See another side of state parks — take a guided snowshoe hike

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Over the snow and through the woods! Enjoy winter even more — take a guided snowshoe hike like these folks did at Lake Easton State Park. 

Jan. 16, 2019

Do you want to take a snow hike?

Come on, let’s go and play!

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Cool view! You'll find some great vistas when you are on a guided snowshoe hide at Lake Wenatchee State Park.

This winter, Lake Easton and Lake Wenatchee State Parks are offering guided snowshoe hikes where you can experience a whole different side of the natural world.

“Snow changes everything,” says Ranger Paul Tomas, who is among those leading snowshoe hikes at Lake Wenatchee. “The hike you took in summer is completely different in winter.”

Snowshoeing is seeing an upswing in popularity for good reasons, says Laura Busby, a parks interpretive specialist leading hikes at Lake Easton State Park this winter. Less expensive and equipment heavy than other snow activities, snowshoeing still delivers an exciting winter sports adventure.

"Snow changes everything." — Ranger Paul Tomas 

“On snowshoes, you can go a lot of places you can’t go when there is no snow, or even on Nordic skis when there is,” Busby says. “The snow covers up the (high plants between trees) and you get to see a whole different side of the park.”

Ready to get out for a stimulating, snowy adventure that won’t break the bank? Here’s the scoop on this year’s guided snowshoe hike programs. And don’t forget! You will need EITHER a daily Sno-Park permit and Discover Pass (daily or annual) OR a seasonal Sno-Park permit and Groomed Trail Sticker.  No Discover Pass will be required on Jan. 21, a state parks free day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, but a Sno-Park permit is still required.

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Lake Easton State Park

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Now doesn't this look fun? These happy hikers at Lake Easton State Park sure think so! If you have never gone snowshoeing, learn how this winter with a guided snowshoe hike.

Think of it as a nature hike in the snow, Busby says. Strap on your snowshoes (you will need to bring your own or rent a pair outside of the park) and take a turn in the frosty air along the Yakima River and around the shore of Lake Easton to the Palouse to Cascades Trail. At this time of year, the lake has been partly drained, leaving the dark stumps of old trees protruding through the snow. It’s dramatic scenery, so bring your camera! Busby and other guides will go over snowshoeing basics, then discuss how plants and animals adapt to life in winter, area geology and history and answer any questions participants have.  You may even spot some animal tracks — in addition to your own — in the snow!

Meet at: Lake Easton State Park day use area
Times: 12:30 p.m. sharp, Jan. 26 and 27 and Feb. 9, 10, 23 and 24
Length of hike: About 3 miles and 2.5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
What to bring: snowshoes, poles, layered clothing, boots and water
For more information: Click here or call (509) 925-1943

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Lake Wenatchee interpretive

Learn a little — or a lot — from the knowledgeable guides leading snowshoe hikes this winter at Lake Wenatchee State Park

Take a mellow stroll through a marshmallow winter wonderland! Lake Wenatchee is a great place for snowshoers of any ability and is super for beginners! The park even has a limited number of snowshoes available for rent in both youth and adult sizes! You’ll start at the north end of the park, then wend your way through the park with plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view, snap some pics and make memories along the way. The length and duration of the hike will depend on participants. You’ll also get lots of opportunities to ask questions and even learn what animals do to survive in winter.

Meet at: North end of the park
Times: 1 p.m. sharp
Length of hike: 1.4 to 2.4 miles and about up to 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
What to bring: Snowshoes, poles, layered clothing, boots and water
For more information: Click here or call (509) 763-3101