Snow season is fully upon us — which means it’s time to wax up the skis, haul out the sleds and hit those wintertime trails.
Yes, the trails. You’re going snowshoeing.
Not all your favorite Oregon hikes turn into perfect snowshoe routes in winter. But, this state definitely has some beautiful wintery walks that’ll dazzle the eye and make you glad you got outdoors. A snowshoe trip is more than just a walk, of course, so first make sure you know the basics. Then you can head out to one of our favorite destinations for awesome snowshoeing in Oregon.
Length: Varies, up to 4 miles roundtrip or more
Anticipate gigantic views — and lots of people — on this popular playground on Mount Hood’s southeast side. Most of the crowd is there to sled and play within a few hundred feet of the parking lot, though, so you can snowshoe your way to solitude among thinning evergreens, the White River and the gorgeous mountain.
Length: About 4 miles roundtrip
It may be a funny name for a trail, but this trek includes some seriously beautiful terrain east of Eugene: Expect towering trees and clear-day vistas of Mount Washington and Three Finger Jack — all from the flanks of Potato Hill.
Length: 4 miles roundtrip
You’ll share the start of the Silent Creek Loop with snowmobilers, but only for a few hundred feet or so. After that, you’ll be in a quiet forest, making your way to the shores of Diamond Lake. Don’t forget a camera, because on blue-sky days, Mount Thielsen and Mount Bailey tower on the horizon.
Difficulty: Easy to challenging
The Mt. Ashland Ski Area is a popular place for skiing in southern Oregon, but it’s also got some Forest Service roads that become nice snowshoe trails in the winter. Take the upper road from the back of the ski area to the Grouse Gap shelter, or try the lower road to Grouse Creek.
Length: Up to 6 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Just outside of Bend, this scenic Sno-Park is much more appealing than its name suggests. Multiple loop options wind snowshoers along tree-lined paths, and all share stunning views of the Cascades.
Don’t forget to layer up out there, and enjoy the peaceful, winter scenery we have here in the Pacific Northwest.
Have you been snowshoeing in Oregon? Share your favorite trails in the comments below.