Snowshoe with a Forest Service Ranger!

Contact(s): Colton Whitworth


Everett, Wash. Dec. 11, 2017— The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Discover Your Northwest are teaming up, once again, for the 2018 Snowshoe with a Ranger Program! Abilities from novice to expert are welcome to this donation-supported program at 4 locations along the western slopes of the Cascades. Register online or by calling your winter wonderland program of choice at Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, the Mountain Loop Highway or Glacier.

 

Snowshoes are provide! Please bring the following items from home:

  • Gear and clothing: Waterproof pants and jacket (breathable is preferred), hat, sunglasses, gloves and warm clothing layers beginning with a base layer made of silk, wool, or a synthetic fabric (no cotton!).  A backpack for carrying an extra layer of clothes, water, food and first aid kit
  • Footwear: Sturdy waterproof boots with ankle support
  • Water: More than you'd think, snowshoeing makes you thirsty! Consider packing some hot cider, coffee or tea in a thermos as well
  • Lunch/Snacks: High energy snacks, we'll break for lunch at some amazing spots!
  • Optional: Camera, GPS, map, binoculars, poles, extra shoes and socks to change in to for the ride home

 

SNOQUALMIE PASS
Make reservations here. Meet 15 minutes before your scheduled walk at the Snoqualmie Pass Visitor’s Center off I-90, exit 52. Trips for special events and school groups can be scheduled by calling 425-434-6111. 

 

Reservations are required and snowshoes are provided. There is a suggested donation of $15 for adults, $10 for youth 16 and under, and $25 per person for the half-day hikes and photography outings.

 

Snowshoe with a Ranger, Short Hike
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 see normally hidden lichens, fungus, winter birds and mammals. Discover what critters made those mysterious tracks and what exactly are all those tiny of 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.

 

Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., & 1 p.m. January 6 through March 25.
Group size 20

 

Snowshoe with a Ranger, Extended Hike
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, 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.

 

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: 9 a.m. with a lunch stop, January 5 through March 25.

Group size 20

 

Winter Photography Outings

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.

 

Saturdays: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., January 6, 20; February 3, 17; March 3, 17

Sundays: 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., January 14, 28; February 11, 25; March 4, 11, 18

Group size 10

 

"Kids in the 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. Kid sized snowshoes are available for this walk.

 

Saturdays: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., January 20 through March 24.

Group size 20

 

Avalanche Awareness Walks
Join the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) and the Forest Service for an Avalanche Awareness-focused walk. Learn about snow safety with our local experts. Please call for dates and times.

 

STEVENS PASS 
Make your reservations here or by calling the Skykomish Ranger Station at 360-677-2414 to schedule a group of 15 - 20. Follow the “Snowshoe Trek with a Ranger” sign in the Stevens Pass Resort Parking Lot A and meet at the Forest Service Guard Station. Trips for special events and school groups can also be scheduled.

 

Reservations are required though same-day sign-ups are possible and snowshoes are provided. A $15 donation for adults and $10 donation for youth 16 and under is suggested.

 

Snowshoe with a Ranger

Learn about the winter environment, plants, wildlife, local history, and snow safety on this 90-120 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 in the Guard Station before starting the one mile hike. An optional Stevens Pass history presentation will be given at 10:30.
 

Saturdays: 11:00 a.m., January 06 through March 24
Sundays: 11:00 a.m., January 07 through March 25
Maximum group size: 20

 

DARRINGTON RANGER DISTRICT
Make your reservations here or by calling the Darrington Ranger Station at 360-436-1155 beginning Thursday, January 19. Meet at Verlot Public Service Center, 11 miles east of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway, for orientation.  The 5 hour snowshoe walk begins at Deer Creek and includes a lunch stop. Participants should be age 16 or older and in good shape. Though there is very little elevation gain in can be quite physically strenuous depending on conditions. 

 

Reservations are required and snowshoes are provided. A $20 donation is suggested.

 

Big Four Mountain Snowshoe with a Ranger

This winter trek is great for those who have never used snowshoes before or anyone interested in learning about the ecology and history of this low elevation winter wonderland. It follows the route of the former Everett and Monte Cristo railway as it winds its way up the South Fork Stillaguamish River. There are stops along the way for discussions on who and what lives in the valley during the winter and how they manage to do it, from Golden-crowned Kinglets to beavers to humans. The turnaround point is the site of the former Big 4 Inn where participants will have lunch at the picnic shelter and possibly get a glimpse of the 4,000 foot vertical face of Big Four Mountain.

 

Starts at 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 27-28, Jan. 27-28, and Feb. 03.

Maximum group size: 25

 

MT. BAKER RANGER DISTRICT 

Make your reservations here. Meet at the Glacier Public Service Center, milepost 34 on State Route 542, for orientation. Groups will snowshoe near the Hannegan Pass Road, Heather Meadows or other location depending on snow levels and weather. The interpretive snowshoe walks will last 2 to 3 hours. For more information, please call 360-599-9572 between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends.

 

Reservations are required and snowshoes are provided. A $15 donation is suggested.

 

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

 

Sundays: 10 a.m., Jan. 28, Feb. 4, Feb. 11, and March 4

Maximum group size: 15

 

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. This is a great opportunity to get outdoors and learn about avalanche safety.

 

Sundays: 10a.m., Jan. 21 and Feb. 25

Maximum group size: 15

 

 

 

For more information on the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, please visit our website.

 

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