Where can I play in snow now near Seattle?

I don’t know about you, but once December hits I get SUPER pumped about all things snow!! My snow dance is strong. This time of year, we definitely have snow around but don’t always have enough snow for things like skiing, snowshoeing and sledding, including this year. I went to scope the snow at Snoqualmie pass this past weekend and while there is some snow for sure, not enough for skiing and snowshoeing close to town, though the next big storm will change that! This weekend looks like it might start to bring in a bit of snow  so this will probably all change very soon! Sunday looks like it will start to bring in some snow! If you’re looking to get out all winter, taking advantage of snow is key. We already covered getting started with Snowshoeing and we will cover getting started with cross country skiing in the near future. And, remember that you can always do one of these hikes that are awesome any day of the year, any season. Keep in mind that the ideas below are specific to the conditions at the time of writing, and will change from year to year on the same date, as well as day to day right now. In general these are good ideas for early season snow (which could be anytime in November and December, most years). So, where can I play in snow now near Seattle?? Here you go!

early season snow near seattle
Early season snow near Snoqualmie pass
  • Snoqualmie Pass: The downhill ski areas are not open yet, neither is the tubing hill and the cross country ski grooming has not started yet (unless you’re game to hike up a bit to the snow). I just did a hike there this past weekend and since this week is turning out cold and sunny, it looks like Sunday as the soonest more could fall. The upside is that the few inches already there won’t be melting so you could at least tromp around and build a snowman! You could try parking at Alpental and walking along the service road at the base of the ski runs (which will soon be closed for snow). You could also walk around Gold Creek Pond (not enough snow quite yet for snowshoeing but you can do a slightly snowy hike) or Kendall Peak lakes, which might involve hiking a bit with snowshoes but being able to wear them higher up
  • Paradise, Mt Rainier National Park: It’s a longer drive and the snowplay/sledding area is not open yet (there needs to be sufficient snow coverage to protect the fragile meadow), it typically opens mid to late December (but depends on snowfall). Meanwhile you could still enjoy walking around Paradise and probably even justifiy putting snowshoes on!
  • Stevens Pass: The ski area is also not open yet, but you could enjoy a hike on the Pacific Crest trail from the parking lot, including some snow frolicking and possibly enough for snowshoeing!
  • Crystal Mountain: If you want to get downhill skiing, a few runs are already open at Crystal Mountain!
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Jennie Flaming
Jennie Thwing Flaming, Chief Adventure Officer: Jennie's life has been a continual quest for adventure (of the non-adrenalin inducing kind) from birth till now. Professionally, she pursues adventures in teaching, counseling and working to obliterate institutional racism for students in our region's public schools and also works as a tour and hiking guide. Previous professional adventures include working in schools in Seattle and Alaska, leading tours and managing tour guides and traveling science shows and lessons with Pacific Science Center. She is working to earn a living outside and by sharing her beautiful and unique Pacific Northwest home with visitors. She likes to be outdoors and spend time with the people she loves. Jennie is born and raised in Seattle and has also lived in Alaska and the Netherlands.