Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Winter Sports
Gorp.com

Mount Adams is the major winter sports center for northern Oregon and southern Washington. The area offers cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, even the dreaded snowmobile. There are three sno-park winter recreation areas within Mt. Adams: Pine Side, Butte, and Atkisson.

Access to Mt. Adams winter recreation areas is via Highway 141 north, off of Highway 14 in Bingen, Washington. To reach Pine Side and Smith Butte Sno-Parks, follow the "Mt. Adams Recreation Area" sign (right turn as you enter Trout Lake). To reach Atkisson Sno-Park, follow Highway 141 past the Ranger Station approximately five miles. The Sno-Park entrance is on the south side of the road, just within the Forest boundary.

Ski Trails
There are approximately 27 miles of signed ski trails on the Mt. Adams Ranger District. They vary in length and difficulty and have each been assigned a "Difficulty Rating." Criteria used in assigning these ratings include: length, grade, and difficulty of access. Here's some details...

Atkisson Sno-Park Ski Trail

Ice Caves Loop
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length: 3.7; 5 miles round-trip
Elevation: High-2,940', Low-2,685'
Maps: Guler Mtn. and Little Huckleberry quadrangle maps
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to Forest Road 24 to Atkisson Sno-Park
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Atkisson Sno-Park
Comments: Relatively flat terrain. Good warm-up and workout loop.

Natural Bridges Loop (Road 24/041)
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length: 3 miles (plus 1.75 miles each way via the Ice Cave Loop) = 6.5 miles round-trip
Elevation: High-3,100', Low-3,000'
Maps: Little Huckleberry quadrangle map
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to Forest Road 24 to Atkisson Sno-Park
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Atkisson Sno-Park
Comments: This marked trail follows roads and trails to a collapsed lava tube with natural bridges. Stay well away from the edge of the collapsed tube, especially when icy.

Peterson Ridge Trail: Road 2420
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length 6.5 miles (plus 2.25 miles each way to access it via the Ice Caves Loop); 11 miles round-trip
Elevation: High-3,600', Low-2,680'
Maps: Guler Mtn. and Little Huckleberry quadrangle maps
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to Forest Road 24 Atkisson Sno-Park
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Atkisson Sno-Park
Scenic Attractions and Considerations: Climbs a marked snow-covered road to an overlook. At one point you will be skiing among beaver ponds. Views include scenes of Mt. Hood and Heaven Wilderness. Good chance of seeing elk.

Pine Side & Smith Butte Sno-Parks

Eagle Loop: Road 82/070
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length: 3 miles round-trip
Elevations: High-2,800', Low-2,680'
Maps: King Mtn. quadrangle map
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to County Road 17 to Forest Road 82 to Pine Side Sno-Park
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Scenic Attractions and Considerations: Trail is marked, groomed, and mostly on roads. It provides a fun, short loop. Be sure to travel in a clockwise direction. The trail crosses Forest Road 82 (use caution when crossing road).

Big Tree Loop: Road 82/041
Use and Difficulty Level: Siding and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Medium
Length: 4.8 miles round-trip.
Elevations: High-2,800', Low-2,560'
Maps: Trout Lake quadrangle map
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to County Road 17 to Forest Road 82 to Pine Side Sno-Park
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Pine Side Sno-Park
Scenic Attractions and Considerations: Trail is marked, mostly on roads. Groomed for diagonal stride siding. Excellent view of Mt. Adams, old-growth pine.

Lava Loop
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length: 6.2 miles round-trip (accessed via Roads 82/101 [Most Difficult], 3.2 miles round-trip (accessed via Pine Side Sno Park [More Difficult].
Elevations: High-3,240', Low-3,160'
Maps: King Mtn. quadrangle map
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to County Road 17 to Forest Road 82 to Pine Side Sno-Park.
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Pine Side Sno-Park
Scenic Attractions and Considerations: More ups and downs add challenge to this forested trail.

Pipeline Loop
Use and Difficulty Level: Skiing and Snowshoeing
Volume of use: Low
Length: Accessed via 82/101 Road; 7.7 miles round-trip. Accessed via Pine Side Sno-Park; 7.9 miles round-trip.
Elevations: High-3,800', Low-3,240
Maps: King Mtn. quadrangle map
Access: State Route 14 to State Route 141 to County Road 17 to Forest Road 82 to Pineside Sno-Park.
Nearby Town: Trout Lake
Trailhead: Pine Side Sno-Park or Road 82/100 junction.
Scenic Attractions and Considerations: Steep, this trail is a good workout and a thrilling ride down.

Lodging & Permits

Peterson Prairie Cabin Rental
The Mt. Adams Ranger District is offering the rental of the old Peterson Prairie Guard Station on a Special Use Permit. Please call the District.

Sno-Park Permits
Washington Sno-Park permits are required for all Washington vehicles using Washington Sno-Parks. Permits are available at Little Mountain Hardware, Trout Lake Grocery, and the Mt. Adams Ranger Station—all in Trout Lake. Vehicles without the appropriate Sno-Park permits are subject to notice of violation and fine. Sno-Park permit fees support your winter recreation opportunities and facilities.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

1 Comments:

advertisement

Sign up to Away's Travel Insider

Preview newsletter »