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Scenic Hike, Snowshoeing, and ATV Day

No trip to the PNW is complete without a day in the forest. See the beauty of the region from the hiking or snowshoe trail and the seat of a four-wheeler.

You may be understandably sore from a couple of days on skis. But there are a few more adventures to wring from your long weekend.

Drive out on State Route 2 to hike to Heybrook Lookout. This relatively easy trail takes you 700 feet in elevation, up the ridge of a batholith. Climb past mossy rocks and springs, mushrooms, and trailing mosses to a spruce forest. At the top of the ridge is an old fire lookout that’s been lovingly restored. It offers panoramic views of Mounts Bering and Index. It’s an unforgettable and social media-worthy view that you can’t afford to miss. 

(Please note that you’ll need a $5 National Forest Day Pass before hiking. You can easily get one online or at Espresso Chalet, a few miles before the Heybrook trailhead. You can’t miss Espresso Chalet -- it’s the one with twelve-foot tall bigfoots outside).


Snowshoeing 

For those looking to take the scenic route, the National Forest Service offers guided snowshoe trips, with with trained Forest Service rangers in winter ecology, who will guide you through routes in avalanche-free zones. This is a free tour, though a donation is encouraged, and more info can be found through the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest Service

Or, one of the surest routes is the trail that leads to Lanham Lake. It starts at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center and gains a vigorous 1,140 feet in a mile and a half. The views at the top are incredible: a blue-green alpine lake encrusted with snow and ice. While the area is not prone to avalanches, it is not patrolled so but be sure to check the avalanche forecast before you go at nwac.us.


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Or, you can spend the day on four wheels. Charter an expedition with Chinook ATV in Gold Bar. This adventure outfitter will safely guide you year-round to several destinations in the Skykomish River Valley, including the legendary Reiter Offroad Course. All trails have been ecologically vetted and approved for motorsports.


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Off you go to Paine Field. It’s been fun, PNW. You’ll be back for the forested hills, wreathed in mist. And the coffee. And the skiing. It’s all here -- now to upload the pics to the social media. Get ready for likes.


A Winter Ski Weekend-PNW Style. Click map to view larger.
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