Snowshoeing is exploding in the Puget Sound area. It's an outdoor activity with the lowest barrier to entry for those who want to get out into a winter wonderland in the Pacific Northwest. How do we know it’s gaining in popularity? The last few weekends have seen the downtown REI sold out of rental snowshoes. The parking lots around popular trails near Seattle are bursting with cars every weekend. Snowshoeing doesn’t require the financial investment in equipment that skiing does, and is open to a wide range of ages and abilities. If you can walk, and have some decent winter outdoor clothing, you can snowshoe.
If you do want to invest in some equipment--rather than renting snowshoes--we love the MSR Evo Snowshoe kit. For just $199, you get a pair of 22-inch snowshoes, collapsible trekking poles (these will make all the difference as you navigate through the deep stuff), a little foam seat for snowy sitting and a roll top carry bag/backpack to carry some light gear and the 10 essentials you should have with you whenever you head out for an outdoor adventure. It’s all courtesy of local company (and snowshoe experts) MSR. All you need is a sturdy pair of winter boots (waterproof is best, but not required), and you can strap on your snowshoes and easily make tracks through the snow.
Not quite ready to go out on your own? We recommend the ranger and volunteer led snowshoe trips from Snoqualmie Pass. You can choose from a wide variety of experiences, from a 90 minute walk to a photography jaunt to a walk with kids. (Note: snowshoes are provided suggested donations range from $15-$25.) But why not get your own Evo kit, and be ready to access the amazing views and terrain from our local snow parks and hiking trails? Hint: this would make a great gift for any of your outdoorsy friends and family!
Available at area REI stores including 222 Yale Ave N, Seattle, 206.223.1944, and MSRgear.com