Consider The Name Of A Trail. You Will Often Find Uniqueness And Whimsy.

High Voltage, Squaw Valley. Credit: Patrick Saffarian

Peruse a few resort maps, and you’re sure to come upon some great trail names. Doing so with California resorts was no exception. Training Wheels at Mammoth is a wonderfully apropos name for a beginner trail. Amusement Park at Big Bear is fitting for a trail designed for park skiing and riding and Bone Yard at Dodge Ridge is a trail calling for respect.

Top honors also go to Secret Spot at Mammoth (there is also a trail named Secret Spot at Michigan’s Alpine Valley), Chute That Seldom Slides at Alpine Meadow, Lost in the Woods at Mammoth, Mambo Playground at June Mountain and Hogwild at Summit at Snoqualmie. Rounding out the top of the list are Ewe Turn and No Name Trail at Mt. Waterman (there is also a No Name Trail at Michigan’s Big Snow and New York’s Labrador Mountain), Ditch of Doom and Trench of Terror at Kirkwood and His and Yours at Boreal Mountain.

Honorable mentions go to:

High Voltage                        Squaw Valley

Elevator Shaft                      Kirkwood

Snowsnake Gully                 Kirkwood

Hornets’ Nest                        Northstar

Cop out                                   China Peak

While viewing trail names at California resorts a few unexpected patterns emerged. First, several had the word stump in them. There is a Stump Alley at both Mammoth and Northstar, Stump Farm at Crystal Mountain and Stump Run at Kirkwood.

Two resorts have named trails after a traditional samurai practice. These are Hari-Kari Gully at Sugarbowl and Hari Kari Gate at Bear Valley.

Several trails are named after animal anatomy. At Squaw Valley there are Mule’s Ear and Red Dog Face.  At Northstar.  there’s Cat’s Face. At Sugarbowl, you will find Crow’s Face, and at Sierra-at-Tahoe there is Horsetail.

Do you have a favorite trail name that’s been overlooked? Please let us know in the comments section below.


  1. I like the trail name at Alpine Meadows, Our Father:

    Upon accessing it, one recites starts with Our Father, …….

  2. Roger B Monty says:

    Waterville Valley, NH, has “Psyched”, as well as (in case “Psyched” is not sufficiently challenging, apparently), “Psyched OUT”.

    Then, there’s “Jaws”, at Mt. Snow, VT, which used to be “Jaws OF DEATH”, but I guess they decided that was just TOO scary, eh?

  3. Two memorable trail names at the Santa Fe ski area are: “Desafio” (Challenge) and “Muerte” (Death). They are side by side. Of the two, Muerte (Death) is easier, because it is perfectly groomed and used for racing. Desafio (Challenge) is never groomed and it is usually full of moguls.
    Another memorable name is at Revelstoke (British Columbia). It is called “Kill the Banker”. I guess someone took a financier onto that slope (under the gondola) while the ski area was still being developed.

  4. Not a trail, but a whole mountain, memorably named because the owner’s wife need 22 kick turns to get down it – so the lore from years gone by has it. Squaw’s very own KT – 22.

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