Whether you're new to the area, new to winter sports, or just looking for a fun day trip to shake off the gray days, the U.S. Forest Service is offering a number of programs to help you enjoy the scenic beauty of our four-season outdoor playground with guided snowshoe tours.
Learn about winter ecology with snowshoeing tours on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest January through March. No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes. Participants should wear layered and insulated clothing, hats and gloves with sturdy, waterproof shoes or boots, hats and gloves. To offset the costs of the program a donation is requested.
Make reservations at 509-852-1062 before Dec. 20; 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. Office hours are Thursday-Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. A donation is suggested of $15 for adults, $10 for youth 16 and under, and $25 per person for the half-day hikes and photography outings. Reservations are required for all programs.
Sat. Sun. 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
Learn about the winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety on this one-mile loop walk through opulent old-growth forest.
Group size 20
Fri. Sat. Sun. 9 a.m.
Experience Commonwealth Basin in the winter surrounded by the Cascade crest peaks. Bring a lunch, you will be out four to five hours.
Winter Photography Outings
Jan. 19, Feb. 2, 16, March 2, 16, 31, 9:30 a.m.
Geared for photography enthusiasts of all abilities. Commonwealth Creek offers intriguing image possibilities with ice falls, cool vapors and swirling dark waters. Your guide will discuss light, composition and exposure. Bring lunch, this outing lasts four to five hours.
"Kids in the Snow"
Starting Jan.12, Saturdays, 1 p.m.
Earn a Junior Ranger Snow membership and patch! Learn about tracking, crawl into a snow cave and check out a snow crystal with a magnifier on this approximately 90-minute walk.
Guided Nordic Ski Trip
Jan. 12, 19, 26 and Feb. 2, 9, 16, 10-11:30 a.m.
Begin at Grand Junction on the Mt. Catherine Loop. Purchase a ski ticket, ride the ski lift and meet the group at the hut. You will ski from there making stops to learn about the area’s history, forest and wildlife.
Day in the Snow
Jan. 19, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Take off on one of three different one-mile loop outings and learn about the history and stories of the region. Your host is from the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.
--Information from the U.S. Forest Service