Snowshoe Routes: Washington
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2015 Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
My friend and I headed to the trail for the first time. It was nice to see other shoe-ers walking by I-90, so that made it easy to find. After a whole bunch of uphill, we were rewarded with a beautiful view of creeks, ice sculptures, and waterfalls. We only passed 5 people in the three hours we were there, and we were so happy to have tried some place new. The bathrooms were blocked by about 8 feet of snow at the beginning of the trail, so go before you go!
One of the first snowshoe trails of the season to open up, this outing was excellent with new fresh powder, and not a soul in sight. This trail allows for much more solitude and options than the nearby Source/Snow lake trails. Enjoy Delate meadows and hike up to Red Pond if conditions permit.
On December 15, two intrepid souls and one trepid soul (me) brought ourselves and our shoes to the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, for an attempted run at Commonwealth Basin. Two of us had never been on snowshoes before, and the third is a veteran of the dry powder of Montana.
Our inquries as to where Commonwealth Basin was got us nowhere, but we ventured onto a good-looking trailhead just north of the inner-tubing area at the summit. The snow was good, the day was cloudy but not too windy, and we had about three hours of good tramping time up and down the ridge and along what turned out to be Commonwealth Creek.
We met some backcountry experts, one with a convertible snowboard that turns into a makeshift pair of skis, who told us we were on the correct trail to the basin, so we stayed on it and descended into a beautiful snow-covered valley. The snow kept coming, the weather wasn’t cold as long as we were moving, and we had a great time in the backcountry, just a few yards off the highway.
This was my first time on snowshoes, so I have no basis for comparison, but I felt like writing about it anyway.
Sign in/up to upload photos.