Travel & Outdoors

Guided Snowshoe Adventures in WA

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credit:  MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images

If you’re a nature lover and a hiker, how about trying a snowshoe adventure? Park rangers can take you on hikes of Mt. Rainier, or head into the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Crystal Mountain and Leavenworth have great snowshoeing options, too!

Mount Rainier Ranger-Guided Snowshoe Walks
December 17, 2011 – March, 2012
Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center
30027 SE 706 E
Ashford, WA 98304
12:30pm – 2:30pm
360.569.6575
http://www.nps.gov

Join a park ranger to learn the art of snowshoeing and discover how plants, animals, and people adapt to the challenging winter conditions at Mount Rainier.
Snowshoe walks begin in mid-December and run through March, 2012. Between mid-December and early January, walks are offered daily. After early January, walks are only offered on weekends and holidays. The walks cover approximately 1.5 miles in 2 hours. Snowshoe walks are limited to 25 people, 8 years old or older, on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Center information desk at Paradise beginning one hour before the start time. You will need snowshoes. They can be borrowed from the park for a $4 per-pair donation, which defrays the cost of snowshoe maintenance and replacement, or you can use your own snowshoes. Participants also need to bring a hat, mittens or gloves, suitable boots (because you will sink into the snow even wearing snowshoes), sunscreen and sunglasses.

Snoqualmie Pass Guided Snowshoe Outings
January – March, 2012
10:00am – 2:30pm
USDA Forest Service Snoqualmie Pass Visitor Center
I-90, Exit 52
69805 SE Snoqualmie Pass Summit Road
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
http://www.mtsgreenway.org

Hike Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from January through March! No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes. Participants should wear layered and insulated clothing, sturdy, waterproof boots, hats and gloves. To offset the costs of the program, a donation of $10/person is suggested for all tours except the extended hike and photography outing at Snoqualmie Pass, where $20 is requested.

The 90-minute walks run Jan. 8-March 31, 2012, and the winter photography and ecology outings are Jan. 21-March 31 and the “Kids in the Snow” program runs Feb. 4-March 31. Make reservations at 509-852-1062 before Jan. 2; and 425-434-6111 afterwards. Trips for special events and school groups can also be scheduled. Meet 15 minutes early at the visitor’s center off I-90, exit 52 on Snoqualmie Pass.

Alpine Wilderness Showshoe Tours
Crystal Mountain Resort
33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd.
Crystal Mountain, WA 98022
888.754.6199
http://www.crystalmountainresort.com

Ready to step right into a true winter wonderland? Join in a snowshoe tour through Crystal Mountain’s beautiful Alpine Wilderness during the winter season (December through mid-April).
The 2 1/2-hour tour begins with a scenic ride on the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the summit of Crystal Mountain at 6872”. Once at the summit, take in the beauty of the Cascade mountain range, strap on your snowshoes and head north along the ridgeline. Frolic out past Green Valley and Snorting Elk into the Northcountry where you will hydrate and fuel up with a nutritious snack. Then you’ll head back up the ridge to the gondola and download to the base area lodge for an incredible Cheese Fondue Dinner with salad and dessert.

Reservations are required please stop by or call Guest Services at 360.663.3050. For more information email guestservices@skicrystal.com or swing in the Rental Shop. Minimum age is 11. Anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. All tours are weather permitting and subject to cancellation if fewer than 8 guests sign up.
Tours are offered every Saturday. No tour on December 17, 24, February 25, March 3 and April 21. Minimum of 4 participants for tour to run. Special tours can be arranged by reservation for groups of 10 or more. Ask about availability for group tours midweek.

Leavenworth Outfitters
325 Division
Leavenworth, WA 98826
509.548.0368
http://www.leavenworthoutfitters.com

Winter is a magical season in the Cascade mountains. There are a variety of groomed and tracked ski trails for beginning skiers, as well as miles of backcountry. The guides make it easy to learn! They offer lessons and guided nature tours. Great snowshoe treks for wildlife and scenery December through March.

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