Have fun out there!
Feb. 4, 2021
I had a conversation today that led to the thought of Crystal Springs turning into a 4 story parking garage with a 2000 car capacity with ramps built for sledding off the top. Is this a nightmare or the future? Oh, and with snowmaking (or maybe fake snow). Nuts I say. A Number of years ago I heard a comment about a resort in the Tahoe area where sled hills were the money maker for them. It appears there is a golden opportunity in the Snoqualmie Pass area. But - where - is the big question.
Ok for the sledders / snow play of this readership, you all heard about the temporary Easton Reload Sno-Park opening for snow play. Big time Kudos to winter recreation staff making this happen. You really have no idea how much work went into getting this going. For those of you willing to drive an extra 20 minutes from Hyak you might appreciate less craziness. This area is appropriate for little kid snow play. Take exit 71, turn to the south, go up and over the railroad tracks and road veers to the west and follow that for about 3 miles to the Sno-Park. You will need a one day pass or a seasonal $40 pass.
Also, check out the newly announced roaming options at 29 Pines Campground (scroll down to the 29 Pines link) out the Teanaway. Limited parking. There is the Jungle Creek Voluntary non-motorized area. Whoo Hoo!!
There may be more announcements Tweeted soon. Probably tomorrow – Friday.
Now a reminder for the new Sno-Park users out there. Please do NOT Walk on the groomed trails, this includes the skate deck and set tracks. Grooming is where the snow is packed and looks like corduroy until its skied out. Walking ruins it faster than anything other than vehicles attempting a drive on it. If you want to go for a walk, there are many many places to walk outside of the groomed areas. Please walk elsewhere.
Also, along the lines of public service announcements, the very back lot at Crystal Springs was created and managed by the dog mushing community in 2000. The first snow cat grooming began in 2003 / 2004 season. Expect to see dog teams and skijoring here. The exit trail is named both “DP-100”, meaning Dog Powered and also called the “Crystal Dog Trail”. Holes in the trails from footprints can be dangerous for dog teams. Please keep ALL dogs on a leash and in control. Once again, do not walk on the grooming.
Photo above shows participants from the skijoring clinic a few days ago.
For you snowshoers out there, volunteers are stomping out routes this season, so stick to those and please if you must snowshoe on grooming, stay to the very edges and walk single file. Some of these routes are quite nice and can even give a glimpse of a view here and there.
Ok, that’s it for public service announcements.
I want to thank all the winter Rangers, both USFS and State Parks for doing what they can where they really need to be quadrupled in staffing – or maybe 10 times more of them. Thank you to the volunteers who do what they can to make a this messy challenging COVID time a little less insane.
State Parks has a round 1 posted of a grooming status map. Notice that this includes snowmobile grooming. Staff are still working out the bugs, and keep in mind, this is not always completely accurate. Notice is says “Beta” at the top. The individuals working on this are geeks (one is a volunteer) and love this stuff, so eventually it will be quite usable. These things take time.
Below photo is a reminder of how pretty it can be and even some solitude at times.