EVERETT — New winter interpretive programs on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest will take visitors cross-country skiing at the Snoqualmie Pass ski area and snowshoeing in the Mt. Baker area.
Cross-country skiers will need intermediate skills. Meet at Grand Junction on the Nordic ski trail system out of Summit East Ski area.
Trips are offered Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to noon. The program is free, but participants will need a ski area trail pass to enter Grand Junction. Rangers will explain winter wildlife and plants, snow safety and the environment.
The Mt. Baker guided snowshoe hikes start in February and offer 90-minute trips at Heather Meadows and approximately two-hour tours up Hannegan Road, off the Mt. Baker Highway.
Rangers will discuss the area’s history, winter ecosystems and wildlife.
As with all snowshoe programs, no experience is necessary and snowshoes are provided. Participants should wear layered and insulated clothing, sturdy, waterproof shoes, hats and gloves.
To offset the costs of the program, a donation of $10 per person is suggested. For the extended hike and photography outing at Snoqualmie Pass, $20 is requested.
Mt. Baker snowshoe hikes
Make reservations by calling the Glacier Public Service Center between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, 360-599-271; or the Mt. Baker Ranger District Office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays, 360-856-5700, ext. 515.
Heather Meadows 90-minute walk
11 a.m. Saturday, Feb.18, 19, 25, 11 a.m. Meet at upper Mt. Baker Ski Area parking lot by the Bagley Lakes Trailhead. Learn about area history, winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety. Group size: 15.
11 a.m., Feb. 11. Meet at the Shuksan Picnic Area at the base of the Hannegan Road, milepost 46.5 off the Mt. Baker Highway, SR 542. Learn about area history, winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety. Group size: 15.
Snoqualmie Pass Ski, snowshoe
No reservations are necessary. Participants must have intermediate skiing skills. Meet at Grand Junction on the Nordic ski trail out of Summit East Ski area at 10:30 a.m Sundays. The program is free, but participants will need a ski area trail pass to access Grand Junction. For more information, call 425-434-6111 or 425-434-7669. Learn about the history of the area, the winter ecosystem and wildlife.
The 90-minute walk and extended snowshoe trips run through March 31; the winter photography and ecology outings run through March 31; and the “Kids in the Snow” program are Saturday through March 31. Make reservations at 425-434-6111. Trips for special events and school groups can be scheduled. Meet 15 minutes early at the visitor’s center off I-90, exit 52 on Snoqualmie Pass.
Interpretive 90-minute walk
Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Learn about winter ecosystem, wildlife and safety. Group size: 20.
Extended half-day hikes
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m. Experience Commonwealth Basin in the winter surrounded by the Cascade crest peaks. Group size: 10.
Winter photography &ecology outings
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18; March 3, 17, 31. Capture winter nature on photographs while learning about ecology. Group size: 6.
Kids in the snow
1 p.m. Saturday through March 31. Earn a Junior Ranger Snow badge. Learn about tracking, crawl into a snow cave and check out a snow crystal with a magnifier. Group size: 20.