The Knob Loop


Summary

Difficulty 3 Intermediate
Length 8.0 miles one-way
Starting
Elevation
6400 feet
Cumulative
Elevation
Change
+1800, -1650 feet
Navigation Road and marked trail
Time Full day
Season December through mid-April
Snowmobiles Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Pinecrest
Start Dodge Ridge Ski Resort parking loop. Follow Dodge Ridge Road to where the one-way loop of the ski area parking lot begins. A right turn at this point leads into the parking area at the Crabtree Trailhead.
End Gooseberry Trailhead located at Dodge Ridge Ski Resort parking loop. Follow Dodge Ridge Road to the one-way loop of the ski area parking lot. Follow the loop to the ski area lodge and turn around as though leaving. From the lodge it is 0.3 mile to the Gooseberry Trailhead. The trailhead will be on the north (right) side of the road.


Description

It is regrettable that the once tranquil setting atop The Knob is now shattered by two ski lifts and hordes of alpine skiers and snowboarders. Always trying to find something positive, it can be said that the alpine runs on the north side of the peak do create an interesting way to connect The Knob tour with the Gooseberry Road tour as described in this tour. But that is a small consolation for the loss.

Image looking east on approach to The KnobView east on approach to The Knob

Image of Chair 8 at The KnobChair 8 at The Knob

The more traditional way to connect The Knob and Gooseberry tours is to ski one route out to Burst Rock Junction and the other route back.

Once at the summit of The Knob, officially Peak 8145, it is a quick descent part-way down the Graceland ski run to Gooseberry Road that is then followed to the end point of the tour. Some people may get into linking turns to the point that they will miss Gooseberry Road by accident or on purpose, and find themselves at the bottom of chairlift 8. In this case you have two choices: either ascend along the edge of the downhill run until you reach Gooseberry Road or try and sneak onto the chairlift for another attempt to stop at the road. :)

Note: Your skis should be equipped with safety straps if you are going to descend on the groomed slope.

Mileage Log

Numbers in parentheses correspond to mileage points on map. A waypoint is provided for each mileage point and the number is the same.

Note: The Pinecrest Nordic Ski Patrol has marked many backcountry ski trails in this area. Where applicable, the numbers and name of the trails are given in brackets. Visit their website to download a map showing all the marked trails or obtain a map at the Summit Ranger District office at #1 Pinecrest Lake Road near the junction with Highway 108.

Miles: 0.0 - 0.4
Elevation change: -50 feet

From the trailhead (1) ski on the spur road that weaves southwest for 0.4 mile until you reach the intersection with Crabtree Road (3). You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 2, which is located 0.1 mile from Crabtree Road. The road that intersects the spur road you are on enters from the east (left), is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort, and is sometimes groomed. You will know you are at Crabtree Road because a stop sign and road direction sign will probably be visible.

Miles: 0.4 - 1.6
Elevation change: +550 feet

Turn southeast (left) onto Crabtree Road and ski in that direction for 0.9 mile and then north for 0.3 mile until you reach Hair Pin (5) an almost 180-degree turn in the road. You may or may not see the road junction at mileage point 4, which is located 0.4 mile from the previous road junction. The junction at mileage point 4 is a Y with the north-most (left) fork heading downhill and is part of a series of roads that lead to the ski resort. It is sometimes groomed. This tour stays on the larger, south-most (right) fork. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

Image of skier on Crabtree RoadCrabtree Road

Miles: 1.6 - 2.1
Elevation change: +150 feet

Continue climbing south on Crabtree Road for 0.5 mile until you reach a road junction (6). The road makes a left turn just before you reach the junction. [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

You can make an interesting short detour from the road junction by skiing west, at first through trees and then in the open, for 0.1 mile until you reach the top of a ridge from which there is an expansive view to the north and west.

Miles: 2.1 - 2.2
Elevation change: Nil

Continue east (straight) on Crabtree Road for 0.1 mile until you reach a pack station and Aspen Meadow (7). [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

Image of Aspen MeadowAspen Meadow

Miles: 2.2 - 3.0
Elevation change: +250 feet

Continue skiing slightly north of east on Crabtree Road for 0.8 mile until you reach a road junction (8). Crabtree Road continues to the southwest (right). The Knob Loop tour continues slightly north of east (straight). [#5 Aspen Meadow trail]

Miles: 3.0 - 3.8
Elevation change: +400 feet

Continue skiing slightly north of east (straight) on Old Crabtree Road for 0.5 mile and then south on the road for 0.3 mile until you reach a ridge (9). [#11 Nordic Run trail]

Miles: 3.8 - 4.7
Elevation change: +450 feet

Ascend northeast and then north along Old Crabtree Road and the ridge for a total of 0.9 mile until you reach The Knob (10). You can't miss the summit with the top of two chairlifts located there. [#11 Nordic Run trail]

Miles: 4.7 - 5.0
Elevation change: -200 feet

Descend north on Graceland ski run (the west-most (left) of the chairlift 8 runs) for 0.3 mile until you reach Gooseberry Road (11) that intersects the ski run on the left. Although there are many markers denoting the ski area boundary to the left, only the road itself and one blue diamond mark Gooseberry Road.

Miles: 5.0 - 5.2
Elevation change: -150 feet

Ski west on Gooseberry Road for 0.2 mile until you reach a turn in the road to the north (12). This is the upper intersection of the Zig-Zag trail and Gooseberry Road. The intersection is not marked. [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 5.2 - 5.6
Elevation change: -200 feet

Continue north and then northwest on Gooseberry Road for a total of 0.4 mile until you reach a road junction (13). [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 5.6 - 5.9
Elevation change: -100 feet

Continue northwest on Gooseberry Road for 0.3 mile until you reach a sharp, almost 180-degree, turn to the south (left) and the junction with the Rock and Roll trail (14). [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 5.9 - 6.5
Elevation change: -300 feet

Continue on Gooseberry Road as it meanders generally to the west for a total of 0.6 mile until you reach a road junction and junction with the Zig-Zag trail (15). [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 6.5 - 6.6
Elevation change: -100 feet

Continue southwest on Gooseberry Road for 0.1 mile until you reach a slight turn in the road with a spur road to the north (right) (16). [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 6.6 - 6.9
Elevation change: -150 feet

Continue in a generally southwest direction on Gooseberry Road for 0.3 mile until you reach a sharp turn in the road (17). At the turn there is a spur road on the south (left) side of Gooseberry Road. [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 6.9 - 7.5
Elevation change: -200 feet

Continue on Gooseberry Road to the northeast, then southeast and finally south for a total of 0.6 mile until you reach a 180-degree turn in the road (18). At the turn there is a spur road on the south (left) side of Gooseberry Road. [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 7.5 - 7.7
Elevation change: -50 feet

Continue north on Gooseberry Road for 0.2 mile until you reach another 180-degree turn in the road (19). The turn in the road is the intersection with the Stanislaus trail that is described in the Stanislaus Overlook tour. [#6 Gooseberry trail]

Miles: 7.7 - 8.0
Elevation change: -150 feet

Continue generally southwest on Gooseberry Road for 0.3 mile until you reach the trailhead (20). [#6 Gooseberry trail]

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