Spring Snowshoe Adventures
Spring is a great time to explore on snowshoes. As of April 23, 2017, the snow level is about 4500' so, if you go up high, there are lots of places to explore. And the great part about snowshoeing is that there's really not a learning curve -- if you can walk, you can snowshoe. We rent snowshoes for a nominal $20/day, and kids snowshoes are just $10/day.
Our suggestions will change as the spring progresses, but these are some of our favorites:
- Crystal Mountain: Crystal is now closed for skiing, but you can still snowshoe anywhere up at Crystal. We have ski trail maps in the office so you can pick the one that feels right for you. If you're nervous about getting lost, this is a great option since you can just follow the chairlifts as a guide. You can even snowshoe all the way to the summit for some incredible views of Mt. Rainier. (A snowshoe up the Discovery lift is a good option with kids.)
- Suntop Lookout: As of May 13, FS 7315 is open, and it's snow-free for about the first 2.5-3 miles. (The snow is melting every day with the warmer temperatures.) The beginning of this hike will be snow-free, but you'll definitely need snowshoes as you climb. There's also an option of taking the Suntop Trail from FS Road 7160 (Buck Creek Road). The first 2 miles are largely snow-free, but you'll need snowshoes after that.
- Deep Creek Trail to Noble Knob: This trail starts right from Alta Crystal Resort. The first part of the trail is snow-free -- probably for the first 2 miles, and then you'll need snowshoes as you climb. There are great views of Mt. Rainier at about 3.5 miles.
Cayuse Pass opens May 19, and Chinook Pass is scheduled to open May 26. We particularly love the area around Chinook Pass for snowshoeing in the spring! It's fun to snowshoe around Tipsoo Lake, or take the Naches Peak Loop. Ask for maps in our office.