The Pacific Northwest has a lot of places worth traveling too all year long, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do in the colder months. The White Pass area, the main crossing of the Cascade Mountains in the central part of the state, is home to a lot of winter activities and places to visit.
9 Family Travel Tips for White Pass (When It’s Cold!)
GO SKIING, OF COURSE!
The White Pass Ski Resort sits just 50 miles west of Yakima. It’s absolutely gorgeous up there, and more importantly it provides some great downhill skiing opportunities. There are also cross country skiing opportunities in the area too! Of course, snowboarding can also be done on many of these same ski runs.
RENT A CABIN!
One of the best ways to enjoy your stay in the White Pass area in the winter is by renting a cabin. This gives you the privacy to hunker down on a snowy evening for some great family time. There are a number of cabins in the White Pass area, some are located near others or in small communities, and some are more removed and remote. Cowlitz River Cabins is definitely one place to check out!
The White Pass area is home to some fabulous hiking trails that are very popular during the warmer months. During the colder times of the year, many of these same trails open up for snowshoeing. Getting out on a pair of snowshoes during your White Pass visit can treat you to an incredible time in the quiet backwoods of the Cascade Mountains. This can be an unforgettable experience.
One of the real treats to any winter getaway is getting the chance to stay in for the evening, or even the whole day. This can be done in a cabin, vacation home, lodge, or hotel. Taking the time to stay in can allow your family to have some quality time together watching movies, playing board games, or just enjoying each other’s company. Who knows? There may even be a hot tub you can take advantage of.
GET A BITE TO EAT!
There are some great places to eat in the White Pass area, including up at the ski resort itself, just to the east in Naches, or on the west side of the mountains in Packwood, Randle, or Morton. These small towns offer everything from pubs and cafes to pizza restaurants and hamburger joints. Experienced travelers know that the best food out there is found in locally owned eating establishments.
PLAY IN THE SNOW!
If you’re up in the mountains during the colder months, you can’t go without a little family fun in the snow. There are scenic areas, community parks, and often wide open spaces right at wherever you are lodging where you can have a snowball fight, build a snowman, or make a snow fort. Let your kids’ imaginations run wild as they get out and play in the snow!
TAKE SOME OUTDOOR PHOTOS!
The White Pass area is extremely beautiful and you’ll want to capture some of it on your camera. Find a great view of Mt. Adams or Mt. Rainier! Check out a quaint mountain community setting! Find an old homestead or barn covered in snow! The possibilities are endless and this is a great idea for any photo bug.
There are many miles of groomed trails just waiting for you to explore if you’ve come to the White Pass area with your snowmobiles. This is one of those family activies that can give everyone a real rush. Many of the available trails will also treat you to some incredible views too. The backcountry in the White Pass area is fabulous and there’s no faster way to see it than aboard a snowmobile.
VIEW SOME WILDLIFE!
The White Pass area is home to a lot of wildlife viewing areas, including some located right in the middle of the small communities there, and this can be great fun for kids of all ages. One of the most common wildlife sightings there is of the many elk that call the area home. You’ll find these majestic animals meandering along the highway and even through town. You can also venture east to the Oak Creek Wildlife Area, a managed elk feeding station, and watch them literally come out of the hills to feed. The wildlife of the White Pass area is one of the most underrated reasons for coming to the area.