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Winter Wonderland

I think I’m a bit of an oddity among my friends and family.  I love snow.  I grew up in Northern Wisconsin where storms often dumped upwards of 12 inches of snow in a matter of hours and it wasn’t uncommon to trudge through 2 or 3 feet just to make it across the yard.  I find shovelling snow rather therapeutic, not to mention good exercise, and consider an hour watching it fall to be an hour well-spent.  Today I’d like to try to lure some non-believers to the snowy side by exploring some of the many activities only available during the snow-filled winter months.

First – for those looking for general information on winter recreation, check out the website for Washington State Parks for more information on the parks, permits, fees, schedules, and more.  If you’re planning a trip to Northern Idaho, check out their visitor’s guide for more information on winter activities.

Washington State Parks

Visit Idaho

Boy Skiing

 

Down-Hill Skiing

This is probably one of the most well-known and easily recognizable winter activities and can be picked up at almost any stage in life.  While newbies take to the bunny hill, veterans of the sport can tackle black-diamond slopes or venture off-grid to pristine peaks that offer unique challenges and glorious rewards.  If you happen to be in our area, why not check out some of our local ski resorts:

Mt. Spokane

Lookout Pass

49 Degrees North

Silver Mountain

Schweitzer Ski Resort

 

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing

For those who don’t like the idea of hurtling down a mountainside at ridiculous speeds without a roll cage, cross-country skiing offers a slower, safer way to see the winter wonderland around us.  This was my go-to winter sport as a kid and is one I’m eager to pick up again this winter.  There are plenty of opportunities for all levels of skill and minimal training needed to get started right.  This year, Spokane is happy to announce a new pilot program of groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking.

Spokane Nordic Ski Association

Spokane City Groomed Trails

 

Fat Bikes

Fat Biking

I know … it’s a silly name, but for those die-hard cyclists out there, winter doesn’t have to mean your adventures end.  There are plenty of trails open to fat bikes around Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, and Sandpoint so if you are looking for something new to try this winter, why not check out one of the following links to find out more.

Fat Biking 101

Spokesman: Snow Biking

 

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Some use snowshoes to help them perform their daily duties as the snow starts to pile up.  Others prefer to hang them above the fireplace and admire them over a steamy cup of hot cocoa.  And then there are those adventurous spirits who need to explore no matter the season and trust their snowshoes to make it possible during the winter months.  Side Note: During high school, some of my earliest weeks of track and field practice were spent on snowshoes as the snow rarely melted before track season started.  I have to say, running sprints in snowshoes looks just as ridiculous as you think it does.

Five Inland NW Snowshoeing Hikes

Mt Spokane Snowshoe Trails

 

Snowmobiling

Snowmobiling

I admit that I’m a little spoiled when it comes to snowmobiling.  Where I grew up, they were as common, if not more common, than cars.  Driving through my hometown, every street sign was accompanied by a smaller version meant for snowmobiles in the winter months.  There were times when snowmobiles were driven to work or school because … well, why not?  That said, the Pacific Northwest is not without opportunities for those looking for a little motorized fun.  Check out the links below for more information.

Upper Priest Lake

Spokesman: Snowmobiling in Northern Idaho

Selkirk Powder

Washington State Sno-Parks: Snowmobiling

Make sure to come back soon for more information on winter sports, basic winter safety, and upcoming events!