Hiking in a winter wonderland

Snow accumulates quickly in the mountains! But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your time outdoors. The Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness has plenty of free guided hikes this winter, so it’s time to get out your snowshoes and cross-country skis. Whether you are new to snow hiking or a seasoned mountaineer, the Friends have an adventure for you.

Winter hiking and snowshoeing are the perfect ways to see another side of our wild backyard. These options are more affordable and accessible than a day at the ski resort. Plus, you can avoid the crowds.

Exploring the Scotchmans in the snow is a beloved tradition among FSPW supporters like Rebecca Sanchez, who first took to snowshoeing to extend the hiking season.

“It’s really different from hiking because of the elements, but it’s also exciting to go out in peace and quiet,” said Rebecca.

Indeed, the best part of exploring the Scotchman in winter is the tranquility. With no motorized vehicles to watch, hikers can truly immerse themselves in nature.

“I probably wouldn’t take my kids to Trestle Creek on a Saturday because it’s a snowmobile route,” Rebecca said.

The Friends are offering a number of family hikes this winter, including a family snowshoe hike to the Cedars of Ross Creek on February 5. For those looking for more of a challenge, they can sign up for a snowshoe expedition to the top of Star Peak on February 6 or 17. Are you looking for cross-country skiing friends? Join the FSPW to ski at Les Cèdres on March 5th.

All hikes are led by knowledgeable and experienced volunteers who are passionate about helping people discover their wild backyards. Jamilee Scheiwe, a resident of Libby, MT, is a long-time volunteer for the Winter Hiking Program.

“I lead hikes for the FSPW to help others get out for the first or the hundredth time in this incredible wilderness,” said Jamilee. “Watching another hiker discover a new area, a new trail, or just a new season as a trail manager is the most rewarding thing.”

Hiking in the winter can be intimidating. With free, guided hikes, FSPW hopes to put more people at ease with exploring our wild backyard, every season of the year.

Sign up for a hike at Scotchmanpeaks.org/hikes-events-schedule. Keep an eye on the calendar as new hikes are added frequently.

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