Ben and I went snowshoeing at Artist Point last weekend. It is about 2.5 hours outside of Seattle but so worth getting up early to make the trip, and the end of the drive through snow-covered evergreens is gorgeous. We both agree this is the most beautiful snowshoe hike we’ve done yet.
The area was crowded on a Saturday but didn’t feel overrun, and in this case it helped us see where the trail started when we spotted other snowshoers and cross-country skiers. It was also great to have some tracks already set so we didn’t have to be the first to trudge through the deep snow.
As you can see, the mountain views at the top of this hike were spectacular. It took some work to get up to the top but wasn’t a long hike, and going down was a breeze…if only we’d had carried along a sled for that part! 🙂
If you are interested in snowshoeing but not sure what gear you need, here’s my list:
- Snowshoes (Which you can rent from REI in Seattle for $15—I assume other REIs in snowy areas would be similar but haven’t researched that.)
- Warm clothes—but you probably won’t need to be as bundled up as for skiing. I wear my regular “hiking” outfit with an extra shirt, and add yoga pants underneath my hiking pants. I also make sure to have two layers of warm socks, two pairs of gloves (I do wear ski gloves), a hat, scarf, a warm winter coat
- Sunglasses (Regular sunglasses are fine. The wind won’t be in your face like downhill skiing so you don’t need googles.)
- Sun block!
- Regular hiking boots—you can strap hiking boots right into the snowshoes. You don’t need fancy shoes.
If you already hike it’s pretty easy to transition to be ready for snowshoeing. We didn’t need to buy anything extra except our snowshoes, which we got on sale at the end of the season last year.
Even though Ben and I LOVE the idea of skiing we’ve chosen showshoeing as a cheap alternative for awhile. Most of the snowshoe areas around here are in national park or national forest boundaries, so entrance fees are minimal or free. Snowshoeing is a really fun way to play in the snow and see beautiful winter scenery without the expense involved in skiing/snowboarding.