Crane Flat


Difficulty 1 Beginner
Length Short
6200 feet
Navigation Adjacent to plowed road
Time Short
Season December through early April
Snowmobiles Not permitted [Please report illegal use of snowmobiles in this area.]
USGS Topo 7.5' series, Ackerson Mountain
Start Crane Flat winter parking area on Highway 120 (Tioga Pass Road), 0.6 mile north of Big Oak Flat Road.


Crane Flat is the large meadow to the east of the Crane Flat winter parking area. The meadow is a popular destination for beginners to practice basic cross-country ski techniques. In fact, this is where the author spent his first day on cross-country skis in 1971.

In addition to the meadow, you can explore the small hills and wooded areas surrounding it. Ambitious beginners can try skiing a loop from the parking area to the gas station and then returning to the parking area as shown on the map and described in the mileage log.

Once you have mastered the basic skills of ski touring you will be ready to tackle other easy tours in the Crane Flat area such as:

Mileage Log
Numbers in parentheses
correspond to mileage points on map

Miles: 0.0 - 0.7
Elevation change: Nil

From the trailhead (1) ski east through Crane Flat, at the far end enter the trees and ski southeast until you reach another meadow, and finally ski south through this meadow for a total of 0.7 mile until you reach the gas station (2).

Miles: 0.7 - 1.3
Elevation change: Nil

Ski northwest, paralleling Tioga Pass Road, for 0.6 mile until you reach the trailhead (1).

Link to elevation profile
Link to waypoint data
Link to full page map
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