1. Picture a sled—you’re probably thinking of a Flexible Flyer, an 1889 model now made in China. The birch and steel snow bullet is $80 through Amazon.

2. Tubing is the new sledding, and the Summit at Snoqualmie spoils you rotten with a covered surface lift up its 500-foot incline for a ride down 20-plus tubing lanes. Two-hour entrance runs $22–$28.

3. Between the tubing hill, outdoor skating rink, and Snowshoe-and-Brew tours at Suncadia Resort, it’s a wonder anyone’s ever upright in Cle Elum.

4. Yell “Fore!” Seattle sometimes opens its municipal golf courses to sledders on snow days.

5. Fat bikes (above) can roll many of the same trails as snowshoes and Nordic skis—plus the mondo tires recall the ease of a tricycle. Methow Cycle and Sport rents them for $45 per day.

6. Mount Rainier National Park offers a free snow play area at Paradise, complete with a smoothed-out sledding section—but you earn your ride by hoofing it uphill yourself.

7. The American West Coast’s only ski jump (BC has some) at Leavenworth Winter Sports Club has a 27-meter launch, best attempted in a supervised lesson.

8. "No person…riding a coaster…shall go on the roadway…or engage in any sport, amusement, or exercise or play in the roadway.” —Seattle Municipal code 11.40.250. Bummer.

9. That said, the road down Denny Hill tends to get busy when a few flakes fall. And dangerous.

10. Gas Works Park’s Kite Hill is one of the city’s most popular unofficial sledding spots, but sled lightly; in 1991 a man was gored with rebar at the site mid-slide.


What Your Feet Need for a Snowy Walk in the Woods

Snowshoe Hiking

What: Travel hiking trails even after the snow swallows familiar routes, or traverse meadows you’d never trample in summer. The foot-boats provide float, a good workout, and a chance to cosplay as a nineteenth-century fur trapper.

Where: Any public land covered in snow can be a snowshoe route, but many summer trails cross avalanche-prone terrain. When in doubt, stick to flat, wooded areas or take a ranger-guided ramble at Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, or through many ranger districts. Artist Point near Mount Baker has easy routes to serious views.

How: Three major snowshoe companies are based in Seattle: Tubbs dates back to 1906 and was the first to make a women-specific design, and Atlas builds special V-shaped shoes. MSR models are among the most technical, with some priced as high as $300. Rentals cost about $15 to $25.

Nordic Skiing

What: Best known as “cross-country,” the skinny-ski sport is about moving across terrain on sticks, not whooshing down steeps after a chairlift ride. Don patterned wool sweaters for ultimate Scandinavian style.

Where: You’ll want to be on a groomed trail. The largest network of Nordic tracks in North America, 120 miles in total, crisscrosses the Methow Valley; it’s basically Nordic central. White Pass and Stevens Pass both offer groomed areas near their downhill lifts and Echo Ridge off Lake Chelan has 25 miles of routes.

How: Rentals—skis, boots, and poles—run anywhere from $15 to $40 per day from outdoor shops or ski resorts. Expect to pony up $10 to $24 per day in pass fees for access to the groomed trails. And respect the grooves in the snow; don't step or snowshoe on the pristine ski lanes.

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