Before you head out to cross-country ski, snowshoe, snowmobile or just play in the snow on state lands this winter, be sure you have the right permit or pass. In some cases winter recreationists will need a Sno-Park Permit or a Discover Pass – or even both.
If you want to go to DNR-managed winter recreation areas east of the Cascades such as Ahtanum, Lily Lake or Rattlesnake, then a Discover Pass is what you need. The annual Discover Pass is $30 and a day-use pass is $10, plus transaction and dealer fees.
A seasonal Sno-Park permit ($40) gives you access to Sno-Parks managed by State Parks and the DNR-managed Mount Tahoma Trail System.
Things get a little complicated if you just purchase a one-day Sno-Park Permit ($20) and plan to head to certain Sno-Parks. In those cases, you’ll also need a one-day or annual Discover Pass. This applies to the following areas:
Crystal Springs, Hyak and Easton Reload sno-parks, as well as Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Fields Spring, Mount Spokane state parks and the Mount Tahoma Trail System.
For more information and updates on conditions at Mount Tahoma Ski Trails, visit the Mount Tahoma Trails Association website at skimtta.com. The volunteer nonprofit organization maintains a network of 50 miles of trails, 20 miles of which are groomed, three huts and a yurt.
For information on all other sno-parks, visit the Washington State Parks’ winter recreation web page at parks.wa.gov/winter.
A WINNING PHOTO
A photo of the Little Missouri River, taken by a Kennewick woman, won the first “Picture Yourself in Theodore Roosevelt National Park” photo contest and will be placed on the park’s 2013 annual pass.
Kim Wehner took the photograph from the Wind Canyon Overlook in the park’s South Unit.
The top 10 photos in the contest were displayed in the park’s South Unit Visitor Center. They can be seen on the park’s flickr page at flickr.com/photos/thronps.
National park visitation
November 2012: 28,224
November 2011: 31,614
Difference: -10.7 percent
Year-to-date 2012: 1,032,267
Year-to-date 2012: 1,018,062
Difference: 1.4 percent
Poor weather can be blamed for the decline in visitation last month. Rain in the lowlands kept people home for the most part. The count also was the lowest since November 2006, the month the park was shut down following historic flooding.
November 2012: 83,363
November 2011: 91,620
Difference: -9 percent
Year-to-date 2012: 2,712,426
Year-to-date 2011: 2,887,656
Difference: -6.1 percent
Road issues on U.S. Highway 101 along Lake Crescent might have contributed to a 16.8 percent decline in November recreation visits compared with last year at the same time. November’s count also was the lowest for the month in more than five years. In 2008, the count for November was 157,669 visitors.
Park Service total
November 2012: 15,961,589
November 2011: 16,288,789
Difference: -2.01 percent
Year-to-date 2012: 274,459,294
Year-to-date 2011: 265,978,675
Difference: 3.19 percent
Source: National Park Service