Added by Garren Moore
Lake Cascade, while frozen in winter, provides phenomenal surroundings for the first time snowshoe-er. Lacking a lot of elevation change, this hike still has spectacular views to help rid you of cabin fever. This also is an opportunity to step foot on a frozen lake while others are enjoying ice fishing.
Lake Cascade sits at about 4700' above sea level, the starting point for this snowshoe (or light nordic skiing). To arrive, follow signs on hwy 55 in Cascade for Lake Cascade State Park. Any car will do, including the Prius, to get to Lake Cascade, but watch the weather for snow storms. Pay $5 down by the dock to park in the boat ramp parking lot; from here head north along the lake/campground.
Feel free to step on the lake itself, you won't need your snow shoes for this. You'll likely see a generous amount of people on the weekends ice fishing. For me, having little experience around frozen lakes, if I see someone with an ATV out on the lake, I know it is safe to walk on.
The snowshoeing will be best on the banks of the lake retreating into the woods a bit. In the early months of the year there will be up to 6' of snow and you'll want to snowshoe after a fresh powder for the ultimate experience. Feel free to explore areas around the lake moving north. Walk along the cross country ski course but not on it. To the south of the parking lot is a golf course that can also be snowshoed, as long as you're willing to share the landscape with some kiddos sledding. Really, just explore the banks of the lake, creating your own path!
For the first timers out there, dress in layers as you'll want to shed them because snowshoeing can be physically demanding (you'll sweat).
Dogs are allowed, but on leash. Make sure your pet stays hydrated, check his or her paws for bleeding from ice crystals, and monitor whether or not your dog is getting exhausted having to plow through so much snow.
- $5 for parking (or $10 Idaho yearly pass)
- Layers, 2 to 3 at least of socks, pants, jacket, and gloves
- Snow boots or waterproof hiking shoes with nordic socks
- Trekking poles (optional, because of little elevation change)
- 18L - 25L daypack with water reservoir, use this to store your layers as you shed them
- Dog and leash
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