I’ve been talking about snowshoeing with one of my coworkers for a few months now. We’ve been waiting for the snow to fall up in the Cascades, but apparently this is a very non-typical winter so far. Mt Hood has gotten very little snow compared to a “normal” year.
After last weekend though that changed a bit. So Sue Ann and I had talked off and on all week about snowshoeing something up in the Hood Wilderness. We tossed around the idea of Timberline and then UP the mountain until we felt like turning around or something a bit tamer, it really depended on the snow conditions.
The weather pattern this week has been very foggy here in the greater Portland, OR area and sunny and warm up on Hood. What they call an inversion around here. Needless to say there has been a fair amount of snow melt with temps on Hood approaching 60 degrees on a couple of those days.
After a stop at the amazing Joe’s Donuts in Sandy, OR, we headed up towards Government Camp and a decision on Timberline or Trillium. Basically the decision was made for us…..The parking lot up at Timberline was closed and the only access was to park and shuttle up from one of the remote parking spots. The parking lot at Trillium had about 50 cars in it! Decision made.
It’s an decent 4.5 mile hike from the parking lot off of route 26, down to the lake, around the lake, and back to the car. It’s a mix of snow covered paved road and then snow covered forest roads. Not the most difficult of hikes I have even done. It’s also a VERY POPULAR hike. I would bet we saw over 200+ people hiking this very loop.
Now truth be told this hike could have easily been done with just boots or boots and micro spikes. The snow was not super deep and had been packed down since last Saturday’s storms by probably a couple thousand visitors. We all decided to keep the snowshoes on though. It wasn’t hurting to have them on.
After the hike we headed towards Mt. Hood Meadows, but were directed to the Nordic parking lot since Meadows parking lot was full. From there we grabbed the free shuttle up the Meadows and lunch.
They were not kidding when they said it was packed. That being said, we only waited for about 10 minutes to get an outside table (it was in the 50’s!).
Unfortunately our fire top table was out of propane, so we could not enjoy some fire. The food was okay, the company was great, and the views were spectacular. Made for a pretty decent lunch.
It was a good day to be outside. Great weather to boot. I’m constantly amazed by Mt. Hood. It’s so unlike anything back East.
Thanks for reading.