Walking in a Winter Wonderland

The first snowshoe trip of the winter took place along the Tieton River just east from the summit of White Pass among towering pines covered with a fresh flocking of snow.  Parking at the Tieton River Sno-Park, I followed the road, breaking trail through about 18 inches of fresh powder as I made my way along the road.  Periods of blue sky made for some nice photographic opportunities.  There weren’t many people on the trail today, I only saw about a dozen people the whole time I was there.  There’s just something about strapping on a pair of snowshoes right after a fresh snowfall that seems to instantly melt all the stresses of everyday life away.  It’s so quite and peaceful in the woods in the wintertime.

Making a fresh snowshoe path in the deep snow along the Tieton River.

Making a fresh snowshoe path in the deep snow along the Tieton River.

The snowshoe trail is really a forest service road that turns into a wonderful winter paradise for cross country skiers and snowshoers who wish to make the trek to the east side of White Pass.  It is mostly flat and a great spot to take beginners and kids for a fun afternoon.  Because the sno-park is a non-motorized sno-park, one isn’t going to come into contact with snowmobilers, so if a quiet day in the snow is what you are seeking, this is the place to go.  Elk and deer like to visit the area and their tracks are evident in the snow as well.

Fresh snow along the Tieton River.

Fresh snow along the Tieton River.

I didn’t go all the way down this road (though from what people told me, there is a bridge crossing the Tieton River in about 4 miles.  Since it was my first snowshoe trip this season, I figured it was better to stick with a shorter option than get 4 miles up trail and have to struggle to get back.  Also, when I came to the junction with Forest Service Road 1207, there was a sign stating that the road was closed ahead due to flood damage so I suspect the bridge is gone.  Maybe I’ll get back up there again and go the 4 miles to find out for myself.  Instead, I turned onto Forest Service Road 1207 and before long, I found a bridge crossing the North Fork of the Tieton River, making for it’s own spectacular winter scene.

The North Fork of the Tieton River.

The North Fork of the Tieton River.

The sun sets early in the mountains in the winter time (well anywhere in Washington this time of year), so before long, it was time to turn around and head back towards the car, but not before snapping a couple of self portraits (let me tell you, it’s fun trying to keep a tripod from sinking in fresh powder – definitely need to come up with a solution for that little problem).

Snowshoeing along the North Fork of the Tieton River

Snowshoeing along the North Fork of the Tieton River

Tieton River Meadows_Dec212012_0073

Time to head back to the trail head.

Until the next adventure…..

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