Mount Hood National Forest

Cross-Country Skiing - Difficult Trails

Old Maid Flat

Length: 17.6 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 east of Sandy to Lolo Pass Road 18. Continue north for 6 miles to junction of Road 1 X28.

Zigzag District Old Maid Flat
Follow Highway 26 18 miles east of Sandy. Turn north (left at Zigzag onto Lolo Pass (Road 18). Continue 4 miles to the junction of Road 1825. There is no Sno-Park at this time and the road is not plowed regularly by the county. Please do not park in private driveways. The ski area is a low altitude area (2,000 ft. at the beginning; 3,400 ft. at the top), and in some years there is not adequate snow to ski on.

Lolo Pass Loop 15.3 Miles
Most Difficult
The ski up Lolo Pass (Road 18) is a constant climb to the top of the pass and covers 6.2 miles. Turn to your right onto Road 1828 and continue 8.5 miles to the junction of 1828 and 1825. Continue straight on Road 1825 and follow it 1/2 mile to the junction of Road 18 and Road 1825.

Government Camp East

Length: 41 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 17 miles east of Sandy to Government camp.

Barlow Trail (marked trail) 1 mile
Most difficult
The Barlow Trail follows an original route of the pioneers. It begins at the west end of the Still Creek Sno-Park, descends into Summit Guard Station, makes a sweeping left turn around the building and begins to climb into the trees. At the base of the first hill, the Easy Does It Trail takes off to the left, while the Barlow Trail continues straight ahead. A 1/2 descent brings you to an area that often has holes in the snow, across a creek, and into Still Creek Campground. Turn right here; the trail continues onto Summit Meadows and the Trillium Lake Basin.

Trillium Lake Basin

Length: 41 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 east of Sandy for 29 miles to Government Camp.

Quarry Loop (marked trail) Forms 4 1/2-mile-loop with Mud Creek.
Most Difficult
This challenging downhill run is accessed by skiing up the eastern portion of the Mud Creek Loop. After 1 1/3 miles, the Quarry Loop connects to the lower portion of the Mud Creek Loop.

Yellow Jacket Trail

Length: 5 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 17 miles east of Sandy to Government Camp.

Yellow Jacket Trail (marked trail) 7 miles
Most Difficult
The Yellow Jacket Trail is challenging and travels through same relatively remote areas. It is not well traveled, so be prepared to break trail. The west end of the trail begins on Timberline Road, about 50 yards above the junction with Highway 26. The trail winds through the woods, crossing the White Away Trail and pining the Snowbunny Trail for a short distance. After leaving the Snowbunny Trail, Yellow racket climbs until it crosses the Salmon River. The trail continues east, crossing the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (a marked ski trail at this point) and the Boy Scout Trail. The trail comes out on the northwest side of White River Canyon and continues to the White River Sno-Park.

East Fork of the Hood River

Hood River District - West of Highway 35
Length: Various
Access: Follow US Highway 26 east of Sandy for 29 miles to Government Camp. From Government Camp continue south on Highway 26, 2.5 miles to the Highway 26-35 interchange. Take the Highway 35 exit and follow signs for Mt. Hood Meadows and Hood River.

The Oregon Nordic Club grooms 20 kilometers of trails at Teacup Lake. This area is operated under a special use agreement with the Forest Service. The public is encouraged to use the tracks, which are considered by many to be the best in Oregon. Please leave a donation to defray cost at the warming trailer, you can also pick up a map there and meet members of the club. No dogs on the groomed tracks please.

Search and rescue is the responsibility of the County Sheriff in Hood River County. Call 911, or contact a member of the Nordic Ski Patrol.

Elk Meadows Ski Trail (marked trail) 1 mile. A steeper trail with a steady grade. Follows Clark Creek Views of Clark Creek and Mount Hood. May be rocky in low snow years.

Kate Creek Trail (marked trail) 1 mile. Leaves the Elk Meadows Ski Trail and crosses Clark Creek. After a steep downhill into Kate Creek the trail crosses a mineral spring and descends to the Clark Creek Trail.

Rocky Trail (marked trail) 1 mile. Steeper alternative to Kate Creek Trail. Follows an old debris flow. May have protruding rocks in low snow years. Mostly open terrain.

East Fork Hiking Trail (unmarked trail) 6 miles. Gentle terrain, but because of its length and the fact that it follows a narrow hiking trail, is rated more difficult. Best during years of heavy snow. Follows the east fork of the Hood River.

Bennett Pass Ski Trail (marked, snow covered road) 10 miles. This is a trail for skiers aware of the dangers of avalanche. At 2.5 miles is the "terrible traverse." This slope and two open south-facing slopes prior to it are subject to avalanche. At 3.5 miles the trail passes through a rock notch and divides. The east trail continues to Windy Meadow; the south trail continues through the forest for 1.5 miles, where the trail to the right leads to the top of Bonney Butte. Snow drifts accumulate in this area during heavy snow years making travel most difficult.

Note: The Bennett Pass Ski Trail is the only trail in the East Fork area that is open to snowmobiles. All others are closed to this use. After the first few snows, the road becomes impassable to over-snow machines about two miles from its beginning.

Pocket Creek Tie Trail (marked trail) 1 mile. This ski trail connects the upper end of the Pocket Creek Trail with Highway 35 at Bennett Pass. The trail leads from Highway 35 down to the west end of a clear-cut at the end of Road 3540 (Pocket Creek Trail). The tie trail is best when covered with at least 30 inches of snow. This trail is narrow and flanked by large trees. Only more experienced skiers should use the trail when conditions are icy.

Teacup Lake Trail (marked trail) 1.5 miles. A more difficult trail with several large hills. It leaves the Teacup Sno park and follows Road 680 to cross Meadows Creek. There is a quick turn to the right and then a run through the trees to the East Fork bridge. The trail passes through an open stand of timber to a large plantation where the trail joins Pocket Creek Tie Trail and Pocket Creek Trail (road).

Meadows Creek Trail (marked trail and snow-covered) 3 miles. Trail leaves the Teacup Sno-Park to the east, crosses over a swampy area to meet a new mad. The trail follows the road, passing a junction with the Meadows Creek Trail. Shortly after the junction the trail leaves the road to the right. Trail now becomes more difficult. with steep hills. Trail crosses the East Fork of the Hood River and enters a large clearing. At the top of the clearing it meets the Pocket Creek Trail (road).

Barlow Pass

Barlow Ridge 7 miles
Difficult/More difficult
Park at Barlow Pass Sno-Park. Ski down the Barlow Road, towards Devils Half Acre. A connector trail (#670) 200 yards down the road and to the left provides access from Barlow Pass to Road 3560, which is the Barlow Ridge Ski Trail. The connector leads to spur road 3560-230 and then to the right to 3560. The main road rises steadily up and then forks to the right, ending in a large clear cut. As you are climbing you can enjoy grand views of the White River valley, Bonney Butte, and Mount Hood. At the top there are plenty of places to practice your telemark turns. WARNING: Some of the steep slopes along the crest of the ridge are avalanche paths.

Mineral Jane Trails Both Mineral Jane East and West trails start at White River East Sno-Park.

Mineral Jane East heads east along Road 48, then turns left on Road 530 and up to Bennett Pass. The trail off of Road 48 up to Bennett Pass is steep and difficult, especially if skied down from Bennett Pass. Mineral Jane West heads west and follows the route of Highway 35 until it meets Road 3560. Here you can follow road 3560 230 to Barlow Pass or continue up Road 3560 to Barlow Ridge.

Twin Lakes

Frog Lake Butte 4 Miles (Closed to Snowmobiles in February)
Most Difficult
From Frog Lake Sno-Park ski a short distance down Road 2610 and turn left onto Road 2610-220 (Frog Lake Butte Road). It is uphill all the way to the top, making the trip down a fast one if the trail is slick or icy. A spectacular 360-degree view awaits at the top. The trail is open to snowmobiles and ATV use except in February. Weekend use by skiers can be dangerous.

Published: 10 Sep 2009 | Last Updated: 9 Jun 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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