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Guide to Outdoor Winter Adventure

Guide to Outdoor Winter Adventure

The Yakima Valley is close to prime winter recreation for the entire family!  Think miles of trails through pristine forests, all less than an hour from Downtown Yakima!  Calling all cross-country skiers, downhill skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers and snowshoers, get ready for family fun in the snow!


White Pass Ski Area is just a quick 40-minute drive from Yakima, and has 1,402 acres of skiable terrain, 8 ski lifts and 18 kilometers of Nordic Trail winter wonderland fun!  The resort features two lodges: the base area Day Lodge is just a short walk from the parking lot and offers many dining options, a bar, daycare and gear rentals. The ski-in Highcamp Lodge boasts epic views of Mt. Rainier and an all-day Waffle Bar!

Don't have any gear? No problem! Rent skis, snowboards or snowshoes for the entire family. There are many lessons and events to partake of during the season. Start the kids early with lessons for all ages, including child care sessions for the 2 to 6 year olds that includes snow play! 

Don’t miss the popular Winter Carnival at White Pass! Climb the snow castle and ride down the tube slide, watch fireworks, enjoy live music and snow sculptures, all ages ski-poker runs and much more! The deck on the Day Lodge overlooks the festivities, when the sun is shining it can’t be beat!  This event is on March 4 & 5, 2017.

If you want to make a trip out of it, stay the weekend in the White Pass Village Inn. These condos are a convenient walk across the street from the ski area. The kids will love the heated swimming pool! Make sure and book a Village Inn stay early to insure your place.


 The Chinook Pass Scenic Bi-Way has miles of untracked cross country skiing opportunity.  After a short drive through the forest, you can quickly find yourself gliding through a pristine mountain meadow, or stomping your way to some far-off snow covered peak.  If you’re looking for a little more accessible, head to White Pass Nordic Center and rent your equipment before heading around 18 kilometers of groomed, double-track cross country ski trail!


Getting the sleds out couldn’t be easier!  Along the White Pass Scenic Byway, the trails are located just 40 miles west of Downtown Yakima.  Head up to the Tieton Road and try out the Tieton Airstrip (35 spaces and 66 miles of trails),  Fish Creek (5 spaces, 66 miles of trails) , Cold Creek (85 spaces, 66 miles of trails),  Pine Grass (5 spaces, 66 miles of trails) or  Bear Creek Trail (17 spaces, 66 miles of trails).  The Washington State Parks winter recreation website page has additional information on fees, maps and trail conditions.

Just 28 miles from Union Gap, the Ahtanum Forest is home to some the best snowmobiling in the Northwest!  Make sure and take advantage of one of the lodging packages at the Union Gap hotels before you head off into the woods!

Since the Yakima Valley is home to so much winter fun, it makes it possible to enjoy a meal at one of the nearby restaurants , taste local wines, visit craft breweries or lounge in the hot tub at one of the many hotels after a day of fun in the snow!