Take a Winter Hike (Cascades Snow Report)
The beautiful dump of snow that Mt. Hood and the Cascades got at the start of the year is melting away. The higher resorts still have a good base, so downhill skiing and snowboarding are available, but the rolling hills of the mid-elevation destinations where snowshoers and cross-country skiers play are rocky with patches of bare ground.
Next Adventure Outdoor School found plenty of snow for a winter trip on New Year's Day, but what snow remains now is patchy and crusty. There is almost no snow left under the trees, and only protected open areas still harbor any snow cover at all up to 5000 feet elevation.
But snowshoers and cross-country skiers need not to worry, since snow levels are expected to drop soon, and there is more mountain snow in the forecast!
These photos are from the Fanton Trail, normally covered by snow this time of the year, taken a few weeks back. I left my snowshoes in the car and got a good hike in, with views of Mt. Jefferson, lots of green moss and lichens, animal tracks in the patches of snow that remained, and the stillness of being alone in nature. Just not much snow.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of options for getting out on a winter hike in our spectacular Northwest outdoor playgound.
Unseasonably warm weather means you can hike more trails. Come on by Next Adventure to browse our selection of outdoor recreation guide books and chat with staff for ideas about where to go. We also host free presentations and outdoor skills clinics to help you be better prepared for your next adventure.
Next Adventure had local author Lisa Holmes come by Next a few weeks ago to give a free presentation about her hiking guide, "I Heart Oregon (& Washington): 25 of the Portland Area's Best Hikes", and talk about where to get out for a winter hike near Portland.
And we've got more free clinics and presentations coming up, including a Winter Camping clinic on Tuesday, February 10, a presentation on Preparing to Hike the PCT on March 10th, and we're exciting to have Oregon author William Sullivan visit the store in April for a presentation on new hikes in Eastern Oregon.
Check out our online calendar of events for details and more info.
Don't let a lack of snow keep you from getting outdoors for some fun recreation!