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.
The Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park is full of wide and maintained trails. One of those trails leads to Coal Creek Falls.The falls are pretty small, but the landscape surrounding the area is lush and green.
There are several ways to get there, but I usually park at the Red Town trail head. From the trail head, I take the Cave Hole Trail, and then turn onto the Coal Creek Falls Trail. You will come to the falls about a 1 mile into your hike. When you are finished looking at the falls, you can continue on the Coal Creek Falls Trail. This will turn your hike into a loop. Turn right on the Quarry Trail, and then another right on the Red Town Trail. This area was once mined for coal, and there are cave holes along the trail. As you leave, you will find information about the old communities that once existed in these woods. The total loop is 2.5 miles. This is a great hike to do year round, and was not very crowded both times I’ve hiked it.
WTA – Coal Creek Falls
Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park Map
One popular attraction near Vancouver, BC is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It’s probably really cool, but in general I tent to avoid these kinds of tourist attractions. I just checked the website, and the cost for an adult to cross the bridge is currently $31.95. Yet there is another suspension bridge in the same area, that’s free!
Lynn Canyon Park is a 670 acre park that features miles of trails, and a 50 meter high suspension bridge. The bridge crosses the Lynn Canyon with pools of water below.
I visited the park on a cold January day in 2012. There were several other visitors on the bridge that day, but I was able to snag a couple of moments alone. I would imagine that this is pretty busy during the summer months. I’d love to go back to visit the area during the summer to do some hiking.
Lynn Canyon Park
Lynn Canyon Ecology Center