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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Sno-Park permits required on Mt. Spokane starting Tuesday, COVID-19 reduces some services

UPDATED: Wed., Dec. 2, 2020

Trees wrapped in snow near the summit of Mount Spokane as seen on Nov. 26, 2020.  (Eli Francovich)
Trees wrapped in snow near the summit of Mount Spokane as seen on Nov. 26, 2020. (Eli Francovich)

State Sno-Park permits became required on Mount Spokane as of Tuesday.

The permits are required to park in designated parking lots with access for cross-country skiing, skijoring, snowmobiling, dog sledding, snowshoeing, tubing and other winter sports.

Unlike previous years, the permits no longer give users access to Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard resort’s early morning uphill skiing. A separate, $50 Uphill Skier Winter Season pass must be purchased from the resort.

As of 2019, a Discover Pass is no longer required with a daily Sno-Park permit on state park property, including Mount Spokane.

As usual, however, Mount Spokane has quirky permit regulations.

Passes are required at Mount Spokane trailhead parking areas through the end of March.

A daily Sno-Park pass costs $20. Seasonal passes are $40. In certain high-use area, including Mount Spokane’s Selkirk Lodge/Cross-Country Skiing Park parking area, a special groomed sticker is required.

That pass is $40. All other trailheads require the normal Sno-Park pass.

Sno-Park permits will be sold through April 30 and are required in most places during that time.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some services will be reduced, according to Lara Gricar, a Washington State Parks spokeswoman.

“Prepare for reduced facilities at Mount Spokane,” Gricar said in an email.

“There may not be a warm place to change clothes or eat.”

The following warming huts will be open: Snowshoe Hut, Nova Hut, Tripp’s Knob Warming Hut and the CCC cabin.

Gricar emphasized that the huts are open for “emergency shelter and quick warm-ups, not for recreational use,” and they will not be cleaned to Center of Disease Control standards.

Once inside the hut, visitors must wear face coverings and are encouraged to bring their own supplies, including hand sanitizer.

The Selkirk Lodge will be open, but only for restroom use.

The Vista House will open on weekends and holidays for take-out food only. Please check its website for updates: mtspokane.com/lodges/.

Last year, the state simplified the Discover Pass process and put snow bikes into the same vehicle class as snowmobiles. All snow bikes must be registered as snowmobiles and follow snowmobile regulations.

Snowmobiles must have a motorized permit. Those permits are included in the state’s snowmobile licensing fee.

Out-of-state snowmobile riders can purchase a motorized permit for $40.

Users can also purchase a seasonal motorized Sno-Park permit

To purchase a Sno-Park permit online: parks.state.wa.us/winter.

For a list of vendors and their locations: parks.state.wa.us/147/Sno-Park-Permit-vendors. REI in Spokane also sells them.

All proceeds from the permits go to maintaining winter recreation areas throughout the state, including grooming, snow removal from parking lots and roads, on-site sanitation, education and enforcement.

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