Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Swauk Forest Discovery Trail

Exploratory Snowshoe Trip from the Swauk Campground Sno-Park

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • There is a well marked blue diamond route from the Swauk Campground Sno-Park. I would recommend using this one as an out  and back. You should have no problems folowing it. It looks fairly new  and doesn't quite match the map we found on the Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Website. We searched for the loop we intended to snowshoe, but parts were overgrown. And in one case we were clearly on the trail marked on our map and it just ended in a bushwhack we didn't want to do. We were never lost, but the cross sountry sections were hard going. Ths snow was powder with a had crust from the freezing rain a few days earlier. I was postholing in my snowshoes and wished I had worn a bigger pair.

    There were bridges or culverts for all crossings of Swak Creek. Other streams had negligible water.

No problems diving over the passes or into the Sno-Park (pass required).

My coleader and I wanted to explore the Swauk campground north to Porky Basin and the viewpoint. As noted above, our research (and we did a lot), didn't match the marked route. We found a good viewpoint for lunch, just not the Porky Basin viewpoint.

Normally I do not lead exploratory routes for the club, but scout with friends instead. We didn't think we would get lost on this one and we didn't. So we went ahead and posted it with leader's permission required. I asked members to state that they were comfortable with exploratory trips. This helped us to get a group that could cope with the unexpected. I would never post an exploratory trip without this requirement.

We passed Sculpture Rock - very nice. It snowed in the afternoon and the woods were beautiful. We had a group of good people all of which makes for a great day for me.