Snowmobiling from Salt Creek Summit Snopark

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14.78 miles (23.79 km)

Total Elev. Gain:
1,215 ft. (370 m)
Total Elev. Loss:
-3,037 ft. (-926 m)

Max Altitude:
6,125 ft. (1867 m)
Min Altitude:
4,271 ft. (1302 m)
by Brian Sather — Updated 1 week 5 days ago · Posted Sat, Apr 9, 2016
The snowmobile routes from Salt Creek Summit are super pipelines maintained by the Gamblers, that deliver you to a variety of terrain on the east side of the Wallowa Mountains of Oregon. Some people even access the Halfway area from this location. The trees that were destroyed by fire a couple decades ago now have been replaced by trees that are starting to grow high enough that the play areas are disappearing, but there is still plenty of open space available until the next fire. One major advantage of this side of the Wallowas is that you can cover a lot of ground with great scenery. You can see for miles, into Hells Canyon and Idaho, including the Seven Devils and McCall area. You get the feeling you are on top of the world cruising around here, and you are also in the middle of nowhere. There is no winter road access to this side of the mountains during the winter, so you and the other slednecks are the only ones enjoying this part of the world during snowmobile season. Salt Creek Summit is literally the end of the road and one of the highest roads you can drive in Oregon during the winter. The two drawbacks to Salt Creek Summit are the merciless wind and limited relative snowfall compared to the other side of the Wallowas. Much of the moisture is taken from the storms by the time they reach this side of the mountains, but the high elevation helps compensate for that. This creates a a tricky and variable snowpack. Salt Creek Summit is also host to a variety of other activities including nordic skiing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and the Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race.

 Salt Creek Summit Snopark — 45.209670, -117.071620
 Big Sheep Ski Shelter — 45.171400, -117.091430
 Gamblers Cabin — 45.208790, -117.063910
 Salt Creek Summit Warming Shelter — 45.209340, -117.070740
 Avalanche Beacon Practice Park — 45.211030, -117.069870
 Indian Crossing bridge — 45.112090, -117.015020

The facility at Salt Creek Summit has a woodstove and cement floors and is open to the public. The groomer and other equipment is also housed here.
Avalanche beacon practice park.
Some people overnight camp at this spacious parking area.
The Gamblers snowmobile club cabin is not too far from the parking area.
Inside the Gamblers cabin.
Lick Creek Trailhead
There is some side hill cuts on the Lick Creek Loop that could be problematic at times if not groomed out.
Imnaha River at Indian Crossing. Pictured from the bridge.
A boondock in the trees toward Duck Lake (above Indian Crossing).
Big Sheep ski tour shelters.
Trailhead up Big Sheep

Contributors: Tesmond Hurd, Forrest Warren, Keith Stebbings