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Winter Recreation In WA

Families and winter sports enthusiasts may make the most of the colder months by participating in a range of pleasant snow activities provided by the Winter Recreation Program of Washington State Parks. The term “evergreen” may only be used for a portion of the state of Washington. Ranges like the Cascade, Olympic, Blue, and Selkirk all provide excellent chances for outdoor winter activities, and each of these mountains has its distinct personality.



Numerous locations around the state provide a variety of winter sports and activities, including downhill and cross-country snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, skijoring, dog sledding, and tubing. Washington State Parks administers this program in collaboration with other state agencies, private landowners, and federal agencies. It is implemented in seven national forests in addition to blocks of state and private forest land. The fact that five necessary highway passes will remain available to regular traffic throughout the winter has facilitated access to recreational destinations and trailheads.


Winter Recreation In WA


The Winter Recreation Program is responsible for the upkeep of Sno-Parks, defined as cleared parking spaces near both groomed and backcountry routes.


Snowmobile Sno-Parks are open to all types of winter recreation, such as skiing and skating, which do not require motorized vehicles. Approximately 80 percent is used primarily for snowmobiling.


In non-motorized Sno-Parks, the only legal activities are winter recreation activities such as dog sledding, cross-country skiing tubing, snowshoeing, and just playing in the snow. Snowmobiles with motors are prohibited in these parks. Fields Spring, Lake Wenatchee, etc.

Winter Recreation In WA

Pass/Permit Information

Permits to utilize the Sno-Park may be purchased online beginning on November 1 and ending on April 30 of the following year. When purchasing a snow-park license, the transaction is final and non-refundable.


During the months of December 1 through March 31, a Sno-Park permit is necessary to park at any of the Sno-Parks for any activity related to winter enjoyment. These activities are available at all Sno-Parks.


Between December 1 and March 31, it is always required to have a Sno-Park permit to park at a Washington Sno-Park; however, between November and April, the obligation to have Sno-Park access is at the discretion of the property management. This includes the 12 free days that Washington state parks give yearly, during which a Discover Pass is not required to park in any of the state’s parks.

There is no longer a requirement to produce the Discover Pass when purchasing a daily or seasonal Sno-Park pass. This is true even for Sno-Parks located on territory administered by Washington State Parks.


Day Permit: $20/day. Passes purchased for a single day can be used at any of the Sno-Parks, including those with Special Groomed Trails until midnight of that day.

Seasonal Permit: $40/season. All Sno-Parks around the country accept seasonal licenses. To park at a Special Groomed Trail, you must add a Special Groomed Trails Permit to your seasonal Permit.

Special Groomed Trails Permit: Every season, the add-on fee is $40. Parking at any of the following locations requires both the Seasonal Permit and the Special Groomed Trails Permit. If you purchase this add-on to the Seasonal Permit, you can park at Lake Easton Cabin Creek, Crystal Springs, Hyak, Chiwawa, Lake Wenatchee, Nason Ridge, and Mount Spokane. There are cross-country skiers-only groomed paths at each of these places.


Winter Recreation In WA

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