Weekend Adventure Planner: 3 Ways to Enjoy the Snow Close to Seattle

Outdoor Adventures Thursday, March 6, 2014 Written by

This week, we’re launching a brand new “weekend adventure” series. While you spend your week daydreaming of fun weekend adventures, we’ll be researching the top outdoor hikes, snowshoe routes and more to offer you a list of recommendations tailored to the weekend’s weather.

To kick off the series, we’re profiling the top ways you can enjoy the incredible snowfall we’ve seen the past few weeks in the Northwest – all just a drive from Seattle.

Family Friendly: Snowshoeing and Sledding at Hyak Sno-Park

Gather the sleds, snowshoes and pack up the car for a day of family fun at Hyak Sno-Park. Close to Snoqualmie Pass off I-90, this popular park offers a groomed sledding and tubing hill that’s sure to please any speed enthusiast.

Trip Planner

Directions: Take I-90 to exit 54. Make a right. At the intersection, turn left. Go 1/8 mile and then turn right. You’ll see Hyak on you right. The lot fills up quickly on the weekends, so head there early!

Passes: You’ll need a Sno-Park pass and a Discover Pass to park at the trailhead. Purchase the one-day Sno-Park Permit and a one-Day Discover Pass combo online before you go for $30.

Weather conditions: Call 509-656-2230 to hear a daily recorded message with an update on conditions at the park. For driving conditions, visit WSDOT.

Break a Sweat: Hex Mountain Snowshoe Climb

If you’re looking for a nice, leisurely snow walk, this is not for you. But if you’re up for a challenge, Hex Mountain is a fantastic seven-mile snowshoe climb. You’ll work up a sweat on the trek up, but the views are well worth it. On a clear day, you’ll be struck with 360 degree vistas of the Cascade mountain range and Cle Elum Lake below.

Trip Planner

Directions: Head out on I-90 to exit 80 (Roslyn). Follow these Google Map directions to Salmon La Sac Road. Look for a plowed area on the left side of the street just before Forest Road 116. Park there and then walk about 300 feet. This is a good time to strap on your snowshoes. Head right on the forest road. You’ll spend 1.7 miles on the forest road before you get to the official Hex Mountain summer trailhead. Continue another 1.5 miles to the summit. Take in the fantastic views and then backtrack to return.

Weather conditions: Visit WSDOT before you go for an update on driving conditions over Snoqualmie Pass.

Willing to Drive: Cross-Country Skiing in Leavenworth

The recent steady snow has turned Leavenworth into a winter wonderland. If you’re up for a drive and a great workout, test out your cross-country ski skills at Icicle River in Leavenworth. Two interconnecting trails offer a relatively flat terrain perfect for beginners to try the sport and enough excitement for advanced skiers to still get a full-body workout.

Trip Planner

Directions: You’ll find the trail just outside of Leavenworth at 7505 Cyo Road. Tickets are available at the trailhead for $16 per day.

Equipment rental: Head to Der Sportsmann on the main Leavenworth drag for quick and easy ski rentals before you hit the trail.

Conditions: Check trail conditions at Ski Leavenworth before you head out.

Happy weekend adventuring!