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Does Snow on the Trail Get You (to Fall) Down?

Check out these bare trails if you’re tired of slipping and sliding.

By Allison Williams June 30, 2011

Snow boots? We don’t need no stinkin’ snow boots on Shi Shi Beach.

Snow? Still? It’s almost July! This year’s late-melting snowpack has been endangering hikers across the Northwest, including one badly hurt woman at Denny Creek this weekend.

There’s still snow at Mount Rainier’s Paradise, even patches at Hurricane Ridge in the Olympics (check out those webcams). Sunrise Visitor Center at Rainier won’t open until July 8, when outdoor enthusiasts will see “massive amounts of snow, due to near record snowfall this winter,” according to the Visit Rainier executive director Mary Kay Nelson.

So pack your crampons and toboggan on that day hike—or, even better, stick to lowland hikes until late summer. Here are some of our snow-free favorites:

Shi Shi Beach There’s no snow on the beach, silly. But after getting sand in uncomfortable places, you may miss the quick-to-melt slippery stuff.

Tiger Mountain According to the Washington Trails Association trip reports, there’s mud but no snow on West Tiger 3, the lowest of the mountain’s peaks with a 2,000-foot elevation gain.

Boulder River Trail This North Cascades hike took a beating in winter weather, with blowdowns and mud holes around every turn, but the waterfalls are a thing of beauty. Step carefully.

Discovery Park Our poor hometown wilderness got a bad rap on The Killing, and while we don’t recommend the 534-acre space after dark, it’s a relatively dry destination during the day.

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