Yes, winter is almost over, and yes, this mama is pretty darn happy about that, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss snow this past winter at JBLM. I mentioned a couple weeks ago on my instagram, as well as here, that I think snow really makes a winter magical. When it’s just rainy, like it is a lot of the time here, it just doesn’t feel like winter to me. Perhaps that’s the Fort Drummer in me. Who knows? Regardless, I’m really glad the kids and I had the opportunity to play in the snow while stationed here at JBLM, and I was actually super impressed by how accessible a good snow day is out here, even if it’s not snowy where we live. Today, I wanted to take the time to share some of the best places to play in the snow near JBLM because, whether you love a good snow day or not, it’s just not winter without at least one snowball!
The Best Places to Play in the Snow Near JBLM
Snoqualmie Area // Okay, first of all, this is entirely dependent on how you want to spend your snow day. If you want some dedicated snow play with skis, tubes, sleds, and more, you’ll want to head to one of the resorts. Summit at Snoqualmie offers a mix of alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and even cross-country skiing. Hyak Sno-Park is also a huge seasonal hit, offering snow play, sledding, cross-country skiing, and more. If you’re like me, however, and just want to play in the snow, consider heading out to the Gold Creek Pond area, buying a Sno-Park pass, hiking a bit, and enjoying the scenery – just in time for a snowball fight and a winter picnic. It’s absolute heaven.
Suncadia Resort // About 80 miles east of Seattle, this resort gem is perfect for a quick three-day-weekend getaway. Suncadia Resort offers a one-of-a-kind Snowshoe & Brew Tour, which includes an 8-mile trek towards Roslyn for a pint (or two – let’s be honest). You can also go tubing, cross-country skiing, private snowshoeing, or ice skating at the Village Pavilion. Best of all, it’s a resort, so great food and service come standard.
Paradise on Mt. Rainier // This was on my JBLM winter bucket list and, sadly, I don’t know if it’ll happen this year because access is cut off due to road washouts. Paradise Visitor’s Center on Mt. Rainier is unique in that it requires at least five feet of snow to open before welcoming visitors. It’s a bring-your-own tube and sled area perfect for snow play and, if you’re feeling adventures, a ranger-led snowshoeing adventure takes place daily 11 AM and 1:30 PM throughout the month of March. Remember, you’ll need a park pass for Mt. Rainier, and all visitors are required to have chains in their car in the park area throughout the winter.
Stevens Pass // Just two and a half hours from JBLM Main, Stevens Pass is arguably one of the most famous snow play areas in Washington state. Not only can guests enjoy top-notch alpine skiing, but there is also a free snow play area right near the Stevens Pass Mountain Resort. There’s a free sledding and tubing area at the Nordic Center and Snow Play area, and snowshoeing is also prime here – perfect for both novices and advanced participants.
Hurricane Ridge // If you’re down for a bit of a long weekend trip, Hurricane Ridge is the winter snow-play trip for you! Just 17 miles from Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge is usually snow-covered and offers guests the perfect blend of alpine and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, and more. It’s a small ski area, but tubes here are provided on a first come, first serve basis, so you don’t need to bring your own. And, hey, if you’re in the Port Angeles area, you should try this Airbnb we visited for the perfect trip.
Tell me, do you think winter just isn’t winter without snow? What are some of your favorite winter escapes, and what do you do there?