Each year, when daylight hours start to dwindle and the temperature hovers around freezing, an excitement builds around the Pacific Northwest. As news reports whip us into a frenzy over incoming winter weather conditions, the freezing level starts falling toward sea-level, raising our expectations for a chance to experience a winter wonderland. When it snows in the Pacific Northwest, our normal world, full of endless green, transforms, wrapping itself in a silent blanket of white. The first winter snowfall on our favorite trails leads us into an unexpected wonderland, inspiring snowy adventures in what no feels like a foreign landscape.
Reports are trickling in of snow in the lowlands of Olympic National Park and we are excited. While the greens of the forest and blues of the rivers are pretty, there is something intoxicating about wandering a well-known trail in fresh snow.
The first lowland snowfall of the year in Olympic National Park is reason to rejoice. While our memory recalls beauty from previous snow events along the glacial-fed rivers of the region, walking in the snow in person makes the object of our daydreams seem stagnant and unimaginative. In person, walking the snow-filled trails of Olympic after an inch or two of fine white powder has fallen becomes a spiritual experience, refilling your soul and recharging your sense of wanderlust. The snow wipes away the gray and dreary, replacing it with a silent inspiration. Moss-draped deciduous trees transform into white outlines of their leaved selves, creating a shape and texture foreign, yet welcoming. Everything changes in the snow; somehow, the Pacific Northwest, which is already overrun with natural beauty, becomes even more breathtaking and spectacular.
When the first snow falls, go outside. Find a trail with even just a dusting and take a walk. Go explore the winter wonderland as best you can and enjoy seeing winter in person. You never know what sort of magical experience you will have along the snowy trails of the Pacific Northwest.
Discover 52 of my favorite Olympic National Park Area hikes in this guidebook