Want to fully indulge yourself in the Northwest’s winter beauty? There’s nothing like strapping on a pair of snowshoes to tramp through a snowy forest. Its slow pace is perfect for beginners, allowing you time to mentally relax and enjoy the quiet winter scenery, while requiring nothing more than snowshoes, some warm clothes, and a good attitude. What’s more? There are plenty of places to try snowshoeing near Seattle.
Although you may feel inspired to tramp around anywhere that’s snowy, it’s wise for beginners to stick to designated trail areas for safety reasons. In fact, many summer trails become great snowshoeing routes in winter, giving you the opportunity to revisit favorite hikes in a different season. The mountain passes and many Sno-Parks also offer groomed routes to help you safely find your way. Ready to go snowshoeing near Seattle now? Keep reading for 5 of our favorite areas to check out.
5 Places to Go Snowshoeing Near Seattle
- Mount Rainier National Park
You have several outstanding options for snowshoeing near Seattle at Mount Rainier National Park. Head up to the Paradise area for trails of varying difficulty, all in the shadow of the big volcano. The park also offers guided snowshoe forays that include discussions on how the park’s plants and animals adjust to winter life. The walks are offered on a first come, first served basis from the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise.
Mount Rainier’s ski resort, Crystal Mountain, is another great option for snowshoeing in view of the mountain. In addition to offering several snowshoeing trails you can explore on your own, the resort offers a guided snowshoe walk, complete with dinner on Saturdays.
- Hurricane Ridge
For an easy and rewarding snowshoe adventure, head to Hurricane Ridge, where you can amble among Olympic National Park’s snow-capped peaks. The Hurricane Hill trail is your best bet here, and you’re rewarded even if you don’t complete all six miles of it.
The park also offers guided snowshoe treks, with snowshoes and instruction provided. The treks are offered on weekends and holiday Mondays, and there is a small fee to join.
- The Summit at Snoqualmie
Scores of trails crisscross the Snoqualmie Pass area for great opportunities for snowshoeing near Seattle. But we recommend hitting the groomed trails at the The Summit at Snoqualmie Nordic Center. You won’t be bored as there are more than 30 miles of trails here, complete with warming huts and restrooms along the way. The Summit has snowshoe rentals available, too.
- Artist Point
The Artist Point trail near Mount Baker is one of the region’s most iconic. In winter, the dramatic scenery makes the uphill climb to reach the viewpoint well worth the effort. Your trek is just four miles round trip, but you’ll gain 1,000 feet of elevation as you climb to the lookout point. This is a great option once you have a few easier snowshoe forays under your belt.
- Gold Creek
This flat trail near Snoqualmie Pass is the ideal trail for beginners looking to go snowshoeing near Seattle. You’ll hike through a dramatic basin hemmed in by tall peaks as you circle Gold Creek Pond. It’s a fairly quick trip that allows you to try the sport without much commitment, yet it’s also incredibly rewarding.