Central Cascades Winter Recreation Council
where can i just play in the snow?
Any Sno-Park has options, but some are better than others.
Sledding. Snow Angels. Forts and snowball fights. Catching snowflakes on the tongue, chased with hot chocolate. That’s what we’re talking about.
The Lake Easton State Park is the most relaxed atmosphere of our Snoqualmie snow play locations.
Hyak, State Parks’ biggest, busiest sledding hill, is accessed by the Hyak/Gold Creek exit, the eastern most of those at Snoqualmie Pass. Note that weekend late starts often means a full parking lot - yet check back later as some folks take those exhausted kids home.
Though not officially designated snow play areas some Sno-Parks are great casual winter wonderland explores. For example the Gold Creek pond area is a good place for little ones to try out snowshoes, and even better is the Swauk Campground near Blewett Pass on Highway 97, and Salmon la Sac. Gorgeous Denny Creek, the popular summer haunt of Seattleites, can also be accessed periodically through the winter, but has very limited parking. Finally, consider Lake Wenatchee (off Highway 2) when the roads are clear and days longer.
See links below for maps and directions.
Okay, full confession. Hunger pangs, a few cold fingers and toes, but only if you aren’t prepared. Along with a sense of adventure and go-with-the-flow attitude this is all you need:
Long underwear, with weatherproof shell
Gloves and hat (of course)
Dry “apres” clothes (for afterward)
Start and stay tanked up: snacks and warm drinks before, during and after.
Alternate plan (if the Sno-Park is full)
Where to Go - please go to the particular Sno-Park page for more info.
Denny Creek - New Sno-Park at Exit 47 with limited snow play, but is great for snowshoeing or walking.
Lake Easton - Relaxed atmosphere with lot’s of free form snow play space. Heated restrooms, Also, cross country skiing, snowshoeing. Please do not walk on the gooming.
Easton Reload - a new Sno-Park that is shared with snowmobiles, but is quiet. Opportunities to just play.
Hyak - Biggest, busiest sledding hill. Heated restroom and showers. On-site Sno-Park purchasing. Free form snow play (don’t walk in ski tracks). Also, cross country skiing, snowshoeing.
Gold Creek - Second busiest, ponds for beginning snow shoe adventures. Marginal sledding. On-site Sno-Park permit purchasing on most weekends
Swauk Campground - Winter wonderland exploring.
Salmon la Sac - Winter wonderland exploring shared with snow machines, but non-motorized use only in Salmon La Sac Campground area. Please do not walk on ski grooming.
Lake Wenatchee - Worth considering when the travel conditions are good. It has a great sledding hill and is less crazy than Hyak. Not to mention the drop dead gorgeous view up lake and Dirty Face Peak.