When people think of Stevenson and Skamania County, Washington, often what comes to mind is the fact that we are situated in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge, right on the Columbia River. This has led to visitors from across the globe to try out our world class wind surfing and kiteboarding! Perhaps they think of one of the original breweries in the Gorge, Walking Man Brewing, which located in our quaint downtown. Or, they might recognize the name of our town due to our close proximity to Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington (we’re less than an hour away, by the way!).
What people may not think about as much about are the numerous sno parks that are located in Skamania County, not far from Stevenson. This is what makes our area a year round destination! If you are looking to explore some fun places with tons of snow, not far from PDX, then Skamania County is perfect for you! Keep reading to learn more about our area’s sno parks!
The reason we have so many epic sno parks in our area is because a majority of Skamania County is located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The “Giff” as locals call it, is one of the oldest national forests in the United States and encompasses 1,312,000 acres. In addition to hikes, sno-parks and more, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest also includes the 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, established in 1982 by Congress.
The closest sno park to Stevenson (about a 30 minute drive), is Government Mineral Springs Sno Park. This is such a unique sno park because it is located at the Government Mineral Springs Cabin, very close to the Trapper Creek Wilderness. This area has been a destination spot for people since the early 1900’s when people would visit the mineral hot springs to relax and explore the hot springs’ rumored healing capabilities. A resort was built in 1910 that included a dance pavilion, an ice cream parlor, store and flower gardens, but sadly burnt down in 1935. There are no groomed trails at this sno park, but it is an interesting place to visit and play in the snow!
The next closest sno-park to Stevenson (about a 45 minute drive from Stevenson), is Oldman Pass Sno Park. This area is close to the Indian Heaven Wilderness, which is packed with remote lakes, high mountain elevation views, wild flowers and so much beauty. Oldman Pass Sno Park has 25 miles of cross-country ski trails that are both groomed/marked and ungroomed/marked.This sno park does not have any snowmobile trails.
Just a few minutes up the road is McClellan Meadows Sno Park (seriously, less than 5 minutes from Oldman Pass Sno Park!). The landscape is similar to Oldman Pass, with endless Douglas Firs and beautiful mountain views! McClellan Meadows also boasts 25 miles of cross-country ski trails with a mix of groomed/marked and ungroomed/mark trails.
Nestled between Oldman Pass and McClellan Meadows, is Koshko Sno Park. This sno park is comprised of 14 miles of ungroomed trails in a dense forest that also has open meadows and geographic features! If you’re looking for a fun filled day at all three sno parks, check out this map!
Though not located in Skamania County, Flat Top Sno Park, is a great option for snowmobilers! A beautiful, scenic winter drive from Stevenson to Flat Top will take you just about an hour. This sno park is comprised of 154 miles of snowmobile trails, a warming shelter that includes a wood stove and picnic tables. There is also a gorgeous view of Mt. Adams from the sno park. Pack a lunch from any of our restaurants and head out for a day of snowy adventures!
Stevenson, Washington is the perfect basecamp when you come out to explore the Gorge! With world-class kiteboarding, award-winning breweries and exquisite local fare, there are endless things to do once you arrive in Stevenson! And that’s just in town 🙂 Staying in the Gorge HQ means you’re only minutes from hikes, wineries, waterfalls, scenic drives, sno parks, fishing, golfing and SO MUCH MORE! Book your trip to Gorge HQ now!