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Winter Hikes

January 12, 2020

Take a Winter Hike

Settling down with a good book by a crackling fire while wrapped in a fuzzy blanket is wonderful. We cannot deny that. But sooner or later, you’re going to look out the window and want to go on an adventure. We’ve put together some quick advice and a few locations around the Northwest to help you enjoy some outdoor winter fun.

Pack and Dress Appropriately

Depending on where you live, it can be colder, wetter, and windier than you might expect. Be sure you always pack or wear three layers of clothing, such as a wicking base, insulated mid layer, and a waterproof outer shell. This goes for both pants and jackets. And don’t forget to protect your head and neck.

To protect your hands, carry disposable hand warmers along with a good pair of insulated gloves. If you’re tromping through the snow, wear gaiters that go over the top of your boots to keep the snow out along with two layers of socks.

Additional items include

  • Sun Protection for your eyes and skin
  • LED lights or headlamps if you get caught after dark
  • Map, compass or GPS
  • First aid kit
  • Emergency kit (matches, etc.)
  • Energy bars
  • Water (bottles or filter system)


Some years are snowier than others. For snowshoeing enthusiasts, this could be one of the best years on record. Below are a few winter snowshoeing trails to try in your area.

Coastal Tip: If you haven’t experienced snowshoeing, be sure to take a family-friendly class or guided journey at your local snow park or ski area to get acquainted with the sport.

Tumalo Falls (Bend, Oregon)

Bring the whole family for this easy 3-mile hike, and bring the camera because the half-frozen falls are spectacular in the winter. For more information and directions to the trailhead contact the Bend/Fort Rock Ranger District.

Sky Lakes Wilderness (Rocky Point, Oregon)

Take a hike into the southern Oregon woods and see what all the fuss is about. It’s only a 4-mile trek, but you’ll see plenty of nature on your way to the frozen Heavenly Twin Lakes. For information and directions contact the Klamath Ranger District.

White River (Enumclaw, Washington)

This is an easy and beautiful route for novices and experts alike. Enjoy the beauty of nature and the spender of the region. For more information and directions contact the Snoqualmie Ranger District and ask about the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.


Just want to take a quick hike in and around your area? We’ve listed a few of our favorites. Be sure to call ahead and check on weather conditions.

Blue Pool/McKenzie River Trail (McKenzie River Bridge, Oregon)

DUE TO FIRE-RELATED ISSUES,  PORTIONS OF THIS AREA MAY BE INACCESSIBLE. PLEASE VISIT FS.USDA.GOV FOR MORE. This is one of the most beloved trails along the McKenzie Highway. Not only is it an easy hike for all levels of experience, it’s filled with beauty and wonder as well. Once you get to McKenzie River Bridge, drive east of town 14 miles on Highway 126. Look for the signs to the trailhead.

Forest Park (Portland, Oregon)

Portland maintains one of the largest urban forests in the United States at 5,157 acres and over 80 miles of trails. There are entrances to the park all over the city, but for one of the best experiences, take the Ridge Trail. Not for the inexperienced, this 3-mile hike offers an iconic view of St. John’s Bridge (a predecessor to the Golden Gate Bridge).

Riverside State Park (Spokane, Washington)

There’s a huge state park just 10 minutes from downtown Spokane. So get out there and enjoy some spectacular hikes amid over 100-miles of trails. Want a quick and easy hike? Drive out to Bowl and Pitcher Campground at 4427 N. Aubrey Lane White Parkway.

We’re Your Outdoor Experts

Wherever your outdoor adventures are taking you, stop by your nearby Coastal on the way. We have everything you need, including hand warmers, gloves, boots, and more. Or just ask and we’ll help you plan a safe and memorable outing.