Get outdoors and learn about winter ecology while snowshoeing on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest Jan. 8 through March 27.Forest Service guides offer outings tailored to various skill levels for adults and children at Snoqualmie Pass off I-90 and Stevens Pass on US 2. No previous experience is necessary and snowshoes are provided.
Kim Larned leads beginning, intermediate and advanced level tours at Snoqualmie Pass. Larned’s 90-minute trip teaches winter birding and how to track animals. The more advanced extended trip takes participants through the beauty of the Commonwealth Basin. The “Kids in the Snow” program gives children a chance to earn a Junior Snow Ranger badge while they learn about snow safety, crawl into a snow cave, observe snow crystals through a magnifier and, on occasion, meet Smokey Bear.
“Adults enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered forest, while kids love the idea that wildlife lives under the snow,” Larned said. She has been leading snowshoe walks more than 25 years on the forest. Stevens Pass offers a two-hour program for all skill levels that includes a slide show about the area’s history, including the 1910 Wellington avalanche disaster. Visitors then begin an easy one-mile round-trip snowshoe trip on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Larned recommends participants wear layered and insulated clothing, hats and gloves, with sturdy, waterproof boots for the snowshoes. No jeans or cotton. To offset the costs of the program, a donation of $10 per person is suggested for all tours except the extended hike, where $20 is suggested. Make reservations for Snoqualmie Pass at 509-852-1062 before Jan. 8, then 425-434-6111. Reservations for Stevens Pass will be taken beginning Dec. 20 at Skykomish Ranger District, 360-677-2414. The public can schedule trips for special events and school groups.
Reservations: Before Jan. 8 call 509-852-1062, afterwards call 425-434-6111. Trips for special events and school groups can be scheduled. Meet 15 minutes early at visitor’s center off I-90, exit 52 on Snoqualmie Pass.
Interpretive 90-minute Walk Group size 20.
Jan. 9-March 27, Sat. Sun. 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
Extended Half-day Hikes Group size 10.
Jan. 9-March 27, Fri. Sat. Sun. 9:30 a.m.
Kids in the Snow All ages welcome. Group size 20.
Feb. 5-March 27, Sat. 1 p.m.
Reservations: Call Skykomish Ranger District after Dec. 20, 360-677-2414. Sultan Shuttle offers transportation from Sultan or Monroe to the resort. Check http://sultanshuttle.com/
for fees and schedules.
Introductory Ages six and up. Group size 20.
Jan. 8 – March 27, Sat. Sun., noon-2 p.m.