trails. 

According to the Forest Service, the Echo Ridge lower parking lot elevation of 3,600 feet is typically above the clouds that cover the Lake Chelan valley in the winter, and views of the Enchantments, Pyramid Peak, and the Okanogan Highlands are possible from a number of the groomed trails. 

Ski passes are required for both ski and snowshoe trail use at Echo Ridge. Day passes are available on-site for $15 per adult, and access is free for skiers or snowshoers age 17 and under. Season passes are available for $70 online or at the Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce during normal business hours (Monday-Friday:  9am-5pm, Saturday: 10am-4pm). 

DeMario, with the Forest Service, says the weather at Echo Ridge can be especially nice. 

"It's great because sometimes when there's fog down in the valley, you'll be up above the fog when you're skiing up there, and you have this beautiful sunshiny day," DeMario said. 

The ski trails at Echo Ridge are open 24/7. 

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