If cabin fever has you feeling trapped this winter, there’s an easy solution – take up winter hiking! You may think that this sounds ridiculous, but it is a tried and true hobby in Washington, where snow can cover the landscape for months at a time. There are many trails that are open nearly year-round, and we’ve cherry picks the best ones for winter hikes for you!
Snow Mountain Ranch
Snow Mountain Ranch is located in central Washington near Yakima. This 9.2 mile round-trip hike has great mountain views and a stunning variety of wildlife to meet while you hike. It’s also dog friendly, as long as they’re on a leash, and an easy enough hike for kids to come along with you if they’re so inclined.
This 1800 acre property was formerly a cattle ranch owned by Elon and Joan Gilbert, and the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy is working to reinvigorate the native plants and animals in the park. You can see a variety of ducks, great horned owls, red tailed hawks and elk that you are able to feed at the top of the mountain. The trail doesn’t require snowshoes, but it could come in handy if the trails are icy.
Hog Canyon Lake
Hog Canyon Lake is located near Spokane and Couer d’Alene, and is one of the only places that you can fish in during the winter. The trail comes up against many private property lines, but as long as you respect the property lines, you shouldn’t run into any trouble.
Many hikers reported having a lot of issues with bugs during the spring and summer, but the shouldn’t be a problem for winter hikers. You will hear the water running under the rocks while you hike, and about a half a mile into the hike you can see a waterfall that looks almost like stepping down a staircase. If it has been cold enough, you might even be able to walk on the lake itself.
This trail is dog friendly.
Cape Horn Trail
Cape Horn Trail is located in Southwest Washington near the Columbia River Gorge. It has stunning views, beautiful waterfalls and amazing rivers. The park also offers guided hikes if you are interested in learning some of the history of the area while you hike around the gorge. The property was originally purchased with a loan to the trust for Public land in order to stop a subdivision from being developed on top of Cape Horn. The outlook on top of the mountain is dedicated to the woman who took out the original loan.
The lower section of this trail is closed from February 1 to July 15 every year because Peregrine falcon’s nest in this area, so keep that in mind if you’re hiking at that time. However, you can still hike up and back without any issue.
If pain is keeping you from participating in outdoor activities you used to enjoy, schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in Olympia or Centralia today. Contact Washington Orthopaedic Center now to learn more, call (800) 342-0205