Guided Snowshoe Walks Lead Hikers through a Winter Wonderland

Freshly fallen snow blankets the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest making it a winter wonderland for outdoor recreationists. For those thinking about getting outdoors, there are areas of soft powdery snow to entice fun-seekers, especially snowshoers.

Come learn about winter ecology while snowshoeing on National Forest lands January 25 through March 28. Forest Service guides will be offering five snowshoe outings for adults and children at Swauk Campground and Wenatchee Ridge at Blewett Pass. No previous experience is necessary and snowshoes are provided.

These guided snowshoe hikes are about 2½ hours long. Guides will talk about plants and animals and how they adapt to winter conditions, birding, animal tracking, and general winter forest ecology.

Make reservations through the Discover Your Northwest website . Click on the ‘Select a program’ tab in the Snoqualmie Pass Snowshoe Program page to access the Swauk Campground and Wenatchee Ridge snowshoe walks.

“Adults enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered forest, while kids love the idea that wildlife lives under the snow,” said Cle Elum District Snowshoe Program Manager Kim Larned who has been leading snowshoe walks for more than 26 years on the forest.

Larned recommends participants wear layered and insulated clothing, hats and gloves, with sturdy waterproof boots for the snowshoes. No jeans or cotton. Also bring a backpack with snacks and plenty of drinking water.

To offset the costs of the program, a donation of $15 per person is suggested.

For more information please contact the Cle Elum Ranger District office at 509-852-1044 during normal business hours Monday through Friday.

“These guided snowshoe walks really open up the winter world to forest visitors. It’s amazing to see how much people enjoy nature and want to learn about these great ecosystems,” Larned said. “We’re pleased to offer the guided hikes to encourage people to get out and explore their national forest during the winter.”

Ranger with snowshoers

Emily Jacobs, USFS certified interpreter, instructs snowshoers before heading out for a trek in the national forest near Swauk Campground on the Cle Elum Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.


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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.