I know a lot of people truly enjoy getting out in the snow during the winter wonderland season, but what happens when you can no longer hike and there is a TON of snow everywhere? Well, snowshoeing gets you right back out there hiking and equipped for mountains of snow.
From someone who just started snowshoeing this year I can tell you I’m disappointed I didn’t try it a little sooner! I was still hiking but only at hikes very close to the city (Mt. Si…. over and over.. and over again). So this year I was determined to get farther and farther out when avalanche conditions were acceptable!
First things first… where do you get snowshoes? Well you dont have to buy a fancy pair for your fist time, you can rent them! Which is so awesome, especially if you wanna try it out and get a feel for it before buying. REI rents them for about $22 per person. You get them for a total of 3 days, 1 to pick them up, the next day to use them, and the next day to return. Its such a great policy and I highly recommend starting here!
The snowshoes that they rent are really easy to use MSR’s. A great brand and very reliable lightweight snowshoes. You just strap them onto your boots and get going. I will warn you that it does take a little getting used to and you may waddle like a duck for a little bit but you’ll get the hang of it.
Second… Where do you go as a beginner?
The first trip I could recommend is Gold Creek Pond. Its completely flat and such a beautiful trip around the lake. You get stunning views of the surrounding ranges, and really just get a feel for the shoes themselves. The path is very easy to follow and the trail is usually already broken in for you! Which makes it much easier, when you have to break trail in snowshoes it gets a bit harder, but also more fun.
Link to the Trail Info
Another low elevation snowshoe trip would be White Salmon Road. Its a bit longer than Gold Creek (4 miles round trip vs. 10 mile round trip) but you’ll get more active use out of your snowshoes and its an option for more people up north really looking to make a lovely day trip out of the event.
Link to the Trail Info
While you get used to walking in snowshoes with lower elevation gain, you can always jumpstart to something with a bit more challenge and elevation. The two trips that are extremely stunning would be Artist Point, Mt. Baker and Amabilis Mountain in the Snoqualmie Region. Both have over 1000 ft. of elevation gain but both with stunning views.
Artist Point is a shorter trip with less elevation gain and Amabilis is a longer trip with more elevation. Check out the link to these two trips here and also check out my other post specifically about snowshoeing Artist Point!
More info about Amabilis Mountain
Hope you all get out there and try something new this winter season and create a new hobby for winters to come!
*** Photos by Nicole Machan *** Check out her instagram here
Always be safe and check avalanche conditions before choosing to go out!