Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Four Washington destinations that offer naturalist-led snowshoe hikes

January 24, 2011, 10:22 am

Here are some opportunities for guided snowshoe hikes in Washington's national parks and national forests:


HURRICANE RIDGE in Olympic National Park

Snowshoe walks for individuals and families will be offered at 2 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Monday holidays, beginning on Friday, Dec. 10, through March 27 at the visitor center in Olympic National Park high above Port Angeles, Wash.

The walks last 90 minutes and are less than one mile in length. Space is limited, so people should register at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center information desk 30 minutes before the scheduled walk.

MOUNT RAINIER

Guided snowshoe walks will be offered twice daily during from mid-December through early January, and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from January through March at Mount Rainier National Park, 160 miles northeast of Portland. Ashford, Wash., is the gateway city.

The walks begin at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign up at the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise beginning one hour before the start of the program.

SNOQUALMIE PASS in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Snoqualmie Pass, beginning in early January, has guided Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Service snowshoe walks that offer a chance to experience winter's beauty while learning about snowshoeing and winter ecology. The pass is on Interstate-90 east of Seattle.

This moderately paced walk meanders through extraordinary old-growth forest that opens to occasional views of surrounding snow-capped peaks.

The walks begin in January and run through the end of March. They arer 90-minute interpretive walks (Sat.-Sun, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.), half-day hikes (fri-Sat-Sun, 9:30 a.m.) or kids in snow (beginning in February, Saturdays, 1 p.m.)

STEVENS PASS in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Visitors to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest can snowshoe through some spectacular scenery while learning about winter ecology and some dramatic local history at Stevens Pass on Saturdays and Sundays starting Jan. 8, 2011, through the end of March. The pass is on U.S. 2, east of Everett, Wash.

The 1.5-hour tours for beginner snowshoers (ages 6 and up) start at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. with an indoor slide show at the U.S. Forest Service Guard Station at Stevens Pass, giving visitors an introduction to the area's history, including the 1910 Wellington avalanche disaster. Visitors then begin a one-mile round-trip snowshoe walk on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Read more at oregonlive.com.