Volcano Stomp: Ringing in the New Year Pacific Northwest Style

I didn’t stay up late to watch television so I could see the famous ball drop in New York City’s Times Square. I didn’t get drunk on champagne or stay out all night dancing. I didn’t even stay up late playing Scrabble.

Nope, I went to bed around 9 p.m. so I’d be ready to head for the hills & hit the slopes this morning.

By the time I got to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park in the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (the famous Washington State volcano that blew its top in 1980 and is still active) at around 10:30 a.m., snowshoes & camera ready for action, there were already a few cars (mostly Subarus) in the lot & snowmobiles buzzing around on their designated tracks.

But after about a mile, the ski/snowshoe trail diverged from the snowmobile track and we settled in for a peaceful hike to June Lake, described here: https://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/waterfall/June-Lake-Falls-5264 

We got lucky with a brilliant bluebird sky, packed snow and no wind. Winter conditions in the western Cascade Mountains aren’t typically so mild — or sunny. 2018 definitely started out right!

With my day pack full of gatorade, sandwiches & other gear, I was thankful to have my lightweight Fuji X-T1 along. Unfortunately, the new telephoto lens I ordered recently hasn’t arrived yet & I wasn’t able to get good shots of the adorable water ouzel (American dipper) or the flashy kingfisher feeding in the lake. I look forward to testing the lens (XC 50-230mm F4.5-6.7) soon on another adventure.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest or are planning a winter visit, be sure to check out our many snowshoe opportunities — such a perfect activity for photographers wanting to escape to unique and out-of-the way locations.

Beginner to Backcountry: Snowshoe Hikes for Everyone

Don’t let winter stop you from getting outdoors. You can get outside every single weekend on snow-free lowland hikes, but sometimes you just want to breathe some alpine air and play in the snow. Whether you’ve snowshoed for years, or are just experimenting with the sport, you’ll find some ideas of where to head out below.

8 Places to Snowshoe in the Pacific Northwest

Opportunities abound in the Pacific Northwest for winter exploration. (Bob Wick, BLM) The peace and tranquility of a snowy day is best discovered when you head outside and experience it. Wildlife, thickets of fir, spruce and pines, a frozen river’s edge-this is where the adventure begins!



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