Snowshoeing Activity Picking Up In North Central Washington
The activity of snowshoeing is widely available in Washington during the winter.
One of the state's most accessible locations to snowshoe is the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest.
The Forest has scores of designated trails for snowshoeing, but National Forest spokesperson Robin DeMario says access is far more widespread.
"You can go anywhere in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest to snowshoe," said DeMario. "We just advise that you watch out for those avalanche shoots, know the terrain that you are in, and if it looks questionable, turn around and head back the way you came."
DeMario says snowshoeing is inexpensive compared to other outdoor winter activities because the only equipment required is snowshoes and ski poles.
A list of all designated snowshoe trails in the Forest is here.
The activity of snowshoeing can be strenuous, depending on how steep the terrain is and the pace of the person who is walking.
Meanwhile, the popularity of snowshoeing has picked up in recent years across the country. Data from the market research firm Snow Sports Insights shows snowshoeing participation grew by 12 percent in 2020.
DeMario says one of the draws of snowshoeing is its simplicity.
"It's an outdoor activity that just about anyone can do," Demario said. "It's easy for kids, adults, seniors. It's low impact. And it's just fun.
One popular destination for snowshoeing in the Wenatchee region is outside Leavenworth at the winter closure point of Icicle Road.
DeMario also says snowshoeing has the special quality of being quiet. She said the experience offers an opportunity to look for various birds chirping in trees, and for identifying which animals have left recent tracks in the snow.