Here in the PNW, the heavens have opened and dumped lots of snow onto our mountains. Last year, my husband and I purchased our own set of snowshoes. By new years day, I was ready to get out and get my first snow hike in. I did a ton of research on the best snowshoe hikes in the area. There were a couple of good ones in Snoqualmie Pass, but I was worried about the crowds. We decided to drive up to the pass to see how busy it was. From the freeway, I could tell that the roads near I-90 were a zoo and we drove onto Blewett Pass. We came up to the Blewett Sno-Park, and there were parking spots! Going the extra miles away from busy Snoqualmie Pass really paid off.
The hike was beautiful, and the views were spectacular! We saw lots of people on the trail, but it didn’t feel crowded. I can’t wait to get out and do it again.
WTA Wentachee Crest Snowshoe Guide
I’ve been visiting the Methow Valley for a few years now, but this was my first winter trip. When planning the trip a year ago, we decided that this would be our time to try Nordic or skate skiing. After all, the Methow Valley has over 120 miles of trails. Maybe it was the fact that we were so excited about our new snowshoes, but we decided not to try it this year. The Methow Valley had about 80% of the normal snow pack but there was not any fresh snow. Regardless if you ski or not, the Methow Valley is awesome in the winter.
We stayed at the Sun Mountain Lodge, and the views from the lodge are awesome. You can see mountains every time you turn around. By day we snowshoed on the trails and by night we were sipping beer at the Old Schoolhouse Brewery.
The Sun Mountain Lodge doesn’t have TV, and the internet was terrible. I did not have cell coverage the whole weekend, so it was a pretty great escape from life.
We always spend the trip home dreaming about our own Methow Valley homestead. I even looked up the school district to see if I could possibly work there. With only 600 students, they probably don’t need a full time psychologist. Oh well, a girl can dream. See you again soon Methow Valley!
Methow Winter Trails
Have you ever tried a new activity and quickly wondered why you have gone your whole life without that activity?
That’s exactly how I felt the first time I went snowshoeing.
In the PNW, we’ve had an awesome winter. (Although, it’s not so great for snow, which is unfortunate since I’m finally at a point in life where I can afford to ski.) One Saturday in January, my husband and I woke up and checked the webcam at Paradise on Mount Rainier. There were clear blue skies despite the low land fog. We didn’t have snowshoes and we were not sure if we could rent some there. As we neared the park, we drove past a sign that advertised snowshoe rentals. About $30 later, and an hour later we made it to the parking lot.
We didn’t exactly know where to go, but there were tons of people snowshoeing up the mountain so we followed everyone up. There didn’t appear to be any signs so we really have no idea how far we went or what trail we were on. (Not very helpful am I?)
The views were amazing, and I was once again in awe at the beauty of the mountain. I love this state!
P.S. When it’s sunny with highs in the 40’s, you really don’t need to wear tons of layers or snow gear. Unless of course, you want to sweat a lot.
Last February I hiked up to Ranger Falls in the Mt. Rainer National Park. We parked at the Carbon River entrance, and walked along an old park road for about three miles. You then take the Green Lake trailhead, and walk up for about a mile. We didn’t continue onto Green Lake because it was pretty snowy. Round trip it was about 10 miles, most of it on flat ground. The trail was mostly bare, with some patches of snow.
Someday I hope we can go back and hike all the way up the lake. Another idea would be to mountain bike to the trail head, and then hike up to the lake.
While hiking to the falls, we were amazed at all the moss and greenery. I know we live in Washington, but sometimes I’m just amazed at how green it really is.
There were also some huge trees along the trail. In the two pictures below, my husband is standing on the middle part of a tree, and father-in-law is at the bottom of the same tree.
Here are some pictures of the falls. The boys brought their camera equipment and took some nice shots.