Things to do in Washington during Winter

Things to do in Washington during Winter (1)

Washington State is one of the most beautiful places to experience an unforgettable Winter Wonderland. The snow covers the mountaintops of conifers and the Pacific Ocean staves off the freezing temperatures you could feel when you live in Idaho as well as Montana. The state is alive during winter and has a chance to experience an array of colors in an area already rich in natural beauty.

As other nomadic travelers head south during the holiday winter in Washington is among my favorite seasons. Here are my top Things to do in Washington during Winter:-

Things to do in Washington during Winter

1. Warm Up In Hot Spring

Washington’s location at the edge of the Pacific plate, also known as the “Ring of Fire”–gives the rise to thermal hot springs that are naturally and are heated by magma under the crust of the Earth. There’s nothing better in winter months than slogging across the snow until a hot pool before taking a hot bath in the middle of the snowdrift.


The hot springs were discovered in the Stevens Pass railway construction project in 1880, Scenic Hot Springs was extensively abused by skiers over the years before it was placed into private ownership. The site is now in pristine condition, Scenic Hot Springs benefits more from the restrictions of 10 visitors per day. 

Scenic Hot Springs may require snowshoes for access during winter. However, if you can brave the snowy conditions and are treated to natural hot tubs that range in temperature from 102-109 degrees Fahrenheit. These hot tubs are located at the top of cliffs with stunning views of snow-capped peaks, and the cedar, fir, and pine forest stretching for miles.

Covid Update: As a result of the Covid-19 law and Governor. Inslee’s state-wide reopening plan, Scenic Hot Springs is currently closed to the public. The hot springs probably won’t be open to visitors until King County has completed Phase 3 in the plan to reopen.


The area is secluded within the Cascades 25 miles from North Bend, Goldmyer Hot Springs is the reward you get for a 4.5-mile hike through the old-growth forest. Named in honor of one of Seattle’s early settlements, the hot springs are connected to a waterfall that flows down a cave that is 30 feet in height. Bathing in the sun is permitted in this area.

As many as 20 people a day are able to enjoy the Goldmyer Hot Springs, which can range from 104-111 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to reserve your space prior to the time of your visit and purchase the required Northwest Forest Pass.

What you’ll need

Washington is home to numerous hiking opportunities. The adventure doesn’t end even when it gets cold too. A different side of Washington is displayed during the winter months, with views of deep blue, green, and white which beg to be photographed and enjoyed.

A few considerations to keep in mind for Winter hiking …

Choose a hike at LOWER ELEVATIONS

At higher elevations — the mountains trails Washington hikers love and know well–snow can build up to 20 feet or more and make trails inaccessible without skis or snowshoes. Additionally, since a large portion of the roads in the forest isn’t cleared during winter, trails’ trailheads will not be accessible. Between November to May, it’s better to choose low-lying trails.

Lake Blanca in late November and before the lake began to freeze over. Be sure to verify the conditions prior to embarking on a winter excursion. 


If the temperature drops and the weather gets colder, proper clothing becomes a matter of security and not just an aesthetic choice. Dress appropriately to hike in winter. This includes:

  • A moisture-wicking base layer.
  • It’s a blanket and a fluffy middle layer that keeps you warm.
  • Wind-resistant outer layers, such as a Gore-Tex jacket and softshell rain pants.
  • Durable water-proof trekking boots.
  • Warm moisture-wicking socks. I would always suggest wool.
  • Balaclava or beanie–the majority of the heat that we expel from our bodies goes through our heads.
  • Gloves and mittens that are waterproof.


The clothes you wear aren’t the only item you should pack to ensure an enjoyable and safe hike. Other gears you should consider taking for your winter hike include:

  • Snowshoes, crampons, and/or microspikes.
  • Gaiters.
  • Poles for hiking.
  • Ten Essentials Ten Essentials

Always check the conditions of your train and report first

The spring and winter months in the Northwest are challenging seasons for snowshoers and hikers. The weather, temperature snow conditions, temperatures, and dangers can drastically change over the course of a few days. The most crucial thing you should do prior to any hike especially prior to the start of a Washington winter hike is to study the trip reports for the trail you’re heading to. The reports can be found on the Washington Trails Association website as well as on the AllTrails website.

Related: 15 Things to do in NewYork during Winter

What is the best place to hike in the winter months:

  • Heybrook Lookout
  • Franklin Falls
  • Barclay Lake
  • Sol Duc Falls
  • Hoh River Trail
  • East Peak Rattlesnake Trail
  • For more choices, check out the list below of the top Spring Hikes in Washington. The majority of Washington Spring hikes lie located at lower elevations and could be accessible in winter, too.

2. Hire A Cozy Cabin In The Woods

Perhaps you’d prefer to take in the views of Washington winter from an opaque double-paned window drinking a cup of hot cocoa or coffee in your cozy robe while the flames blaze in the fireplace of a cozy cabin that you rented to spend the weekend.

Things to do in Washington during Winter
Things to do in Washington during Winter

A myriad of parks and mountain towns have a vast choice of cabins that are available for holiday rentals for the day, week, or month. There are cabins to rent on websites like Airbnb and VRBO. There are cabins that are located in an old-fashioned neighborhood or a cabin set in the forest with no other trees to serve as neighbors.

Tye Haus lies in the exclusive cabin neighborhood of Timber Lane Village just outside of Skykomish, WA. The Getaway’s Pacific Northwest Outpost is an assortment of tiny cabins tucked away within Glenwood, Washington.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

15 Magical Things to do in Michigan during Winter

Michigan residents know the meaning of the winter