The holiday season is joyous, but we all know when winter hits, it’s harder to get outside. As sun light becomes sparse, Evergreen Escape Artists become especially cognizant of getting outdoors during the day and soaking up as much light as possible. Since it’s common that winter adventures are chilly, and likely rainy (outside of the mountains), we make sure the outing is going to be worth it. That’s where your trusty, adventurous friends have invaluable tips! Here are our favorite places in the local area to find a pinnacle seasonal view around the holidays.
Location: Copper Creek Hut snowshoe trail
Escape Artist: Sara Solomon
This is an excellent snowshoe trek for families and beginners, ending at a cozy hut that can be reserved overnight or used for a quick stopover/warm up while out and about playing in the snowy winter wonderland. Copper Creek Hut is located near (although outside of) Mount Rainier National Park and is part of the Mount Tahoma Trails Association (MTTA) No Fee Hut-to-Hut Trail system.
Location: Mirror Lake looking north east at Mt. Hood
Escape Artist: Kelsey Ivey
I love this view of snow capped Mt. Hood in the winter. It is a short snow-shoe hike and if you go mid-week or early in the morning you can sometimes get the trail to yourself!
Location: Golden Gardens
Escape Artist: Seamus Hogg
Every January a group of incendiary enthusiasts meet at Golden Gardens beach for one purpose – to set fire to their Christmas trees. The pines burn like effigies to the holidays, sending ashes into the dark sky as fading ghosts of Christmas past. It’s an illuminating sight, one last burst of holiday warmth before we settle into the crisp remaining months of winter!
Location: View of Mount Baker atop of Panoramic Dome “Pan Dome”
Escape Artist: Campbell Diebolt
The view of Mount Baker from this particular perspective encapsulates the mountains sheer immensity, beauty and unforgiving nature which forces its admirers (myself) to pay their respects to Mother Nature and the playground that she has so generously provided for us to enjoy and protect. And, the skiing in the foreground of the picture is tremendously fun to play on with your ripper skiing buds. Shred heavy folks!
Location: Seattle Waterfront looking west towards the Olympic Mountains
Escape Artist: Troy Hightower
The Olympic Peninsula is a spectacular backdrop for Seattle any time of year. However, in my opinion, the winter is when this scenery reaches its full potential. To look out across the sound and see beautiful snowy peaks jetting out of the horizon, you see the full spectrum of our temperate landscape. The salty sound, up to the temperate forests, into the alpine landscape with rocky, mountainous peaks sitting on top, like a crown. If you happen to be up early enough to catch a sunrise view, you can watch the snowy peaks change colors as the sun begins to rise.
Location: Gold Creek Basin
Escape Artist: Barbara Joseph
I love the ease and affordability of strapping on snowshoes for a stroll in the mountains. This was a snowshoe hike that stands out. At the summit of Snoqualmie Pass is a very accessible trail to Upper and Lower Gold Creek Basin and if you’re lucky enough to be above the cloud cover on a given day, the sun makes the snow sparkle incredibly. It’s a flat trail, so it’s great for beginners and visitors to Seattle!
Escape Artist: Kirsten Gardner
Location: Gold Myer Hot Springs
My favorite holiday views are green, not white. I love how the rain showers this time of year renew the lushness of the forest and enhance the various shades of green, from bright lime-colored lady ferns to the jade-hued Sitka spruce that clings to cliffs along the Olympic Coast . Many of Seattle’s best hiking trails at lower elevation stay relatively snow free year-round and if you have good rain gear, and boots, there is no excuse to stay indoors. My pick? The hike to Goldmyer Hot Springs, located along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. After a five mile walk through the woods, including patches of impressive old-growth forest, cross a log bridge and enter the private wilderness preserve where the hot springs are located. An uphill hike past massive Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars (some over 900 years old) brings you to the changing platform and the hot springs, the source of which is found in the back of a cave. Settle into the hot waters and relax at the mouth of the cave to soak in the view of waterfalls, rivers and greenery in front of you, or close your eyes and enjoy the quiet melody of raindrops or possibly snowflakes making their hushed landings on the surrounding forest.