Central Washington's Outdoor Winter Wonderland
By Rebekah Neal
The long awaited Winter season has finally arrived! We’re thrilled to be back in the snow and we want to help make this year one to remember by giving you a few winter activity ideas. Whether you’ve mastered the art of winter sports or you’ve never set foot in the snow, these activities are made for every skill level and are waiting for you to fall in love with them!
Cross-country skiing is an activity where skiers glide across the snow using their own strides, not relying on a ski lift to get them anywhere. Cooper River Cross-Country Skiing trail in the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest is a great trail for a cross-country skiing adventure!
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding
Downhill skiing and snowboarding are two very popular winter recreational activities, and for good reason! Both activities involve using a snowboard or skis to descend a snow covered slope, using a ski lift to return to the top of the slope! Summit at Snoqualmie has nearly 2,000 skiable acres, 25 lifts, and the most night skiing in the U.S. for all skill levels looking for a scenic place to spend the day to take advantage of!
Snowshoeing is a great activity for someone looking to take in the views around them and go at a slower pace than most other winter sports. As a form of hiking, snowshoeing is a perfect activity to get your heart rate up while still being able to take it slow if desired. One trail we recommend is the Jack Creek Snowshoe trail in the Cle Elum area!
Snowmobiles are motorized vehicles specialized for traveling on the snow. Washington State has about 80 Sno Parks for snowmobiling, and there are about a dozen Sno Parks around Ellensburg and Easton, Washington! Elk Heights Sno Park is one example of an area that allows snowmobiling. If you’re looking to purchase a Snowmobile this winter, Central Powersports in Ellensburg or MotorToys in Cle Elum are great places to begin your search!
Looking for equipment to start your adventure?
Central Washington has several shops where you can rent or purchase your own winter recreation equipment. Mountain High Sports (Ellensburg), MotorToy Rental & Tours (Cle Elum), Cle Elum Farm & Home, Basecamp Outfitters (Cle Elum), Evo Gear & Rental (coming soon to Snoqualmie Pass), and Ride Roslyn are just a few places in Central Washington that can help prepare you for your new favorite winter sports with all of the equipment you could possibly need!
Always be sure to take precautions when it comes to your safety and the safety of others! Dressing appropriately for the weather, staying hydrated, and giving your body enough fuel to help you power through your favorite winter sports are a must. Make sure you are not pushing yourself past your skill level to avoid injury! Pay attention to weather alerts and potential hazards that could interfere with your experience. Be courteous of others to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to have a great day outdoors this winter, but most importantly, have fun!