The Walla Walla Ranger District began managing the Horseshoe Prairie as a Nordic ski area in the late 1980’s when cross-country skiing and snowshoeing were increasing popularity. At that time the only marked and groomed trails available in the area were located at Spout Springs Ski Area. There was also a segment of Nordic skiers that preferred to ski on un-groomed trails in a remote environment. Many such skiers combine this activity with remote winter camping. Horseshoe Prairie Nordic Ski Area provides an opportunity for Nordic skiing on a marked, non-groomed trail system. The area is bordered on the north and west by the North Fork Umatilla Wilderness. There are approximately 10 miles of marked trail and visitors with snowshoes are welcome but should avoid walking on the Nordic ski tracks.
Parking is available across Highway 204 at the Andies Prairie Sno-Park. Sno-Park permits are required in winter sports areas from November through April and can be purchased through the state Department of Motor Vehicles or their vendors. For your safety, use Sno-Park areas and do not park along the highway.