Snowshoeing is the least technical and most accessible of all snow sports.

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I LOVE THAT snow is a quick drive from our rainy home base. That said, it’s easy to forget snow is up there. On our grayest days, it can require a vivid imagination to remember mountains sit behind the clouds, covered in fluffy white snow.

I assure you, the snow is there. Most winter days.

Of all the ways to get outside to enjoy a crisp, cold adventure, snowshoeing is the least technical and most accessible of all snow sports. You don’t need lessons to learn how. Pick up some snow shoes and ski poles, bundle up and you can soon be out cutting a path through the forest, admiring a view of snow-coated pines and frozen lakes.

Like any sport, snowshoeing ranges from simple, flat trails that keep the intensity on the moderate side to leg burners that make you work for the view and require some skill to navigate varied terrain.

Snowshoeing requires research to make sure you’re not wandering into an avalanche zone. While you can turn some of your favorite hiking trails into your favorite snowshoe trips, check with the Northwest Avalanche Center ( first. And for all trails, be prepared for variable weather conditions. Call local ranger stations for current snow conditions.

Here are four beautiful options for a walk in a winter wonderland:

Big Four Ice Caves Snowshoe

7 miles round trip, 250 feet elevation gain

This lovely trail is a great introduction to snowshoeing. You will get some mileage in without the sweaty elevation gain, but you won’t sacrifice views. Walk through forests with giant trees, amble past a river and you are rewarded with majestic views of the Big Four peak. Do not snowshoe right up to the mouth of the ice caves, where there is high risk of snow and ice falling.

Diamond Head

Wenatchee National Forest

5 miles round trip, 1,800 feet elevation gain

I’m always drawn in by a spectacular view, and from all accounts, Diamond Head does not disappoint. This snowshoe deep in the Wenatchee National Forest provides stunning views of Diamond Head and Mount Stuart on the horizon. On this trail, snow and sun are likely to show up at the same time, so head out for a spectacular, if somewhat strenuous day.

Talapus Lake

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

8.5 miles round trip, 1,600 feet elevation gain

Turn a summer ol’ reliable off Interstate 90 into an intense winter tromp. This snowshoe starts with a 2.5-mile hike up the road before you reach the trailhead. If you’re not comfortable with scouting for avalanche danger or if avalanche hazard has been reported as moderate or higher, keep your jaunt limited to the road and skip the trail part. If you’re comfortable heading up, you’ll wind through beautiful forest and follow a stream to the lake. Snowslides are most common at the lake basin, so stay alert to avalanche danger as you approach.

Hurricane Hill

Olympic National Park

6 miles round trip, 800 feet elevation gain

Enjoy a sweeping, wintry view of the Olympics by turning this classic hike into a snowshoe. You’ll trek over wide meadows with incredible views, and you might encounter blustery weather. It’s only an 800-foot elevation gain, but you might encounter deep powder, which can make it more challenging. Or, depending on your perspective, more fun.