Does your New Year’s resolution involve getting out more in the snow?
You’ll find groomed trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing on state trust lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources. Many of these trails originate on DNR-managed lands; others hook up with trails originating on other public and private lands. Many of these trails will require a Sno-Park permit, Discover Pass, or both. Check out this flyer for more information
Near Colville in northeast Washington, DNR offers two snowmobiling trail systems that interconnect in the Little Pend Oreille (LPO) and the Narcisse forest blocks. Access to these trails is gained from the Flodelle/Tacoma Creek Sno-Park or Mill Creek Sno-Park. These areas require a Sno-Park permit.
DNR provides five snowmobile Sno-Parks near Yakima and Ellensburg. Ahtanum State Forest, west of Yakima, offers plenty of groomed trail opportunities originating from the Ahtanum Meadows, White’s Ridge, and Lower Red Saddle winter recreation trailheads. (Again, a big thanks to the Ski Benders of Yakima for rescuing winter recreation in Ahtanum.) Also near Yakima is the Rattlesnake winter recreation area. To visit these areas, you will need a Discover Pass.
Other snowmobiling areas can be found south of Wenatchee at Lily Lake Sno-Park, which access groomed trails that extend down into the southern end of the Naneum Ridge State Forest. Don’t forget your Discover Pass.
If you prefer the peace and quiet of non-motorized winter recreation, you can cross-country ski and snowshoe on nearly 50 miles of trails—20 miles of which are groomed—in the Tahoma and Elbe State Forests, east of Elbe on the way up to Mount Rainier. The Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA) operates free ski huts there, but you do need reservations. Visit the MTTA website for more information. This special area requires both a Sno-Park permit and a Discover Pass.
Before you head for the hills, be sure to check on grooming conditions and also download a trail map from the Washington State Parks winter recreation web page. Also, be sure to check the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center for any avalanche warnings.
Please note that if you park at a motorized Sno-Park area and aren’t planning on riding a snowmobile, you’ll still need a Sno-Park permit.
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