Deschutes National Forest
Winter is a beautiful time of year in Central Oregon, and snowmobiling is an active means of enjoying it.
Marked Snowmobiling Trails
The Newberry Crater of Newberry National Volcanic Monument is the center of snowmobile activity on the Ft. Rock Ranger District. The Crater area offers over 100 miles of trails and many snow play areas for the snowmobile enthusiast.
Most all of the district is available for use by snow travelers. Roads become an excellent means of traveling the district; they are easy travel routes to follow and they allow you to get away from crowds. Knowledge of the area, weather, route, and limitations of your skill and equipment, along with common sense, can ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
Skiers, snowshoers, and dog sledders are invited to use the area as well. Though there are several alternative forms of snow travel, there is no need for conflicts to occur with one another if each observe basic courtesy.
There are two sno-parks along Road 21: Six Mile and Ten Mile. The lower lot is used only in heavy snow years. Ten Mile is located just west of the snow gate (closed during winter months) on Road 21, and accommodates approximately 75 vehicles.
NOTE: The Newberry Crater area is under a legal road closure for the winter months. Entering the area on a motorized vehicle other than a snowmobile constitutes a violation of Forest Service policy. Also, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument Final Comprehensive Management Plan has prohibited Class I ATVs within the Monument boundary. ATVs may ride groomed snowmobile trails outside of the National Monument. Closures are posted at the District Office and Forest Supervisor's Office. Also, key roads and trails will be signed in the field providing information for winter use. Furthermore, a sno-park permit is required to use these facilities. They are available at State Motor Vehicles Division Offices, local sporting goods stores, and ski shops. Licensed snowmobilers obtain sno-park permits when licensing their machines with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Paulina Lake Lodge (541-536-2240) remains open through the winter months. Services include cabin rentals, a restaurant, and a shop.
SNOWMOBILE SAFETY CODE
- When planning extended trips, prepare a route plan with an estimated time of return. Give this information to a responsible person. Keep as close to your plan as possible.
- When making extended trips, carry emergency equipment. Leave your machine only as a last resort, then follow your trail back. AVOID TRAVELING WITH ONLY ONE SNOWMOBILE!
- Do not cross or travel on frozen lakes or streams. (Snowmobiles are not allowed on Paulina or East Lakes due to thin ice in areas caused by underwater hot springs). When TRAVELING in new areas, seek advice on snow conditions. Ranger stations will know most snow conditions in their respective areas. Paulina Lake Lodge also has snow information.
- Keep physically fit for winter sports activities.
- Always carry a first aid kit when TRAVELING.
- Wear proper winter clothing and protective glasses or goggles.
- Know the weather forecast. When the weather turns bad, turn back. Be aware that snow on steep slopes is subject to avalanches. Small avalanches can be just as deadly as large ones.
- Keep your snowmobile in good operating condition.
- Always carry a tool kit.
- Stay on marked trails or roads open to snowmobiles. Cross-country travel should be avoided unless prior preparations were carefully made. Always carry a map.
- Use a snowmobile only for transportation when hunting. Do not shoot from your snowmobile.
- Remember: Distress signals are three smokes, three blasts of a whistle, three shots, or three of anything that might attract attention.
- Join a local snowmobile club. This will acquaint you with others with whom to plan trips. They are also prepared to help people in distress.
CODE OF ETHICS
- Be a good sport. Recognize that people judge all snowmobile owners by your actions. Use your influence with other snowmobilers to promote good rider conduct.
- Do not litter trails or camping areas.
- Do not pollute streams or lakes.
- Do not damage trees, shrubs, or other natural features.
- Respect others' property and rights.
- Lend a helping hand when someone is in distress.
- Make yourself and your vehicle available to assist search and rescue operations.
- Do not interfere with or harass hikers, skiers, snowshoers, or other winter recreationists. Respect their rights to enjoy our facilities.
- Know and obey all Federal, State, and local rules regulating the operation of snowmobiles in areas where you use your vehicle. Inform public officials when you observe unlawful or questionable behavior by others.
- Do not harass wildlife. Avoid areas posted for protection of wildlife.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication