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Category Archives: Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing Wrap-up, January and February

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Partially Frozen

I’ve done a couple of snowshoe trips since the New Year, and fully intended to write up a trip report for each, but decided that since time is passing away so quickly, I’ll just write up a blurb about our trips.

Kachess Dam Road

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Kachess Lake Dam Road

This is an easily-accessed area, just off the freeway in Easton (Exit 70 on I-90). You’ll park in a plowed-out area at the side of the road, and start snowshoeing up the road. Sometimes you’ll need to share space with snowmobiles, but the day we were there, we didn’t have any company. When we reached the power lines, we turned left/west, and walked under them until we found a trail heading north into the trees, marked with an orange diamond.

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Under the Power Lines
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Trail Winding Through the Trees

This part of the trail was more interesting, and we enjoyed it a lot. We reached the shore of Lake Kachess, where we sat and had lunch and enjoyed the view of the water, low clouds, and snowy shore.

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Cindy and the Dogs
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Moody Views

After eating, we wandered around the shoreline and then made our way back to the cars. We hiked about 2.5 miles, but you could do more by traversing farther up the road or wandering more around the shoreline. There are no facilities at the trailhead, so if you need a toilet, you can drive over the freeway to Easton Lake State Park, where there are flush toilets and running water. We hiked this with my friend Cindy and her dogs, and another young friend of my daughter’s.

Salmon Ridge Snowshoe

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Nooksack River

The next week, I went out with a girlfriend to the Salmon Ridge Sno-Park along the Mt. Baker Highway. We did the snowshoe trail down along the Nooksack River, and then walked a little ways up the Razor Hone Road. This road is groomed and shared with skiers, so we had to stick to the side as much as we could. We did about 2.5 miles there, too. Clouds were low, and the temps were in the 30s – it was raining, so we got pretty wet by the end. Snow bombs were falling off the trees, too. But we had avoided the wind and pouring rain that had been forecasted for higher elevations all through the Cascades.

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Crossing a Bit of Water

There was a lot of water in the low areas near the river, so we had to carefully make our way through the dips and over fallen trees on this more adventurous trails. This is a neat area to visit when you don’t want to be up high, and want to avoid snowmobiles. The parking lot was about 6-7 inches deep in sloppy, melting, muddy snow, so make sure you have boots or extra shoes along. We helped a lady extract her small pickup from the Sno-park area on the side of the road. She had bald tires, nothing of weight in the back of her truck, and nothing with her in case of emergency. She should not have been out there in that vehicle and those conditions. But I got to use my new military surplus folding shovel that I got last summer for my emergency car kit. This was a neat trip, and really nice to be without the kids for once.

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Pretty Waterfall, Snack Break

Pipe Creek Sno-Park

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Up the Trail

Two weekends ago, my family had the whole day Saturday free. We decided to get out together while we had the chance, and the weather looked to be the best farther east. We drove through rain and clouds on the west side, but by the time we got to Cle Elum, we had sunshine. Up we went, north on Hwy 97, and pulled in at the Blewett Pass Sno-Park. It was a zoo, completely full on both sides of the highway, tons of snowmobile trailers and regular snowshoers crammed into every available spot. We had wanted to do the Wenatchee Ridge road walk, but decided to turn around and head back down a mile or two to the Pipe Creek Sno-Park. That turned out to be an excellent decision. There were only a few cars parked there, and we only saw 3-4 other parties out on the trails. Snowmobilers are not allowed there, so it makes a quieter destination.

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Pipe Creek Sno-Park, Icy Parking Lot

The parking lot was an ice rink; we were thankful to have Microspikes and YakTrax to walk around with. We hiked out of the northeast side of the parking lot, which is a multi-use ski/snowshoe trail. It is not groomed, and was basically two trenches in the soft snow. Temps were in the 40s, so things were pretty sloppy, and we did sink down at times when we got out of the trench. We met one couple who was trying to ski, but they weren’t able to do what they wanted, so they were booting it down the slope.

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Trail Junction
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Tall Pines

We followed the trail as it paralleled below the highway for about 0.4 miles, then we took a right and headed away from the road to get some distance from the highway noise. We stopped at one point to have a snack, as Gabe was getting fatigued. We hiked a little further on, and stopped a little more than a mile from the parking lot, where there was a nice meadow view.

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Sunny Meadow

This would have been a good snack spot. But we made it our turnaround spot after taking a bunch of photos. We enjoyed the sound of gurgling streams and the beauty of blue skies and red ponderosa pines in contrast with the snow. The sunshine felt so good on our faces. We did about 2.1 miles, and there is a gentle elevation gain of about 240 feet. It’s a good, safe place to take the family, and there are many more miles of quiet wandering away from the snowmobiles from that sno-park.

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Cattails in the Snow

 

I’ll be putting these new trails into my hiking guide under Winter Snowshoes on the top menu. Click on that menu heading, and you can click on a specific trail for driving directions, passes needed, and other trail information.

North Loop Snowshoe, Hoodoo, OR, TR, 2/19/17

Over the long President’s Day weekend, when we were visiting my brother, we drove up to Hoodoo ski area to do a snowshoe. This huge sno-park has a solid network of ski and snowshoe trails to choose from. We chose a kid-friendly trail to one of the warming huts – the North Loop Trail. We…Continue Reading

Salmon Ridge Sno-Park Snowshoe, 1/28/17

I heard about the REI-sponsored event called AllOut, in which they were partnering with other organizations all over the country to host all kinds of activities. It sounded like a neat way to explore a new area, so I picked an event to go to that I hadn’t explored before. The Salmon Ridge Sno-Park area…Continue Reading

Gold Creek Pond Snowshoes, Day and Night (December 2016)

In December, we made two trips to Gold Creek Pond for snowshoeing. The first was a normal day-time trip, and the other was our second-annual twilight year-end snowshoe. We did both trips with our friend Cindy and her dogs. The first trip was after a large amount of powder had fallen, and the snow was…Continue Reading

Snowshoeing Blewett Pass

I’ve been wanting to try a different snowshoe trail that’s safe for kids, and last week I saw another family post a report about snowshoeing up at Blewett Pass. That gave me the courage to drive a little farther to check out the trails there. (We had planned to go to Paradise, but the weather…Continue Reading

Sunset Snowshoe at Gold Creek for New Year’s Eve

A few weeks ago, REI was advertising an event they were doing on New Year’s Eve. Their plan was to bring folks up to Gold Creek, have them snowshoe around the pond, provide food, lights, warming fires, and good cheer to welcome in the new year. It sounded so fun, but was expensive and sold…Continue Reading

The Year in Review – 2013

We had a pretty spectacular year of hiking and other nature outings this year.  I was going through my photos last month to make scrapbooks for the grandparents, and enjoyed reliving the memories.  With the New Year passing last night, I thought I’d tally up the trips we took.  I made a spreadsheet of all…Continue Reading

Longs Pass (Almost!) Trip Report – 10/11/13

Last year I had an amazing trip to go see the larches turning colors, but I didn’t take my children along.  They were disappointed and have been seeing photos of lovely landscapes glowing with golden larch trees.  They really wanted to go somewhere this year.  Some folks had been saying the trees were prime up…Continue Reading

Gold Creek Snowshoe (Second Visit)

We had a chance to go snowshoeing with our friends last Friday, and we went to Gold Creek again.  Cindy had knee replacement surgery just 8 weeks ago, and this was to be her first outing in the mountains since then.  We had some other novice ladies with us, too, so it was good to…Continue Reading

Smithbrook Road Snowshoe

We have been experiencing an unusual and long-lasting inversion here in Puget Sound, causing cold, grey, still air to settle in the lowlands.  Meanwhile, the sun shines in the mountains.  We went up Friday to find the sunshine, and trek in the snow at the same time.   Our friend Kirsten offered to drive us…Continue Reading