The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest urges visitors prepare before heading out to play in the snow.


The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest urges visitors prepare before heading out to play in the snow.

EVERETT, Wash., – Winter snow and cold weather conditions may not always be present in and around the Puget Sound; however, deep snow and typical winter weather becomes very apparent after a making a short trip into the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest!  Reports of stranded vehicles, cold and wet hikers, and ill-prepared travelers have been coming in all too consistently this season. 


“Travelers and recreationists need to do their research. Many of our most popular destinations are under snow, trailhead parking lots are not plowed, most trails are not visible, and access roads can be hazardous,” said Sarah Lange, Recreation Planner with the Forest Service.


If traveling in the forest, please make sure you are properly equipped with the proper tires for the conditions, emergency supplies for you, your vehicle and passengers, carry a shovel and think ahead about how you would manage if trees fell across the road you were traveling on. The best way to be prepared is to think ahead about what you would do in a potential emergency and have proper equipment and supplies with you.


“If you are planning on snow within the forest, check for avalanche danger and monitor the weather forecast, “Lange also mentions that “visitors should carry the ten essentials and learn to identify hazardous terrain.


The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest suggests following these winter recreation tips:


1. Low snow, don’t go. Avoid areas with inadequate snow cover. Traveling in these conditions can damage plants and soils just below the snow’s surface.

2. Travel only in areas designated for your type of winter travel.

3. Avoid traveling in potential avalanche areas. Use terrain to your advantage, avoiding steep slopes, cornices, and gullies or depressions; periodically check for clues to an unstable snowpack. Remember, one person at a time on slopes. An avalanche transceiver, shovel, and probe should always be worn on your body in potential avalanche terrain.

4. Respect established ski tracks. If traveling by foot or snowshoe don’t damage existing ski tracks.

5. If a person develops hypothermia, warm the person up by rubbing them vigorously and getting them into dry clothes. Give them warm non-alcoholic liquids.

6. If you must have a fire, use a fire pan.

7. Dispose of all sanitary waste properly by packing it out or bury it in a shallow hole in the snow.


For more responsible recreation tips check out the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest’s Winter Recreation Guide and visit their Outdoor Safety Page.


Road and trail conditions change quickly so check for any closures before you go.  For more information on contact the nearest district office.

For current avalanche conditions and forecasts, visit the Northwest Avalanche Center’s website at



The mission the Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.