Summer hikes that can become dangerous in the winter

Winter is in full swing in the Cascades, with the latest storm bringing 24 inches of new snow to the Snoqualmie Pass area. Many people will continue heading to their favorite summertime hikes to experience all the snow. It’s important to remember though that some of those hikes can become quite dangerous this time of year, especially if you head out before checking the latest weather or are not prepared for the conditions.

  • Granite Mountain, Snow Lake, and Source Lake are all prone to avalanches throughout the winter and spring. On Granite, avalanches can start quite high up on the mountain and run down to the lower parts of the trail.
  • The old trail on Mailbox and the trails around Mason Lake can be difficult to follow when covered by snow. Foot prints tend to lead in various directions, and it is easy for hikers and snowshoers to become disoriented.
  • The trails on Tiger, Rattlesnake, Mt. Si, Teneriffe, and several other popular ones often have compacted snow that turns icy and slippery from all the foot traffic they see.
  • We also respond to a few calls each year at Denny Creek and Tonga Ridge, where people are stranded at or near the trailhead after a storm. They either try to drive too far up the snow-covered road and get stuck, or when they come back from their trip, they are unable to get their car out of the parking lot, given all the snow that’s fallen.

Here are a few sites you can check to get the latest conditions before heading out this winter:

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