Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Offers Guided Snowshoe Walks and Winter Ecology Excursions

Release Date: Dec 29, 2015  



US Forest Service

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

Contact: Tracy O'Toole  Office: 425-783-6015


Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy the beauty of your National Forest. Get outdoors and learn about winter ecology snowshoeing and enjoying other activities on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest January through March 2016. No experience is necessary and the Forest Service provides snowshoes and poles. 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. Extreme winter weather may be cancel snowshoe programs.

Programs are offered on select dates depending on location and activity. Please visit: to learn specific dates for each location and make your reservation.


90 Minute walk. Join this 1 mile loop that winds through opulent old-growth forest. Elevated up on the snow-pack, you'll enjoy experiencing the middle-canopy of the trees. You'll normally see hidden lichens, fungus, winter birds and mammals. Discover what critters made those mysterious tracks and what exactly are all those tiny black insects flipping around on the snow! We'll guide you through this winter hike at a moderate pace and with interesting winter ecology facts you can impress your friends and family with.

Extended walk. This winter trek will take you into the heart of Commonwealth Basin, a landscape that is rich with snowshoe routes and interesting winter life. Marten, ground squirrel, bobcat and wolverine all travel through this area, sometimes leaving evidence on the fresh snow. We'll travel about 5 miles at a moderate pace climbing into the basin, including a lunch break boasting scenery you'll be craving the rest of the winter. Bring a well-stocked backpack, lunch and dress for the ever-changing mountain weather for this one; we'll be out for about 4-5 hours.

Photography walk. Photography enthusiasts from expert to novice will enjoy the opportunities for winter inspired photos. Catch a radiating dendrite or possibly some magnificent hoar frost. Commonwealth Creek offers many unique photographic interests: ice falls, cool vapors and the swirling dark waters of mid-winter. Your guide will inspire discussions about light, composition and exposure. Participants are encouraged to bring their own film or digital cameras. In order to reduce your own exposure, please carry a well-stocked backpack with lunch. This trip usually lasts about 4 to 5 hours. For more information on this tour, please refer to Alpine Scenes.

Kids in Snow! Kids of all ages enjoy this 90 minute outing that jump starts participants on their way to earn a Jr. Snow Ranger badge. Identify tracks, learn about exploring nature in winter, and climb into our igloo (snowpack permitting). Discover which animals live nearby that turn white in winter, sleep the winter away, burrow and live entirely under the snow and those that can freeze themselves nearly solid right through until the spring melt. Kids control the speed of this walk, and we have a fleet of snowshoes, just for little feet. Adults can follow along with the kids; we have snowshoes for you too!

Avalanche Awareness Walk. Join the Northwest Avalanche Center and the Forest Service for snowshoe walks where the focus is entirely Avalanche Awareness. Professionals from the Northwest Avalanche Center will be leading and presenting on these walks.

Learn dates and make reservations at:


Learn about the winter ecosystem, wildlife, Stevens Pass history and safety on this 90 minute guided nature discovery tour along the Pacific Crest Trail. Meet at the Forest Service Guard Station by Parking Lot A at the Stevens Pass Mountain Resort. We will start the orientation including a Stevens Pass history presentation in the Guard Station before starting the quarter mile hike.

Learn dates and make reservations at:


This winter trek follows the route of the former Everett and Monte Cristo railway as it winds its way up the South Fork Stillaguamish River. We will make a number of stops along the way to discuss who lives in this valley in the winter and how they manage to do it, from Golden-crowned kinglets to beavers and humans. Our turnaround point is the site of the former Big 4 Inn where we will have lunch at the picnic shelter and possibly get a glimpse of the 4,000 foot vertical face of Big 4 Mountain. Meet at the Verlot Public Service Center, 11 miles east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway, for orientation. We will then carpool up the Mt. Loop Highway to Deer Creek to begin the four-mile, approximately five hour (including lunch stop) round-trip snowshoe hike.

Learn dates and make reservations at:


Meet at the Glacier Public Service Center, milepost 34 Mt. Baker Highway, State Route 542. Groups will leave from there to the snowshoe walk locations along the Hannegan Pass Road, Heather Meadows or another setting in the Mt. Baker District area determined by snow levels and weather. The snowshoe walks will last 2 to 3 hours, not including driving to the walk location from Glacier. Snowshoes and poles are provided.

Ranger Guided Snowshoe Walk. Learn snowshoe and winter safety basics while gaining knowledge about winter ecology, recreation opportunities, and the cultural history of the North Fork Nooksack drainage.

Avalanche Awareness Walk. Join the Northwest Avalanche Center and the Forest Service for an avalanche awareness snowshoe walk. An NWAC avalanche specialist will lead the walk and present about avalanche safety during your snowshoe outing. This is a great opportunity to get outdoors and learn about avalanche safety.

Learn dates and make reservations at:



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