Winter in Washington’s Playground is a busy time of year. With so many different ways to enjoy our snowy mountains, the hard part is deciding what to do. Fear not winter traveler, you can easily manage to pack in as many sports as you like!
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding at either Stevens Pass or Mission Ridge have been family traditions for decades. Choose from dozens of different chairs and runs to suit your skiing style. From perfect groomers to deep tree skiing, these two very different mountains have something for everyone. Both mountains have terrain parks for the more adventurous souls. Stevens and Mission are ski areas, without lodging on site, so book your lodging in Leavenworth for Stevens or Wenatchee or Lake Chelan for Mission Ridge. Both are close to the slopes and have full amenities. Leavenworth Ski hill and Echo Valley Ski Area both have downhill skiing, snow dependent. These rope tow hills may not be big in acres, but they make up for it with small town hospitality.
Cross country skiing is a lifestyle here in Washington’s Playground. Hundreds of miles of tracks and trail take off in every direction, providing all levels of challenge wither you skate or classic ski. Leavenworth Winter Sport’s Club is a small town ski hill that has produced Olympic athletes and introduced generations of kids to the joys of winter fun. With three different ski venues, Leavenworth will keep you moving over snow whether it’s out at the popular fish hatchery trails or along a frozen river at the Leavenworth Golf Course. Adventurous XC skiers will love Ski Hill’s steeper trails, full of ups and downs to keep your speed. Everyone loves the night skiing under the lights! Echo Valley in Lake Chelan gets less snow than Leavenworth, but the high desert location gives visitors a one of a kind view of thousands of square miles. Located high above the Lake, Echo Valley leaves visitors feeling like they are on top of a snowy island in a sea of rolling white hills.
Tubing and sledding is the simplest way to get on the snow and every run down is a thrill ride for both kids and adults alike. There are several popular sledding areas including Leavenworth Ski Hill’s Tube Run, a special rope tow that hauls thrill seekers up to the top of a steep fast run to the bottom. Leave your tubes at home for this one, Ski Hill has their own special tubes. One of the most unique sledding hills ever is the town park in downtown Leavenworth. Kids love this one! Tube or sled under a million Christmas lights in this enchanting mountain town. Chelan tubers should head to Echo Valley Ski Area, they have a hill perfect for all day snow play! One final note: Neither Stevens Pass or Mission Ridge allow tubing or sledding, sorry kids!
Snowshoeing takes you places! Wander through the trees and along the rivers and roads or just pause and enjoy the silence that winter brings to the forest. Snowshoeing opportunities are nearly endless, with trails and roads heading out in every direction. Popular with winter travelers, modern snowshoes give support and traction when tracking through deep fresh snow. You can explore the joys of snowshoeing as part of a guided tour at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. Otherwise, all roads and trails lead to a world of winter exploration for users familiar with winter backcountry travel.
Snowmobiling is one of the fasting growing sports around, or at least the fastest going! You don’t have to be a speed demon to enjoy snowmobiling though, there are hundreds of miles of sno-park trails and roads in Washington’s Playground, with major areas including Lake Wenatchee, Entiat River Valley, Lake Chelan and all points in between. You can rent or join a backcountry tour with quality outfitters based out of Leavenworth or Lake Chelan.