Timberline to Snowshoe?
January 9, 2009
I need to drive down to Snowshoe from Timberline this weekend. It's been a long while since I made the trip - we used to go via 32-33 to Elkins then 219 south. Takes around 1:45 as I recall. Is there a better, faster way now anyone can recommend?
That is the fastest/most direct route.
I made better time the by going 33 to 28 to Cass then 66 to the "new" entrance. But that was on dry roads. 1.5 hours
Thanks guys. I have to go tomorrow morning. The roads will be anything but clear I am afraid. Setting up for a mix of snow, ice, and rain overnight into tomorrow - arghh. Other than 33 to Elkins, I don't recall the rest of that route being too rough. Going the other way - over the divide via Harman to Seneca Rocks in snow and ice is a little unnerving to me - especially given the lack of plowing I've experienced in WV this season. Other than that stretch - how is the rest of your route Kim? I've driven south on 33 as far as Seneca Caverns - but the rest is unknown to me. How's the new entrance road?
I've been really interested in those two options & have always wundered about the 28 route...Can you DEFINITELY say that route is better kwill?....15 minutes faster seems like a dream come true...
Yeah, I haven't been to snowshoe since they built the new entrance???or atleast I have never used the new entrance. I didn't realize that would cut some time of the trip.
I have driven over 33 to 28 in the summertime to pick up flag stone for a job. It is beautiful drive, but I can't imagine those roads are traveled or maintained as much as 219 in the winter...I don't really know though.
I went to college in Elkins and to me this is a really close call. I remember days leaving Elkins and driving 33 in near blizzard conditions to arrive at Seneca Rocks to sunshine and brown earth all the way to Wardensville. So the rule for driving home from college in bad conditions was to get off the "front" as fast as possible. In other words, 33/55 was the winter route to DC and 219N/50/93/and or 48(now 68) were the summer route becuase they kept you on the front too long. The benefit of 32/33/219 is that you will have potentially better road treatment (perhaps not) and will not have to drop of the front and then head back up. In addition, there is really only the one climb out of Harman that is exciting, even in bad weather. On the other hand, you will be subjected to Allegheny Front issues from TL to Elkins, with only moderate relief in the Tygart Valley. Heading east will drop you off the front at Seneca and then it could be smooth sailing to Greenbank, and then a potentially exciting trip back up the front. I have not driven in the Cass area for sometime, but remember the roads as twisty as any in WV. Weather is the critical factor here and whether it is isolated up top or coming down all over. If its just up top, then the eastern route is worth the gamble. If it is all over, stick to 33/219.
Keith: Thanks! 5 stars for that travel summary. Looks like 33-219 for me. I don't think any route is going to be fast tomorrow AM.
I used to do the 33/219 trip but with the entrance that empties into top of the world, the east route is faster. Rt 28 from Senica to Greenbank is good road. Very straight from Circleville to the 250 junction and the roads are usually in decent shape in bad weather. Rt 66 from Cass up the mountain can be hairy in bad weather, but if you have AWD or 4WD shouldn't be a problem. The big difference is not having to go down to Happy Valley in order to use the main access road which is a good 20+ minutes. I always park at TOW and catch the shuttle. Parking can be a problem in the village area.
Keith, I attended D & E as well, I played soccer for the Senators. I used to take 21+ credit hours in the fall during soccer season so I could have a mellow schedule in the spring with tuesdays and thursdays off. I would work at snowshoe on the weekends for a pass then drive up to snowshoe every tuesday and thursday to ride. I can remember some pretty sketchy drives between elkins and snowshoe. The last year I worked there was the year intrawest bought the place. I haven't really been up there to ride much since then. It is to crowded for me.
Tucker, I was there 80-84, and did not ski much. SS was $25 bucks then and that bought a lot of beer--a lot of beer. CV at night was the only option and I did that a few times. I did climb frequently at Seneca and Nelson and ice climbed at the old quarry along the 4-lane. I remember many a tues and thurs at Seneca. I do not think TL was open yet, perhaps my last year. Tory was trying to open and I remember some friends poaching there one snow storm. I have many epic road trip memories there including one between Harman and the CV entrance where we went off the road in a snowstorm and rolled over two times off a steep bank. I had taken my boots off and had to exit the car and climb up the hill in my socks in the middle of the storm. Just to stir the pot for the DC Ski crowd, the location is near what would be the entrance to Almost Heaven if it was ever built. The only regret I have is that I never made it up to the top of MPC, that is on my bucket list.
Snow is forecasted for tonight according to Snowshoe, but weather.gov has rain, weather.com has mix, and accuweather has snow. As for the Redgate Road (back gate) it was hell last night for two-wheel drive vehicles. Most of them turned around and went up through the Slatyfork entrance (old main entrance). I had absolutely no problem with a four-wheel drive vehicle. There are three sharp switchbacks which can be a problem in really slippery weather.