The sun is setting early, and the temperatures are finally dropping, which means that winter has finally found its way to town again! And yes, the fire is oh-so delightful this time of year, and it’s tempting to hide under the covers and hibernate with the bears. Still, when there are so many fun wintertime activities near Lewis County, no one can resist taking advantage of the seasons changing and having some fun in the snow!
Plan a Staycation at Great Wolf Lodge
20500 Old Hwy 99 SW, Centralia
During the hot summer days, Great Wolf Lodge may be known far and wide as everyone’s favorite indoor water park and resort, but when the cold sets in, it transforms into a winter wonderland known as Snowland. The annual holiday celebration runs from late November until mid-January and is filled with special seasonal events, winter activities, crafts, visits from Santa Claus himself, and much more.
Snow Globes further enhance the experience as families huddle together in mock igloos complete with a hot cocoa bar with all the fixings, as well as a cookie decorating kit for the kiddos and plenty of games to enjoy while you’re also immersed in a just-for-you glittering 30-minute light show featuring dancing lights choreographed to music.
Immerse Yourself in Winter at Crystal Mountain Resort
33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd., Enumclaw
From scenic gondola rides to skiing, snowboarding, RVing, and camping, there’s much to do in the winter at Crystal Mountain Resort. There’s so much going on that their calendar of events practically has the whole itinerary covered for you! For skiers and snowboarders, there’s a vast terrain to explore, full of steep descents, snow-filled bowls, and the best and longest tree skiing in the Northwest.
Those interested in snowshoeing are welcome to explore the mountain on foot on any of their six new snowshoe trails in the Bullion Basin area, each with varying difficulty, from easy-going slopes to steep climbs. Those looking to practice before hitting the slopes can head over to Crystal Terrain Parks, where they’ll find fun and creative features for all ages to practice on. Night skiing and snowboarding are even offered during the weekends from December through February, making for a truly unique and memorable experience. Simply spend the day on the mountain or bring the RV and take advantage of the resort’s 30 and 50-amp hookups to accommodate such vehicles.
Ride the White Waves of Snow While Skiing at White Pass Ski Area
48935 US-12, Naches
There’s a whole new winter wonderland playground to discover at White Pass Ski Area, where they’re offering epic winter adventures. Whether you prefer to dive into steeps off the West Ridge or explore Pigtail Peak’s epic front side, their relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere is perfect for skiers and riders of all skill levels and abilities.
Anyone looking to learn or improve their techniques can even sign up for lessons, and before hitting the slopes, skiers can get their eyes on the mountain through their various mountain cams to devise the best plan to board. Those looking to make a getaway from this grand skiing adventure can also enjoy multiple nearby lodging options. Additional dining options are also along the mountainside, perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Enjoy Sledding and Tubing at Paradise Snowplay Area
Nothing says winter fun like trips to Mt. Rainier, so there’s now a cozy little spot located north of the upper parking lot at Paradise that has become a designated Snowplay Area for sledding and tubing. Open during weekends and school breaks in the winter, the Snowplay Area is the one established area in the park where sledding is permitted with “soft” sliding devices such as flexible sleds, inner tubes, and saucers.
Families can experience the joy of zooming around as they slide down mounds of snow at no charge except for the fee to enter the beloved national park of Mt. Rainier. Be sure to check that the sledding area is open before heading up the mountain.
Snowy Mountain Hikes Provide Spectacular Seasonal Views
Of course, enjoying wintertime exercise isn’t mutually exclusive to sledding, tubing and skiing. Those looking for a more laid-back and relaxed activity can still enjoy hiking during the wintertime months. As an added bonus, these snowy mountain winter hikes provide spectacular seasonal views of the breathtaking Pacific Northwest.
Places like Narada Falls further illuminate the silent solitude of the snow-covered hills as you approach to hear nothing but the echoes of the water cascading down the cliffside, making for a quiet, serene and peaceful trek during the season.
Hunker Down With Lodging at Mt. Rainier
With ranger-guided snowshoe walks, sledding at Paradise, and ample opportunities for snowboarding and skiing at Mount Rainier, it’s hard to imagine fitting all those activities into one day! Thankfully, plenty of dedicated lodges scattered across the mountainside are more than happy to accommodate those looking to hunker down and enjoy those pristine snow-covered views for days on end.
Remember, hibernating is for the bears, so strap on those snow boots, put on some gloves, and head outside into a one-of-kind, action-packed winter wonderland near Lewis County and enjoy all the fun, favorite wintertime activities! They only come once a year, so take advantage of the season while you still can!