A Snowy Adventure in the Gorge!

Not everywhere in the Pacific Northwest is a worthwhile four-season destination, but the Columbia River Gorge most certainly is! Get outside for some snowy fun at Washington Sno Parks this winter, or go skiing at top-rated destinations on Mount Hood, like Cooper Spur Mountain Resort.

Unlike some other major hiking destinations, hiking doesn’t slow down all that much in the winter in the Columbia River Gorge. There are plenty of great trails that can be enjoyed with your hiking boots year-round. For others, trade out hiking boots for a pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis, and you have a new sort of adventure on your hands! 

If you’d rather not head too deep into the forest on a pair of skis or snowshoes, Washington Sno Parks offer a great opportunity for winter recreation, often with groomed trails and facilities. Winter is just around the corner, and we can hardly wait for the Columbia River Gorge to transform into its snowy winter wonderland.

When you’re ready to warm up and relax, our luxury cabins in the Columbia River Gorge offer the perfect retreat. Get your upcoming ski trips and relaxing winter getaways on the calendar and book your luxury cabin getaway today!

A couple snowshoeing at Washington Sno Parks or Cooper Spur Mountain Resort in the Columbia River Gorge

4 Great Washington Sno Parks for Winter Fun

Our luxury cabins are located in the town of Carson in the Columbia River Gorge. We aren’t too far away from the southern entrance of Mount St. Helens and the popular Gifford Pinchot National Forest. You can find miles of fantastic trails for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and other winter hiking adventures there.

Of course, if you’re looking for a curated winter adventure, you may want to skip the trails in favor of one of the four Washington Sno Parks in the area. More than 120 Washington Sno Parks around the state offer winter enthusiasts dedicated spaces for winter activities like snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing.

Before visiting these and other Washington Sno Parks, make sure you have the proper permit to access and use these lands for winter recreation. Permits are always required between December 1 and Mach 31 and, in some cases, longer. Below are the four closest Washington Sno Parks to our luxury cabins! Each of these Washington Sno Parks requires a permit, and they are dog-friendly.

  1. Pineside Sno-Park offers 20 miles of groomed ski and snowshoe trails but has no trails suitable for snowmobiling. It will be found near the Mt. Adams Recreation Area by Trout Lake. The trails here are beautiful and lead to remote forest lakes, high-mountain elevations, and a truly breathtaking winter wonderland. 
  2. Atkisson Sno-Park has 16 kilometers of marked but ungroomed ski and snowshoe trails and another 154 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Like many Washington Sno Parks, this one also features a warming hut with a wood stove, which is a lovely place to take a break mid-adventure. 
  3. Wind River Winter Recreation Area/Oldman Pass Sno Park offers both Cross-country and snowmobile trails that cover beautiful terrain. This Sno Park is about 30 miles north of Carson and offers gorgeous views of the Cascade Mountain Range. There are 25 miles of cross-country ski trails here. 
  4. Government Mineral Springs is found in the Trapper Creek Wilderness Area. Like many Washington Sno Parks, this one offers an excellent opportunity for cross-country skiing through beautiful old-growth forests.

Each of these Washington Sno Parks is close to our luxury cabins in the Columbia River Gorge. However, cross over the river into Oregon, and there are plenty more fantastic areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, not to mention downhill skiing, snowboarding, and other fun winter recreation. You can find an excellent guide to what’s in the area here

People enjoying nordic skiing at Washington Sno Parks and Cooper Spur Mountain Resort in the Columbia River Gorge

More Nordic Skiing at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort

As wonderful as these Washington Sno Parks are, they represent just a tiny fraction of the possibilities for winter recreation in the Columbia River Gorge. From fantastic downhill ski and snowboard opportunities at places like Timberline Lodge and Mount Hood Meadows to the fantastic Nordic Center at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, which offers 6.5 beautiful kilometers of cross-country skiing, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the Columbia River Gorge this winter. 

The Nordic Center at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort has trails for traditional single-track and skate-style skiing. It will open for the season in mid-December and generally stays open through the end of March, weather-dependent, of course. Unlike some of the more popular winter destinations, including some of the Washington Sno Parks, you’ll find fewer crowds at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort – and that’s one of the many reasons this incredible destination is on our list of things to do in the winter. 

Though many of the trails at Washington Sno Parks are ungroomed – except for the snowmobiling trails – those at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort are groomed weekly. For many, this means an easier and more enjoyable cross-country skiing adventure. There are also snowshoeing trails at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort, and lessons and rentals are available for both. 

If you’re looking for even more fantastic places to enjoy cross-country skiing or snowshoeing this winter, consider the Nordic Center at Mount Hood Meadows, Teacup Nordic in the Mount Hood area, and the broader Mt. Hood National Forest. As you’ll soon learn, it won’t matter much where you enjoy your winter adventures this year – just that you get out and enjoy them. When it’s time to warm up and soothe your tired muscles, retreat to luxury at our Columbia River Gorge cabins. Book your luxury cabin getaway today! 

Soak up our Midsummer Night’s Dream Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.

Indulge in our Springtime Lodging Special or our Military Appreciation Month Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.

Enjoy our Magical Secret Season Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.

Staying only two nights midweek?

Enjoy our Snowy on the Outside, Cozy on the Inside Winter Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.

Treat yourself to the Making Spirits Bright Lodging Special

Please note, we have no hidden fees.