Snowshoe with a Forest Ranger!

The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests and Discover Your Northwest are teaming up, once again, for the 2019 Snowshoe with a Ranger Program! Abilities from novice to expert are welcome to this donation-supported program at several locations along the Cascade Crest and 1 location along Highway 97 near Blewett Pass. Register online or by calling your winter wonderland program of choice at Snoqualmie Pass, Swauk Sno-Park, Stevens Pass, the Mountain Loop Highway or Glacier.

Snowshoes are provided! 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



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.


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.

Suggested donation: Adults $15, youth 16 and under $10

Saturdays & Sundays: 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., & 1 p.m. February 2 through March 24.

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.

Suggested donation: $25 per person

Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays: 9 a.m. with a lunch stop, February 2 through March 24.

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. For more information on this tour, please refer to Alpine Scenes.

Suggested donation: $25 per person.

Check reservation site for times and dates.

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. 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!

Suggested donation: Adults $15, youth 16 and under $10

Saturdays: 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., February 2 through March 23.

Group size 20


Avalanche Awareness Walks

Join the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) 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. The trip usually lasts about 4 to 5 hours.

Suggested donation: $25

Saturdays & Sundays: 9:30 a.m., February 2 through March 24.


Swauk Campground Sno-Park Walks (Cle Elum/Blewett Pass Area)

Discover the wonders of winter at along Highway 97 near Blewett Pass with the U.S. Forest Service! Join a naturalist for this fun and exciting 2½ hour guided snowshoe walk. The trek starts at the Swauk Campground Sno-Park at 1 p.m.. Please note- this program is listed under the Snoqualmie Pass list of programs on the Discover Your Northwest reservation site, be sure to check there for availability and dates. There is no snowshoe experience necessary and open to all ages.

Suggested donation: $15

What you'll need on the 90 minute walk:

  • Water
  • Clothing: Appropriate for the weather that day. Dress in layers you can remove easily as you heat up.
  • Footwear: Preferably boots (hiking, winter, or snowboard).
  • Optional Stuff: Snacks, Camera.

What you'll need on the extended walk:

  • Gear: Poles, sunglasses, backpack with the 10 essentials, extra clothing food and water is recommended.
  • Water: More than you'd think, snowshoeing makes you thirst! Something warm in a thermos is nice too.
  • Clothing: Extra change of clothes, "dress for success".
  • Footwear: Sturdy waterproof boots with ankle support.
  • Lunch/Snacks: High energy snacks, we'll break for lunch.
  • Optional stuff: Camera, GPS, avalanche beacon, probe, avalanche shovel, map.

For more information, contact the Snoqualmie Visitor Center at 425-434-6111


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. There will be an orientation in the Guard Station before starting the one mile hike.

Saturdays: 11:00 a.m., February 2 through March 23

Sundays: 11:00 a.m., February 3 through March 24

Maximum group size: 20

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

For more information on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest please visit our website. For information about the Mt. Baker Snoqualmie National Forest or the other MBS snowshoe program locations offered, either visit the registration page or the forest website.

FS ranger snowshoeing through mountains

Forest Service Snow Ranger, Snoqualmie Pass. Credit: USFS

Stay connected to your public lands. Get the latest forest news and alerts by texting ‘follow OkaWenNF’ to 40404, 'liking' us on Facebook or following us on Twitter @OkaWenNF

The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.