Washington opens 5 more snow parks to prevent crowding

Feb 26, 2021, 12:44 PM | Updated: 2:07 pm

Oldman Pass. (Washington State Parks)...

Oldman Pass. (Washington State Parks)

(Washington State Parks)

As entertainment options continue to be limited during the coronavirus pandemic, Washingtonians are heading to outside to blow off some steam and play in the snow.

To ease crowding, Washington State Parks opened four temporary snow play areas and one new permanent Sno-Park.

Three of the temporary play areas are along the I-90 corridor: 29 Pines, Easton Reload, and the Cle Elum River Campground.

29 Pines has an easy 1-mile snowshoe trail that can be used to connect with longer routes on Jungle Creek Road, or you can just play in the snow. It’s located north of Cle Elum and has up to 30 parking spaces in the Teanaway Community Forest.

Easton Reload is a good place to flop down and make snow angels, throw snowballs or build a snow creature. It’s adjacent to the Easton Reload motorized Sno-Park and is two miles south of Lake Easton State Park off I-90 exit 71. There are 60 parking spots available.

At the Cle Elum River Campground, you can snowshoe on a short trail along the river. If you aren’t afraid of sitting in the cold, you could eat lunch at a picnic table or keep moving and just play in the snow. There’s room for as many as 30 cars to park along a plowed road.

In southwest Washington, Oldman Pass has a sledding hill and 25 miles of ski trails to and around lakes with beautiful views of Mount Adams. It’s north of the Columbia River and the town of Carson with 25 parking spots available.

The new permanent Sno-Park, Silver Star, opened in the Methow Valley this winter. The parks department said the area is good for experienced snowmobilers and alpine touring skiers, with 5 miles groomed track before riders and skiers hit the backcountry. Visitors should have avalanche knowledge and proper gear to safely ride the sometimes rough terrain. It’s northwest of Winthrop off SR 20, but when SR 20 closes every winter, it can be reached by north or south US Highway 97 and westbound SR 20. Park officials said visitors should check avalanche and mountain forecasts before heading to Silver Star.

For more information on these snow areas and other parks along I-90, visit this link.

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