Smithbrook Road

Stevens Pass

March 29, 2008 - A Mountaineers snowshoe tour.  It was a pretty day as we hiked along the Smithbrook Road through beautiful woods, cutting one switchback in a short but steep climb.  We left the road at the hairpin turn, traveling cross country through powdery snow that was in some places over knee deep.  Breaking trail in these conditions is difficult for a small group, and we made slow progress.  We reached a pretty clearing (elevation 4500) with a view of the surrounding mountains around 1:00 pm.  Although we were only a short distance from the PCT and about 1 mile from our destination, Lake Valhalla, we decided that the prudent thing would be to eat lunch and turn around at that point.  The return trip was much easier and faster, and we made good time.  The steep incline where we had cut the switchback earlier gave us the opportunity to practice the plunge step, which can be a lot of fun once you get the hang of it.  The weather turned snowy just as we reached our cars. 

1300' elevation gain

Approximately 6 miles roundtrip