Mount Hood National Forest

Cross-Country Skiing - Moderate Trails

Government Camp West

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

Glacier View Loop (marked, snow-covered road and trail) 2 miles
The gentlest grade in this area and views of Mt. Hood. Start this loop by skiing down the wide, snow-covered road for 1 mile. Turn right onto a short access trail, then right again onto the Pioneer Bridle Trail. The Pioneer Bridle Trail climbs and crosses two creeks, then meets the Enid Lake loop. You can return to the Sno-Park 1/4 mile away on the Glacier View Loop, or bear left and ski the Enid Lake Loop back to the Sno-Park.

Kurt's Konnection (marked trail) 1 mile
The loop starts on the west side of the Sno-Park. It parallels Highway 26, dropping into a marshy area, then curves right through a variety of small clearings. It curves right again and follows the power lines uphill, back to the Glacier View Loop.

Enid Lake Loop (marked trail) 1 mile
To ski this loop, bear right at the trailhead board and ski 1/8 mile to Enid Lake. Evidence of beaver and other wildlife may be seen at the lake. The trail passes through large firs and cedars, then begins dropping, joining the Glacier View Loop. To return to the Sno-Park, bear left and head uphill. To extend your trip, bear right and use the Glacier View Loop or Kurt's Konnection to return to the Sno-Park.

Government Camp East

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

Easy Does It (marked trail) 1/2 mile
Access from Barlow Trail. Offers an alternate route to Summit Meadows area when combined with Road 2650. This roller coaster-like trail is not easy.

Westleg/Glade Trail

Length: Glade 3.5 miles/Westleg 5.5 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 east of Sandy 29 miles to Government Camp.

White Away Trail (marked, snow-covered road) 1 mile
This trail starts just above the snowplay area on the Snowbunny Trail. It climbs gently and crosses the Yellow Jacket Trail. The White Away Trail, combined with the Yellow racket and Snowbunny trails, is an interesting loop. Be sure to remove your skis and walk through the snowplay area.

West Leg Trail (marked, snow-covered road) 6 miles
The West Leg Trail connects Government Camp with Timberline Lodge. It can be a 12-mile round trip, or with shuttle, a 6-mile downhill run. At one point, the trail leaves West Leg Road to go around the Summit Ski Area chair lift. To reach the upper trailhead, park at Timberline Lodge, go to the west end of the lodge and ski west to the top of the Glade Ski Trail (a downhill ski trail). Follow the Glade Ski Trail for 1/4 mile, then bear left, following the blue diamond markers. The lower trailhead is about 100 feet up a plowed Forest Service mad across Highway 26 from the Still Creek Sno-Park. Please stay on the marked cross-country ski trails while traveling through an alpine ski area.

Snowbunny Trail (marked, snow-covered road) 2 miles
Park at the Snowbunny Sno-Park. Walk through the snowplay area and begin skiing, following the old East Leg Road for about one mile. Here the trail forks, then bears right. The trail follows a logging road for one half mile and ends in a large clearing. The clearing offers views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson, and with good snow cover, it's a suitable practice area. Continuing straight ahead at the fork, the trail reaches junctions with the Yellow Jacket and Tie trails.

Trillium Lake Basin

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

Trillium Lake Loop (marked road) 4-1/2 miles
This trail is heavily used and offers views of Mt. Hood. It begins on the south side of Highway 26 at the Trillium Lake Sno-Park. The trail drops steeply from the highway. If you choose to walk this section, please use the side of the road. After 1/2 mile, the trail flattens, passing junctions that lead to Red Top Meadows and Summit Meadows, as well as the Mud Creek Loop. It continues around the lake to the junction with Sherar Burn and Still Creek Roads. Bear right at this junction and right again at Summit Meadows, then left at the intersection with the Trillium Lake access road. Because of the heavy use this trail receives and the congested nature of the first steep run, consider skiing this trail mid-week, early in the day, or using the Barlow or Easy Does It Trails to access the Trillium Lake Basin.

Red Top Meadows Loop (marked, snow-covered road) 1/2 mile
This trail starts at the top of the Trillium Lake Loop, near the trailhead board. This is an alternative route that bypasses the congested first hill of the Trillium Lake Loop. Those familiar with map and compass travel can find Red Top Meadows, which has views of Mt. Hood, and with adequate snow, is an open place to explore and observe evidence of wildlife.

Mud Creek Loop (marked snow-covered road) 6 miles

Still Creek Road (unmarked, snow-covered road) 12 miles to Rhododendron

Sherar Burn Road (unmarked, snow-covered road) 10 miles one way. Closed to snow machines January 1.

Lost Man Trail (Marked trail) 1 1/4 miles

Yellow Jacket Trail

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

Boy Scout Ridge Trail (marked trail and road) 2 1/2 miles
This trail is accessed about 1.2 mile from the White River end of the Yellow Jacket Trail. Bear left at the junction with Yellow Jacket and ski through the trees to a road. Follow the marked road to a viewpoint known as Panorama Dome. A loop is possible using the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Due to recent logging activity, views of Mt. Hood have opened up.

Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (marked trail) 1 1/2 miles
This section of the PCNST, marked for winter usage, can be reached using either the Yellow Jacket or Boy Scout Ridge Trails. Its junction with Yellow Jacket is about 1 1/2 miles from White River. There are two short ties to the Boy Scout Ridge Trail, one at panorama Dome and another where the trail pins the road. The tail winds through the trees and offers loop opportunities in the White River area.

White River Trail Area 3 miles (this trail is in the Zigzag District)
Located along Highway 35, White River is a popular teaching area for novice nordic elders. The bowl located 1/2 mile up the northwest side of the river is the usual stopping place for most skiers. Beyond here, the route winds through the trees. Approximately 1 mile from the road, you pass under some power lines. Beyond this point, the terrain steepens and the trail continually grows smaller until the skier is at timberline. (This is NOT Timberline Lodge). The narrow canyons in the near distance are dangerous. Avalanches may sweep off the canyon walls unexpectedly. The danger increases the higher you go, and skiing is not recommended above this point. Use caution when crossing the White River as some bridges may not be safe.

The south side of White River (Hwy. 35) in the Bear Springs District Road 48 is used by both cross-country skiers and snowmobilers. It is the main access into the Barlow District.

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. Woods may be rocky in low-snow years.

Elk Meadows Hiking Trail (marked trail) 1 mile. Moderate trail with two creek crossings, both bridged. Newton Creek crossing may require removal of skis. Joins Elk Meadows Ski Trail with the Newton Creek Trail.

Newton Creek Trail (marked trail and snow-covered road) 3 miles. The trailhead is located on the north side of Highway 35, 100 yards north of the Pocket Creek Sno-Park. This is a gentle to moderate trail with good views of Mount Hood. The trail ties in with the Elk Meadows Hiking Trail. Avalanche danger exists farther up the Newton Creek/Clark Creek canyon. Trail is best when there is over three feet of snow.

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.

Pocket Creek Trail (marked, snow covered road) 45 miles. The trail starts 3 miles north of the Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area turnoff, on the east side of Highway 35. It starts out level and after one mile, passes through a series of clearcuts. After two miles another road bears off to the left and provides another two miles of skiing to a dead end in a large talus area with good opportunities for telemarking.

Twin Lakes 6 Miles
It is possible to ski into Twin Lakes by starting at either the Barlow Pass or Frog Lake sno-park. The mute follows the Pacific Crest Trail to Trail 495 to Twin Lakes then rejoins the PCT. The trail is signed with blue diamonds, but it is narrow and sometimes not easy to follow. A two-car shuttle with the skier starting at Barlow Pass provides the best route when conditions are icy. This trip is for the advanced skier with map and compass skills.

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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