There`s nothing like a fresh snowfall to inspire you to get off the couch and out in the mountains. Go downhill skiing, enjoy the quiet solitude of snowshoeing or watch majestic bald eagles in flight. Before you go, check current weather and forest conditions at the local ranger district and be aware of the avalanche conditions.
Skiing / Snowboarding
The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest hosts four ski resorts that offer winter sports for all experience levels and ages.
More than 168 miles of snowmobile trails can take you throughout the forest. Most trails are not maintained and parking is limited outside of Sno-Park lots. Snowmobiles are prohibited in Wilderness (link) areas, so know the boundaries. Permits are required at Washington State Sno-Parks.(link)
XC Skiing / Snowshoeing
You can cross-country ski over 119 miles of forest trails. Summit at Snoqualmie, Summit East and Stevens Pass Ski areas provide commercial and groomed cross-country ski trails. Along the Mt. Baker Highway, groomed ski tracks are set at the Salmon Ridge Cross-Country Trail System.
Guided Snowshoe Walks
Get outdoors and learn about winter ecology while snowshoeing. No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes.
View Bald Eagles
Learn about and view bald eagles wintering on the Skagit River Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 22-Jan. 27, except Christmas weekend. Volunteers provide spotting scopes and binoculars at three stations on North Cascades Highway 20 with off-highway parking: Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport, Sutter Creek Rest area (milepost 100) and the Marblemount Fish Hatchery. For more information call 360-856-5700.
Passes and Permits
Washington State Sno-Parks
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission maintains sno-parks.
Sno-Park permit prices:
One-day permit: $21 per vehicle
Seasonal permit: $41
Federal Recreation Passes
A federal recreation pass is required at posted recreation sites within the national forest. Federal passes include the Regional Northwest Forest Pass, America the Beautiful, Interagency Senior and Access Passes. Get your pass at local ranger stations.