Well, we got skunked for snow this year (I admit we enjoyed the bonus day off school last week that had been a planned snow make up day. We should have days off for sunshine more, don’t you think?)
Anyway, there are a few remaining options if you’d like to get in some snow time, but you do need to act fast. I’ve updated this as of 3/13/2013 with your remaining options for South Sound sledding and snow play.
Option One: The snow play area at Paradise. Get your fill of sledding and snow play Thursdays-Mondays. Note that there are some very specific rules about the kinds of sleds permitted, and this is the only area in MRNP where sledding is permitted. The link also has information on snowshoe walks. I got in touch with MRNP staff via Twitter, and the last day for both snow play and guided snowshoe walks is March 31st.
Option Two: Drive towards Crystal on 410 heading past Bonney Lake and Enumclaw. Before you get to Crystal Mountain, you will find several areas where you can pull off and make a snow angel and throw some snowballs. SFM safety note: My legal team wants you to know that I am Not advising any sledding or similar activity in an ungroomed area, and that any of these spots could have hidden rocks, stumps, etc…. Consider yourself warned! Moving on…..When we were driving home from Crystal last month we noticed quite a few families having fun at one of the pull out view points/ picnic areas between Forest Service Road 72 and 73. Note: You may have to go further than this now. Last time we were up we didn’t start seeing snow until pretty close to the turn off to Crystal, and I think it’s been warmer lately. I’d consider this an, “Iffy,” option.
Option Three: Tubing at Snoqualmie Not frugal, but fun! Read an article all about it via our friends at Parent Map. Still Open On Weekends; Opening is Weather Dependent. The site is updated daily, so check before you go.
Option Four: Your local ski resort. While this is in NO WAY a frugal activity, all the area ski resorts do offer ski and snowboarding lessons and lift packages. Note that these spots generally prohibit other kinds of snow play-and really-do you want to go sledding in the middle of a bunch of boarders? I think not! This time of year is really the best as far as avoiding big crowds and lines for the lift. Do check conditions before you go as the bunny slopes are the first to close (lower; snow melts sooner).
Option Five: Embrace Spring! Grab your boots and get out there already!
If you do decide to try for snow play, go with proper gear for your car and yourselves. Even though the temperatures are warmer, wet feet, stuck tires, and hungry kids are still no fun at all!