Great views of Mount Rainier are common along the fifty miles of trails. All three huts and the yurt offer views of this mountain and other major peaks of the Cascade Range. Since many portions of the trail are located in areas closed to motor vehicle traffic year around, wildlife sightings are common. Bear, deer, elk, mountain lion, eagles, and other animals have been seen along the access roads and in the trail area. A word of warning . . . storms can and do move into the trail area quickly and can dump three feet of snow overnight. Winds of 80 mph are not uncommon at High Hut; be prepared, don't underestimate this trail.
Access roads from the main highway are plowed during the ski season. Currently they lead to two Snow Parking areas (92 Road and 1 Road). It is approximately six miles from the state highway to each snow park. These snow parks float up and down the mountain depending on the snow line. You must have a valid State Snow Park Permit; this provides the money ($5000+ each year) to keep the twelve miles of access road free of snow. Once you reach the snow park you will normally find a groomed trail that leads up to the huts and yurt. Snowmobiles and a Snow Cat, operated by volunteers try to keep the trails to these facilities groomed. Volunteers, weather, and funding dictate trail grooming!
The trails from each of our two Snow Parks are kept groomed from the snow park to each of the huts and the yurt as our first priority. Weather and volunteer labor permitting we will keep these trails groomed. The expert trails shown on the map are never groomed. Other trails are occasionally groomed.
To check conditions, see our Conditions page. It is updated weekly (usually on Thursday night). Alternatively, between 9 AM and 5 PM on winter season weekends, you can call us at 360-569-2451 or stop by our office behind the Fire Station at the west end of Ashford.
For map recommendations, please see our Maps page.