Live in the Yakima Valley - Snowshoeing 101


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Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy.  The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.



Snowshoeing 101

Snowshoeing 101

February 03, 2014

While the snow continues to fall on the east coast, our own area is dealing with a range of mixed seasonal emotions.   It is a bit depressing to not have at least a little snow around here.    I am personally ready for a bough laden, icicle hanging, good old fashioned, snow ball making blizzard, (for a couple of hours any way).  When nature doesn’t give you what you want (in my case, snow!), grab your snowshoes and head to the mountains!

Don’t know where to start, the Washington Trails Association has everything you need to get you off on the right foot; from trail recommendations, guided tours, condition updates, and safety tips, you’ll go from snowshoeing ‘beginner’ to ‘experienced’ in no time.

White Pass is also another great resource close to home that has an exceptional trail as well as rentals and passes all for a reasonable price.

And should the weather finally cooperate and dump some snow on our Valley, there are plenty of trails in our own back yard:  Yakima Canyon Skyline TrailCowiche CanyonMt. ClemensSnow Mountain Ranch, and Umtanum Canyon (all of which are great for winter hiking with or without snow).

Gear needed for snowshoeing:

  • Snow Shoes – rentborrowpurchase
  • Insulated, waterproof boots are best, but leather hiking boots work especially if they are water proof
  • Wool or synthetic socks
  • Gaiters can be extremely helpful to keep pants dry, or snow pants
  • Layers – snow shoeing is a workout and you can work up a sweat
  • Gloves and a hat
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen will help keep you protected from rays that can get especially bright when reflected off the snow
  • Poles can also be useful if you are walking through deep or fresh powder

Local Resources:  Sport Haus | White Pass | Washington Trails Association | Cowiche Canyon Conservancy

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"My husband and I were actually looking for a vacation property in the Yakima area. We fell in love with the community, quit our jobs and moved here from Seattle." - Theresa Pritchard, Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital