El Sendero ("The Path" in Spanish) is a non-motorized winter recreation club founded in October 2004 in the central Washington town of Wenatchee. The small town of Wenatchee has approximately 35,000 residents and is located roughly in the geographic center of the state. El Sendero was formed by several individuals who wanted to find like minded people to ski and snowshoe with and who also were concerned about the lack of winter recreation management on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The initial group contacted the local media which ran a newspaper article on the newly formed club which resulted in 45 individuals signing on as charter members.
On December 3, 2005 El Sendero opened the winter season with its first snowshoe trip of the season attracting 14 hardy individuals. The group completed a moderate snowshoe hike to Clara Lake and back, a round-trip distance of five miles. This was a great family outing as evidenced by two teenagers who came with their mothers and several grandmothers joined the group as well. Due to a great snow year El Sendero organized several backcountry ski and snowshoe trips throughout the winter and in April the club celebrated the successful winter season with a potluck and planning session at the home of one of the founders.
El Sendero represents winter backcountry recreationists by advocating for the creation, preservation, and management of non-motorized winter areas on public lands. We work to preserve backcountry areas for quiet human-powered use, promote winter backcountry safety and ethics, and cooperatively resolve conflicts among backcountry users. El Sendero is a non-profit volunteer organization and a grassroots member of the national non-profit Winter Wildlands Alliance (www.winterwildlands.org). We are backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers and winter campers.