Is it just me, or do you always have something you feel you need to redeem at REI? They are masters at “giving” you money so that you go and spend more money…money you probably shouldn’t be spending. I know this…yet I fall for it every time. I may be cheap, but my cheapness includes a “I can’t waste this” category that ends up costing me far more than what I’m trying to save. They have figured me out…damn them.
Though, they did save me from wasting my money on Costco snowshoes. My friend, Leigh, had gotten some for Christmas and wanted to test them out at Artist Point. I had some sort of $30 offer at REI, so I used them on a rental. At the end of the day the lesson was: if you are going to snowshoe, use real snowshoes. And I’m sorry, anything under $200 is not going to cut it. (Unless they are used…which is probably your smartest move, actually.)
Anyway, the lowdown on this hike is pretty simple. Drive up to the old Mt. Baker Ski Lodge (the farthest one up) and go to the farthest end of the parking lot that you can. The bathroom at the end–that’s where you start. If you want to avoid starting your day waiting in a ridiculously long line to pee, find a way to pee beforehand. I won’t tell you how I did…but I will say, where there is a will, there is a way.
Then you follow everyone else. Really. On a scale of 1-10 in popularity, this place ranks in at a 10. I’m quite sure that unless it’s a white out blizzard, it won’t be a problem. Unless you have crappy snowshoes…then the problem will be just trying not to cuss them out. (Though I will add to please follow the MAIN set of tracts. Don’t follow tracts that are going off to who knows where, unless you know what you are doing.)
Also, 4 miles round trip may sound easy, but it feels twice that in the snow. You may want to quit early, but pushing to what is obviously the end is worth the effort. After seeing the many tents set up for what looked like a glorious night, I may even return. After I find someone who will loan me their expensive snowshoes, that is. 😉 Happy trails.