Upcoming Trips Details
For your safety and that of the group, you should be well prepared for your trip, and know all the material under the "More Stuff" menu button above. I have been known to occasionally make errors on this page, so if something doesn't seem right, use the contact info at the bottom to let me know.
Walk 2/23 Skagit Wildlife Area
Call it Mount Vernon's flying circus-- wintertime is high time for bird-watching in the rich habitat of the Skagit River estuary. Easy walking paths along the dikes and waterways of these lowlands provide opportunities to see snow geese, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, great blue heron, and scores of other avian species.
3-4 miles, minimal elevation gain
Wednesday, February 23 8:30am - 12:30pm
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: The main walking area is near the wildlife area headquarters on Fir Island, near the village of Conway. We'll walk the easy dike-top paths here, keeping our eyes open for sightings of heron, eagles, and all types of water fowl. If the weather has been wet, there may be some muddy or wet areas, but overall it should be fine. There are other short trail sections scattered around the Skagit Valley, so we may hit some of these as well. If we're lucky, we'll encounter a massive flock of snow geese like we did in 2019.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear comfortable walking shoes or lightweight boots, the more waterproof the better. We're not planning any lunch, but taking a snack and some water is a good idea. Trekking poles may be useful for some of you, though most will find them unnecessary. Lots of birds to see, so maybe bring binoculars and a field guide.
Snowshoe 2/26 Mount Rainier - Paradise
If I could only snowshoe one place on earth, this is the place. Deep fresh snow, lots of room to make your own tracks, and the just-can't-enough views of The Mountain make this a magical place in winter. We'll tour around the Paradise Visitor Center area, with options for shorter or longer tours to suit your style. NOTE: If you need to rent snowshoes, book those separately. You'll find a listing for Snowshoe Rental at the end of the list of snowshoe trips. 2-4 miles, up to 600 feet elevation gain.
Saturday, February 26 7:00pm - 6:30pm
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: Certainly no shortage of snow at Mount Rainier. Paradise reported about 9 feet on the ground in mid-February, and it's not melting anytime soon. We will drive to the Paradise parking lot at 5400 feet in elevation, and snowshoe a loop route of about 2-3 miles through the sparsely-treed meadows. I usually try to provide a cut-off point where those wanting to shorten their tour can easily return to the visitor center. Note however that the exhibit area inside the center is closed. There is still access to the restrooms, and the van will be available too.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good comfortable boots, and take trekking poles for a little extra support and balance. Remember to reserve snowshoes and poles ($15 rental fee) if you don't have your own to bring. To help everyone in prepping for the trip, consult this handy Snowshoers Checklist. If the weather looks cold or stormy, it's important to have full head-to-toe protection, including sunglasses or ski goggles, a balaclava or other face coverage, warm mittens, and good outer layers.
Hike 2/27 Deception Pass State Park
Feel the fresh marine air as we take three short hikes to sample the charms of this gorgeous and rugged seashore area. We'll walk Sharpe Park, Reservation Head, and North Beach, all within a relatively easy, relaxed-pace day. 4-5 miles, 400 feet elevation gain.
Sunday, February 27 8:30am - 3:30pm
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: The trails at this popular state park are well-travelled year-round and are usually maintained in good condition. Expect a few wet or muddy areas, especially if it has been wet. Snow is unlikely. Each of the three areas we plan to visit have some ups and downs, and any steep sections are generally pretty short.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good traction shoes or boots, the more waterproof the better. Trekking poles may be useful at times, so bring some if you want. Lots of birds and other wildlife to see, so maybe bring binoculars.
Thursday, March 12 Snowshoe - V.E.S.T. (Very Easy Snowshoe Tour) to Lake Keechelus, lunch at Riverbend Cafe (where is this?) Barcode #6110 9:00am - 3:00pm
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: There's plenty of good snow at Snoqualmie Pass, and conditions for snowshoeing couldn't be better. We'll head to the Hyak Sno-Park at 2600 feet and follow the Iron Horse Trail to the shore of Lake Keechelus. The tour is fairly flat and easy throughout. After maybe 90 minutes out, we'll drive back to North Bend for lunch
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good traction shoes or boots, and take trekking poles for a little extra support and balance. Remember to reserve snowshoes and poles ($8 rental fee) if you don't have your own to bring. To help everyone in prepping for the trip, consult this handy Snowshoers Checklist. If you want to check out the Riverbend Cafe menu, click here.
Take it easy on short and very gentle snowshoe walks designed for people who are apprehensive about the longer treks. If you can walk one mile on dry land, then you can do this! We'll help you put on your snowshoes and guide the way. After up to about 90 minutes on the snow, we'll return to the van and head for lunch together at a nearby restaurant. It's great for the young (age 6 and up) and the young at heart!
Saturday, March 14 Snowshoe- Hurricane Ridge (where is this?)
Barcode #6101 7:00am - 7:30pm Snowshoers: Always ALWAYS bring sunglasses!
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: Snow conditions are great at Hurricane Ridge, with over 8 feet of snow on the ground as of March 1st. We'll drive to the visitor center at 5200 feet elevation, and follow the route of the road beyond there. It's an up and down tour that is mostly pretty gentle but will give you a workout on the uphills. Remember to check the weather forecast and be prepared for possible cold, windy, or stormy conditions.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good traction shoes or boots, and take trekking poles for a little extra support and balance. Remember to reserve snowshoes and poles ($8 rental fee) if you don't have your own to bring. To help everyone in prepping for the trip, consult this handy Snowshoers Checklist. We'll plan to take the 7:55am ferry in Edmonds (email me if you want to arrange to be picked up near there), and will return on the 5:30 or 6:10 ferry in the evening. Note that the park service sometimes closes the Hurricane Ridge Road during storms (with very short advance notice), so we may do an alternate tour if this is the case.
Experience the exhilaration of reaching the breathtaking, mile-high winter view from Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles. This is THE place to snowshoe in the Olympic Mountains. Our tour of the Hurricane Ridge Road beyond the visitors center is about 2.5 miles round trip, 600 feet elevation gain. Registration includes ferry fees.
Sunday, March 15 Snowshoe - Heather Meadows / Artist Point
(where is this?) Barcode #6175 7:00am - 6:30pm Snowshoers: Always ALWAYS bring sunglasses!
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: It's prime time for snowshoeing at Heather Meadows, with over 15 feet of snow on the ground, and more arriving on just about a daily basis. Our tour starts at the Mt. Baker ski area parking lot at 4200 feet, and heads out through mostly open meadow terrain, steadily climbing to Artist Point at about 5200 feet. The weather will call the shots on this tour, as it could be gloriously sunny or blizzard-like, but we'll make it fun regardless. Still, you need to be well-prepared, so know the weather forecast and bring the necessary clothing and other gear.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good traction shoes or boots, and take trekking poles for a little extra support and balance. Remember to reserve snowshoes and poles ($8 rental fee) if you don't have your own to bring. To help everyone in prepping for the trip, consult this handy Snowshoers Checklist. If the weather looks cold or stormy, it's important to have full head-to-toe protection, including sunglasses or ski goggles, a balaclava or other face coverage, warm mittens, and good outer layers.
Frolic in the deep, soft powder near Mount Baker. This gorgeous area usually boasts the Northwest's deepest snow pack all winter, and the scenery here in the heart of the North Cascades can't be beat. The tour to Artist Point is about 4 miles round trip, gaining about 1000 feet of elevation.
Hike the flanks of a wild and scenic river near Darrington. The gentle trail through verdant old growth forest is a beautiful and easy corridor. It is one of the best places to escape into the mountains at a time of year when winter is just beginning to relax it's grip. Round trip: 4-6 miles. Elevation gain: 50 feet.
Tuesday, March 17 Hike - Sauk River Trail (where is this?)
Barcode #6055 8:30am - 4:00pm
EXPECTED CONDITIONS: This is a low elevation old growth forest hike at only 600 feet and should be snow free. Expect the trail to be in generally good condition, but with areas that are wet or muddy, and some minor blow downs over the trail. The most recent report I've seen is from January, and they mentioned some minor obstacles, but nothing major. We'll start from the trailhead closest to Darrington, hiking the 3-mile length of the trail back and forth. There's almost no elevation gain. Hopefully we'll see a few signs of spring in the forest.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: Wear good traction boots, the more waterproof the better. Use trekking poles to help on slippery or sloppy spots. Gaiters will probably help your pant legs stay drier and cleaner.