Sports & Outdoors

Spring break 2019: The coast, the forest or the slopes

Pictured: First Beach in La Push, Washington — Photo courtesy of Flickr

One of the biggest advantages students have while going to Puget Sound is the accessibility to the outdoors. With Tacoma’s location close to the Puget Sound, there are so many places to hike, camp or simply just enjoy being outside.

While the weather is hopefully on the rise, spring break is the perfect opportunity for students to make the most of a week off from classes and to head out on an adventure. Puget Sound Outdoors (PSO) is still planning school-led trips, but in the meantime, if plans haven’t been made, you can hit the road to camp, surf or even ski while the mountains still receive more snowfall.

If you’re looking for a sandy, hopefully sunny, and certainly unique camping trip, La Push, Washington is somewhere you should consider. The 3.5-hour car ride going northwest leads you to a lush, oceanside forest that carves in and out of the Washington coast. Tide pools, climbing and beautiful sunsets are available for you if you don’t mind getting some sand in your socks. Logistically, permits are required for overnight camping; however, they are easy to obtain as long as you plan a bit in advance.

The Ranger station in Port Angeles is the only stop needed on the drive out to the coast in order to get a bear canister for food and anything else that smells as well as the permit. After that, hit the road and once you find a trail down to the water that looks good, head out!

Distance can be an issue for some, but if a trip closer to campus seems more realistic, have no fear! The Olympic National Park is host to a wide variety of activities and is only about an hour and a half from campus. Unfortunately, according to the National Park Service website, certain roads and passes have been closed due to harsh conditions.

“In addition to routine seasonal closures, roads into Staircase, Elwha, Mora, and Graves Creek/North Fork (Quinault) are closed due to heavy snow or storm damage,” the website states.

That being said, if a plan is created and equipment is available, all that matters is if you’re going to take advantage of what the Olympics have to offer. Boating, fishing, camping and even wildlife-viewing activities are just a few of the opportunities the park offers to those who want to explore and have a new, exciting adventure.

Looking east into the mountains, snow continues to fall, which promises more outstanding conditions for those looking to get in more time on the slopes. Both Crystal Mountain and Summit at Snoqualmie are open and still expecting more and more snow as spring break inches closer. One advantage to skiing or snowboarding at Snoqualmie is that the earlier you buy a ticket, the cheaper they are. For the week of spring break, tickets are as low as $40 for a day at Snoqualmie. Crystal offers $80 tickets starting on March 1 all the way to the end of the month. So, if you have the urge to buckle in and take advantage of the great conditions Washington has been having lately, head up to the snow!

Regardless of what your plans are, consider going out and exploring all that Washington’s wilderness has to offer. PSO is certainly working towards getting a few student-led trips on the calendar, but it’s absolutely realistic to plan a trip on your own or with friends and to have a great time. The outdoors are amazing anywhere you go, especially in Washington, so hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage.