4 Great Washington Sno-Parks for Your Winter Adventures

Fitness Friday, January 3, 2014 Written by

Washingtonians are blessed with more than 100 state parks that offer everything from hiking and rock climbing to fishing, kayaking and windsurfing.

People here are also lucky to have more than 120 Sno-Parks — that’s right, more than 120 — to keep the fun and activity going strong through all winter months. From cross-country and downhill skiing to sledding, snowshoeing and even skijoring, Washington’s Sno-Parks make it possible to do just about anything out in the snow.

Here are a few of our favorite parks to go check out:

South Summit — Twelve miles east of Twisp, this scenic Sno-Park has close to 30 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails that wind through soaring ponderosas and past expansive mountain views. There’s a wide variety of terrain, from beginner to more advanced. The Sno-Park, which is also popular with dog sledders, sits right near Loup Loup Ski Bowl, a small downhill ski area that also has a tubing hill and, as of this year, groomed trails for fat biking.

Gold Creek — Sure, this popular Sno-Park just 2 miles east of the Snoqualmie summit gets bustling on fine winter days, but that’s no reason not to check it out. On clear days, the views include Rampart Ridge and Kendall Peak; on any day, the activities here can include sledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing (ungroomed) and snowmobiling. The park’s flat expanse makes it a great one for beginning snowshoers.

Marble Mountain — Skiers, snowshoers, climbers and snowmobilers all share the same parking lot at this Sno-Park near Mount St. Helens, so it can get a little hectic at times. But once you’re out doing your thing — climbing the tough, 12-mile roundtrip Swift Creek route up to the summit and back, skiing to pretty little June Lake or motoring through the forests — you’ll forget about the hustle and enjoy some incredible views, towering trees and fresh mountain air.

Mt. Spokane — Many Sno-Parks are small, quaint little pullouts on the side of the road that lead to quiet skiing and snowshoeing trails. Mt. Spokane is not one of those. At 13,919 acres, Mt. Spokane State Park is actually Washington’s largest state park. It offers more than 15 groomed miles of nordic skiing, designated trails for snowmobiles and the Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park. The latter features nearly 1,500 acres of skiable terrain, 45 designated runs and five double chairs; there’s also a terrain park and a tubing hill.

Permits

Sno-Parks

All state Sno-Parks in Washington require a Sno-Park pass. Some with more developed facilities require additional fees as well, so check the details to make sure you’re playing by the rules at each park.

For a complete listing of Sno-Parks in Washington visit the Washington State Parks Sno-Park page.