“Snowshoeing in Paradise”

I’ve never been fond of extremely cold temperatures, especially the snow and ice: its hard to drive on, conditions make it uncomfortable to breath, and worse of all the cold air dries my skin! I thought maybe I’d learn to like the snow and ice if I learned to ski or snowboard. Everyone always looks like they are having fun and I probably would as well. So I took one of those expensive lessons and attempted to learn. But after half a day of listening to a frustrated instructor along with numerous falls and bruises later, I still failed to learn anything, except that I hate it, too.

This winter, things have changed. A day trip up to the high country near my home, in the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains, I finally experienced snowshoeing. And to my surprise, I absolutely loved it!

Though it was not as easy as I originally thought.

One of the reasons I loved it so much is because it’s not difficult to do. You don’t need special training or costly equipment. All you need is a pair of snowshoes and optional hiking sticks, worn with cold weather attire. And as far as skills are concerned, if you can walk, you can snowshoe. Fair warning though, you will need to exert some energy to do this activity.

My snowshoe adventure took place during a rare sunny-ish day in the heart of Mount Rainier National Park in an area called, “Paradise.” Most of the trails in this area can be used as snowshoeing trails in the winter when they are covered in snow. During the warmer months this area is the hub of activity. In the colder months, however, the surroundings area is a bit more placid. There is no abundance of life or movement, instead there is a calm here that almost seem ominous.

But it is a welcoming calm.

Here in the dead of winter the towering snow-capped mountain peaks, the white-dusted evergreen pines, and the wind-blown fallen trees fill the empty landscapes. We could’ve walked for hours without having realized how far we went. The only limitation was the speed of our strides and the difficulty of our trail. It is a vast wilderness of white.

In this wilderness only a few sounds are heard: the howling of the wind, the leaves rustling off their heavy loads of snow, and the pitter-patter of our snowshoes along the way. Sometimes we also heard wild animals that would come out of hiding, equally curious to see another living being in the cold surroundings. There is a sense of peace here that we all crave sometimes.

In this post you won’t find any photos of myself or of my friends snowshoeing, but that was on purpose. The point is not the actual activity. But rather, what is important is what you’ll find along the way. For me it was the things I’ve missed out on because of my dislike for the snow and ice; all the beautiful things I never took the time to really appreciate before this experience.

So if you’re like me and don’t like winter, or if you just can’t seem to get the hang of other more popular winter sports, perhaps its time to give snowshoeing a try. You can do it anywhere in the world where there is snow. But, I say, there is no better place to snowshoe than on Mount Rainier’s “Paradise” - a place that revitalizes your soul.

ADDRESS: (to the Nisqually Entrance)
39000 State Route 706 E
Ashford, WA 98304
U.S.A.
Snowshoeing in Paradise

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64 Responses to “Snowshoeing in Paradise”

  1. RT @jack_writes: Colorful Footsteps | “Snowshoeing in Paradise” http://t.co/NfcgKsTz

  2. Colorful Footsteps | “Snowshoeing in Paradise” http://t.co/NfcgKsTz

  3. Turtle says:

    Beautiful photos. I love the effect that the texture of the snow and ice creates. Stunning.

  4. cheryl says:

    Your photos are stunning! Soo soo pretty.

    So glad you liked snowshoeing! Maybe one of these days, I’ll try it myself. :)
    cheryl recently posted..Roman Architecture At The Girona Cathedral.My Profile

  5. What a great opportunity. Never have done snowshoeing but now it is on my list
    Eileen Ludwig recently posted..So Many National Parks so Little Time – Visit one todayMy Profile

  6. theplanetd: RT @theplanetd: Snowshoeing in paradise via @sichree23 http://t.co/kTsLfguG Great photos #travel #ph… http://t.co/uqLxykTp

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  10. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” Mount Rainier National Park http://t.co/wC7uDEH3 via @sichree23 #stumble

  11. Cam says:

    Fantastic photos! Especially the macro shot of deer – well done!
    Cam recently posted..Our First Family Trip to Palm Springs, CaliforniaMy Profile

  12. Erik Smith says:

    “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://bit.ly/GMyQpO via @sichree23

  13. Laurel says:

    So glad that you loved snowshoeing! I go more weekends than not and agree it’s completely revitalizing.
    Laurel recently posted..Trier, Germany – the Second RomeMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      Wow! I wish I could on most weekends. In order to go, I have to make the trek up to the mountains because thankfully, it does not snow in the city level where I live. I’ll definitely do it again.

  14. Abi says:

    No such thing as cold weather, so they say, only the wrong kit. Lovely photos.

  15. Washington is so gorgeous – these photos make me miss the PNW! Snowshoeing sounds like a lot of work, but it’s an activity that would allow you to move slowly and enjoy your surroundings. I’d like to give it a try sometime.
    Christy @ Technosyncratic recently posted..Koh Nang Yuan: The Most Beautiful Island in Thailand?My Profile

    • Sherry says:

      PNW has always been so beautiful to me and a lot of people miss out on that unrightfully thinking it rains here a lot. Yeah, snowshoeing is a little bit of an exercise. But I think its one of the best ways to explore the cold wilderness.

  16. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/OBcPTDlH via @sichree23

  17. Beautiful shots! Snowshoeing is certainly an exercise. But at least you get too see spectacular things while exploring. Great job!
    Alexa Meisler recently posted..A Perfect Day Up North Down Under – Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia!My Profile

    • Sherry says:

      Sounds like you’ve done it before :) I do a lot of walking, so it came easy for me. But you’re right, it is quite the exercise with great views. Thanks for the compliment.

  18. Glad that you found at least something you enjoy doing with snow and cold :) While I do enjoy skiing and snowboarding, those really are the only activities that I like in snow. I would quite happily have snow just at the Alps where I go skiing and nowhere else :)

    And great photos!
    Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad recently posted..Learning from the wise waterfall in SabangMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      I also like sitting next to a fireplace and watching it snow, does that count? Perhaps I’m just a bit too uncoordinated for skiing or snowboarding. But I’m at least liking some aspects of winter again. The Alps would be a perfect place to “snow watch.”

  19. (@Muzachan)「ムザちゃん」 says:

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  20. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” at Mt Ranier. http://t.co/WwIB3hpo // via @sichree23

  21. Great storytelling! And the pictures are stunning.

    I was there in July and there’s still snow, but you can wear shorts! I went up to a Dad who had a snow disc and was playing with his kids ad asked if i could take a turn. He obliged and this GA girl was thrilled out of my mind! :)

    • Sherry says:

      So glad to hear that you enjoyed the summer snow on Mount Rainier. Its not uncommon to see it even in the summer up there, which can be weird to some people. I was aslo there in early fall last year (missed ya by a few weeks). Fall is probably one of my favorite time to go since its less crowded and the colors are so brilliant. Its a long way for a GA girl to go, but I hope you get to back again.

  22. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/1FPDBoio via @sichree23

  23. Adrian says:

    That photo of a deer is just extraordinary! Love it!
    Adrian recently posted..Eiffel TowerMy Profile

  24. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/EGPVwZuC via @sichree23

  25. The shot of the deer is the best shot I’ve seen all day! Very creative :)
    Nomadic Samuel recently posted..Incredible India | Part 33 | Travel Video Slideshow SeriesMy Profile

  26. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/qpYtxX4u via @sichree23

  27. Kudos, Sherry, for going out there and trying and having fun!
    I still remember my first attempt at ice skating — never got round to like it or be proficient.
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Hiking Jamaica’s Blue MountainMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      Now that I think about it, I was actually good at ice skating when I was young. Though its a limited winter sport, at least I can actually say I was good at something on the ice. And I remember having fun, too. Thanks for the reminder :)

  28. Christy says:

    I love these photos! Especially the close-up of the deer. Is that a deer? Taking photos in the snow can definitely be worth bearing the cold.
    Christy recently posted..Five Ways to Enjoy a Different Side of ParisMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      Yeah, its a deer. I actually captured the whole deer, but I blew it up for a facial close up. I really like its eyes, so I wanted that to be the focus. The walk was enjoyable, and after a long while in freezing temperatures, you don’t really feel the cold anymore.

  29. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/Dz506USN via @sichree23

  30. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/5yUVKtQM via @sichree23

  31. I would love to try this! It doesn’t sound too difficult … and the scenery … wow!
    dtravelsround recently posted..Daily Wanderlust: La AlhambraMy Profile

  32. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/H12fnXQf via @sichree23

  33. (@ToshioK) says:

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  34. “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/l9S07cNA via @SophieR @sichree23

  35. Abby says:

    These photos of winter wonderland are soo pretty! Even as I am begging for summer weather. Like you, I am a hot weather girl. I’ll have to try snowshoeing sometime.
    Abby recently posted..Round the World?My Profile

    • Sherry says:

      I actually don’t like the extreme heat either. So sadly, I also don’t look forward to summer. I like more temprate conditions. This is probably why I lived in Seattle most of my adult life. Spring and fall – those are my favorite times of the year!

  36. Andrea says:

    Love your photos – I love shooting in the snow! Have never been snowshoeing but I do love winter and would definitely give it a try. Sounds like good exercise!
    Andrea recently posted..Prioritizing Travel: How to Make Those Travel Bucket List Trips a RealityMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      Especially now that you guys are in Norway, it would be a great place to photograph the winter scene since its so beautiful up there and yes, its great exercise, too!

  37. (@SophieR) says:

    “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/r9or2bTX via @sichree23 —> Lovely!

  38. Sophie says:

    Glad you’ve managed to find something to like about winter, Sherry :)
    The animal photos are absolutely gorgeous!
    Sophie recently posted..Travel photo: Cruise ship at Castries, St LuciaMy Profile

  39. COLORFUL FOOTSTEPS: one woman’s colorful journey to find the most beautiful places on Earth – http://t.co/pUgIIDHS

  40. Gorgeous!! RT “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/rGZBPVoi via @sichree23

  41. Gael Thomas says:

    I have never been a big fan of cold weather myself. I thought since I live in mostly warm weather conditions that I was lucky. Now after having read your article, maybe I’m missing out, too. The snow doesn’t look half bad in your photos. And I’m so glad that you found a way to enjoy it. Paradise looks exactly what it sounds – a truly beautiful place.

    • Sherry says:

      I’ve aways contemplated why they call this area of Mount Rainier as “Paradise.” But now having seen it during the cold as well as in the warmer months, I understand the name. Its quite fitting – so beautiful anytime of the year; a true paradise.

  42. Francy R says:

    I love skiing as well as snow-capped mountains! I found it so romantic:) I love the picture of the animals!! so cute!

    • Sherry says:

      I on the other hand wish I found a way to like skiing. But sadly it wasn’t for me. You’re right – winter does have a romantic aura. Another reason for me to like this time of the year!

  43. Maria says:

    Next up… XC Skiing. You’ll love it. Rentals (full set) should be less than $25 for the day and there’s no lines, no crowds, no fee to get on the powder. :-)

    Kudos for trying something you ‘thought’ you wouldn’t enjoy and very glad to hear you enjoyed it.
    Maria recently posted..When a Stranger CallsMy Profile

    • Sherry says:

      So does XC skiing require me to have some skiing skills because I can barely stand up on those things? If not, then I am in! Sounds like a great workout, too. Maybe I’ll get to try it some day when I am more coordinated :)

  44. (@sichree23) says:

    “Snowshoeing in Paradise” #photography #snow #Washington #Wildlife http://t.co/u4VynfB4 via @sichree23

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