Outdoor Explore with Kids | WA State

Snowqualmie State Park

It’s been nicer than ever to reconnect with nature during this time of uncertainty. I will be posting more over at HightowerDigitalMedia.com on specific businesses and industries of all varieties for the 21+ crowd, but when it comes to kids stuff, I figured I’d share with my toddler mom crew over here at MommaAMommaB as well!

My name is Brandi, and I welcome you to join us for all things related to “life of a toddler mom”. This is the first post specific to Washington State as well as my first hiking/review type of post. I hope someone out there finds it helpful, or can offer me suggestions for improvements so we can make more out of our day trips and camping adventures.

Snowqualamie State Park

It’s January, and many parks are either closed due to COVID concerns or covered in a blanket of frost or snow. We are lucky enough to be within fifteen minutes of the bottom of a ski hill, so we finally decided to make the trip. We’d been waiting to purchase sleds until we got enough snow in the valley, but it never seemed to stick around for long with the warmer Chinook winds passing through.

Chinook winds develop when warm, moist air blows from the Pacific Ocean in the northwest region of North America toward the Rocky Mountain range, according to Rocky Mountain National Park. The air mass cools as it climbs the mountains, bringing rain or snow to the peaks.

Live Science

We decided it was enough waiting, and grabbed a few plastic sleds and made the short drive to Snowqualmie State Park: 10/10 worth it!

Photo Credit: Hightower Digital Media

The parking lot was large and cars were few. If you make it before noon, you’ll have a better chance of picking your own hill (there are a few small ones to choose from, great for the 5 and under crowd, though older kids can certainly enjoy).

Sledding Safety:

  1. Choose a safe place to sled and proper equipment.
  2. Only allow children to sled feet first while sitting up.
  3. Insist children wear helmets while sledding.
  4. According to children ages 5 and under should only sled with an adult (KidsHealth.org).

Our three year old was accompanied by Mom, and while our two year old did sled feet first while laying down, it was a smooth incline with Mama holding an attached rope to control speed. No helmets were involved as you can see from the photos. I guess rules have changed since I’ve been on the sledding hill! It’s really more of a bump than a hill, but there are options on the North end of the parking lot for more of a challenge or more experienced sledders, so I’d personally have the kids put on a dome protector because why not helmets are cheap, surgeries are not.

Sledding Etiquette and Considerations:

Stay out of the sledding path on established hills. Not only do you want to avoid any possible collisions, you don’t want to be breaking down the path or causing irregularities.

Don’t litter. A broken sled left behind “for someone else to get a few rounds out of” is still littering. It’s a good idea to always keep a spare trash bag in your car to discard of soda bottles or other items of refuse in the event trash cans are not on site.

Photo Credit: Hightower Digital Media

Obey park rules. Seems simple, but if there are park rules posted, take the time to read them. It could even save you a parking ticket, or future restrictions for those wanting to enjoy these spaces.

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