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Ten Places to Go for Presidents Day

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Feb 14, 2011 03:00 PM |

From the Methow Valley and Leavenworth to the Olympic Coast and Columbia Gorge, ten places to go this Presidents Day Weekend.

If you're like me, you'd rather trade the three-day Presidents Day weekend for one in August. But with temperatures inching up and many schools on mid-winter break it may just be time to get out of town for some hiking or snow play.

But where to go? And what to do on a potentially soggy weekend? In an unscientific poll of WTA staff, we came up with ten great options for this Presidents' Day weekend.

Snowy Places

Methow Valley - This was the first place that most people thought of. Gorgeous, snowy, great cross-country skiing and definitely a place to linger for a few days. If you do go, please return and file a Trip Report. We have very few from the Methow.

Mount Baker - Choose your sport and Mount Baker delivers. Downhill skiing, cross-country or snowshoeing - you are guaranteed piles of snow and (when clear) amazing views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

Mount Rainier - Paradise in the winter must be experienced, and President's Day weekend is a fantastic time to do so. When you're done skiing or snowshoeing, you may want to try the snowplay area, so bring a sled.

Leavenworth - At the nexus of so many places to explore with skis and snowshoes. Take your choice of Lake Wenatchee, Blewett Pass, Icicle Creek and more. And in the evening, return to the cute little Bavarian village to relax.

Coastal Places

Olympic Coast - From Cape Flattery and Shi Shi Beach to La Push and Rialto Beach and down to Long Beach and Cape Disappointment, the wild Washington coast is a great mid-winter destination. Whether it is sunny or stormy, it's always an adventure.

San Juan Islands - Go this time of year, and you'll skip the long ferry lines and crowds on these popular islands. Enjoy roaming beaches, climbing to high points and experiencing island life during your stay.

Mainland Places

Chuckanuts - A great option for those with just a day or two, this coastal range between Anacortes and Bellingham delivers beaches, lakes, ridges and rocky outcrops in Larrabee State Park and beyond.

Columbia Gorge - The waterfalls are flowing in full force on the Oregon side and the views are always stupendous from the Washington side, even if the wildflowers aren't blooming. And if you head out as far as The Dalles, you may even see more sun.

Umtanum Canyon - A favorite haunt of the WTA staff, and a great place to see wildlife. Because it's also on the "dry side" of the Cascades, the weather forecast is just a wee bit more hopeful for the weekend.

Steamboat Rock - Also in Eastern Washington, this hunk of rock in Banks Lake is a distinct example of massive Ice Age floods 15,000 years ago. Explore the geology and admire the unparalleled views.

Want to learn more about these places? Head to WTA's Hiking Guide (powered by Mountaineers Books) and Trip Reports to start searching for hikes and snowshoe routes. Don't forget to click Advanced Search Options to further define your searches. Have fun!