Deschutes National Forest
Dutchman Flat Area
Challenging trails and a connecting corridor to Mount Bachelor Nordic Lodge. Take the Cascade Lakes Highway to the Dutchman Flat Parking Area. Area offers an 11 mile easy ski along the unplowed portion Cascade Lakes Highway and several expert trails.
Cascade Lakes Highway. . . 11.2 miles
The trail begins off Dutchman Flat Sno-Park, directly across from Mt. Bachelor Ski Area, and travels a short distance across Dutchman flat to Cascade Lakes Highway. Cascade Lakes Highway is a common corridor trail shared by nordic skiers, snowmobilers, dog sledders and snowshoers. It is groomed jointly by the Moon Country Snowmobile Club and Elk Lake Resort at least once a week and/or after each snowfall of 8 inches or greater for snowmobile use. Skiers should use the outside edges of the roadway to assure safety and to avoid conflicts with motorized users. At 2.3 miles the trail/roadway starts downhill and descends past Devils Lake to Elk Lake Woe. Elk Lake Lodge provides overnight accommodations and in/out snocat service.
Mt. Bachelor Access. . . 0.5 mile
This route links Mt. Bachelor Nordic Lodge with Century Drive. The trail is designated by Mt. Bachelor as a common corridor to allow skiers travel from Mt. Bachelor Ski Area to the Forest Service Nordic trail system at no charge.
Todd Lake Trail. . . 33 miles
The trail access begins off Dutchman Loop and goes west along snowpoles. This is a more difficult trail with some exciting challenges. It is also a good alternative to the heavily-used Cascade Lakes Highway and Road 370. From the Mt. Bachelor access trail junction northwest of Cascade Lakes Highway. the trail descends much of the way to the intersection with Road 370. Continuing to Todd Lake, the trail climbs gradually for a short distance and makes a loop around the lake. The recommended route of travel around the lake is the clockwise direction. It is recommended that you stay off the ice.
Water Tower Trail. . . 1.2 miles
The most direct access point to the trail is from the Dutchman Loop. The grade is gentle as it follows through sparse mountain hemlock timber to within about 100 yards of the Mt. Bachelor water tower. The trail then crosses a bridge to an open meadow. Beyond the meadow the Trail descends westerly a short distance to where it intersects Road 370.
Road 370. . . 2.2 miles
Road 370 is a groomed snowmobile trail starting at Cascade Lakes Highway and extending to the east side of Three Creek Lake. This trail is a common corridor shared by cross country skiers, dog sledders and snowmobilers Skiers should yield the right-of-way to the motorized traveler. The first 0.6 mile follows basically flat terrain to Todd Lake junction The next 1.2 miles are uphill to Big Meadow. At Big Meadow, the trail goes northwest to where it intersects the Big Meadow Trail From Big Meadow, the views of Mt. Bachelor are spectacular. The major attraction of the trail is that it provides easy access for the novice skier traveling to Todd Lake or the back country area. Because of the trail congestion and some steep, fast pitches, skiers should exercise caution when coming down this route.
Todd Ridge Trail. . . 1 mile
This trail offers a challenge with steep uphill or downhill depending on the direction of travel. The trail may be accessed at Todd Lake or Big Meadow The trail rises 350 feet In 1.0 mile before it joins the Big Meadow Trail. This trail should be approached from Todd Lake as it is easier to traverse up the steep side ridge to Big Meadow. It you are an expert skier looking for a steep continuous downgrade through the trees, this trail is for you.
Pete's Way. . . 1 mile
The access is off the Water Tower Trail approximately 35 yards northwest of the water tower. It continues up moderately steep terrain for the first 1/2 mile. The remaining 1/2 mile is gentle to where it intersects with the Big Meadow Trail. This tail is largely used by skiers returning from the Big Meadow area.
Big Meadow. . . 23 miles
The Big Meadow Trail starts at the Dutchman Loop This is one of the primary access routes to the Three Sisters Wilderness. Continuing up the trail from Dutchman Flat, the trail gradually ascends through mountain hemlock with few openings along the way to Big Meadow. It continues through Big Meadow and connects with the Todd Ridge Trail across Trail 370. A round trip from Dutchman Sno-Park to Big Meadow is estimated to take 24 hours depending on the skier's ability and snow conditions. The trail system offers a variety of alternative routes back to the parking lot
Flagline Trail. . . 4 miles
This trail is 4 miles long and begins at the junction with South Fork and Swampy Lakes Loop, close to the Swampy Lakes Shelter. This trail leads through a thick forest in the north of Tumalo Mountain before connecting with the Big Meadow Trail A more popular way to enjoy this ski tour is to leave a car at Swampy Lakes parking lot and ski from Dutchman Flat parking lot via the flagline Access Trail. Once on the Flagline Trail, it is mostly downhill going this way to the Swampy Lakes Trail and then a rolling 2 mile ski to Sno-Park. This ski tour covers about 8.0 miles which can take up to 4-5 hours to complete for the accomplished skier and should only be attempted in good weather.
Flagline Access Trail. . . 1 mile
This trail branches off the Dutchman Loop at the northeastern corner of Dutchman flat and travels in a northerly direction through dense hemlock timber until it intersects with the flagline Trail The route is all uphill from Dutchman Flat. There are very few scenic views, but the trail provides a loop opportunity, as well as an alternative access to the Three Sisters Wilderness. This trail is a very popular intermediate to advanced skier trail.
Flagline Tie. . . 13 miles
This is the major connection between Vista Butte and the Flagline Trail. It passes through mixed lodgepole and mountain hemlock along gentle terrain.
Edison Butte Sno-Park
Features an old growth forest trail. Access to the Edison Butte Sno-Park: From Bend take the Cascade Lakes Highway and turn onto Road 45. Follow Road 45 for about 4 miles and watch for the parking lot on your right. From Highway 97 and Sunriver Resort, travel Road 40 to Road 45 and continues for 7 miles to the Sno-Park. The Nordic Trailhead can be found at the south end of the parking lot. Nordic trails are marked with blue diamonds, snowmobile trails with orange diamonds. Many of the trails go through stands of old growth ponderosa pine and lodgepole pine. Ski routes generally go downhill from north to south.
Light Bulb Loop. . . 3.4 miles
This route heads south from the Nordic Trailhead. The trail provides many short up and downhill challenges as well as flat easy sections. Attractions include the Edison Shelter which has a warming stove and is stocked with firewood by volunteers.
Old Growth Trail . . . 2.6 miles
Starts from the southeastern corner Light Bulb Loop and travels southeast over lava bed terrain for about 1/4 mile and then follows gentle terrain through old growth ponderosa. The trail ties in with Road 4525 and is mostly downhill north to south.
Pondo Loop. . . 35 miles
Follow the Old Growth Trail south to Road 4525, then west to the start of the Pondo Loop. This route begins off Road 4525 and divides to follow existing roads. The southwestern-most route ascends gentle terrain and intersects with Road 200. The route continues up the road a short ways than branches right and slightly skirts a side ridge, intersects Road 40a and descends to Road 4526. From there it travels back to the beginning point.
This loop has been used by skiers in training for a biatholon race and is sometimes groomed by Sunriver Sports. Caution should be exercised when entering the target shooting range.
Easy Tie. . . 0.9 miles
This trail travels Road 290 which provides a lie in between the Pondo Loop. It descends gently in a southeasterly direction to Road 4526.
High Voltage. . . 22 miles
Go south on Light Bulb Loop and Old Growth for 13 miles. Then turn on to High Voltage and ski north. Connect back with Light Bulb Loop via the Trail Tie that comes in by the Edison Shelter. The route climbs steadily from south to north. Or ski the route counter clockwise for thrilling downhill runs.
Supercharger. . . 2.1 miles
This is a fast, exciting connecting trail between the Dynamo and Alternating Current Trails. Short sections are steep and can be challenging. The trail is best when skied downhill from North to South.
Direct Current. . . 2.5 miles
Alternating Current. . . 1.4 miles
These trails provide a loop experience and access to the AD/DC shelter site. The trails are more difficult, but provide fun skiing and good views of the surrounding scenery.
Shelters in this area are built, stocked and maintained by volunteers. Your cooperation is essential to keep these facilities available for public use. Please use wood sparingly, pack out all trash, discourage vandalism and encourage others to do the same.
Skyliner and Meissner Area
Features Tumalo Falls and nature trails. The Skyliner Area offers a variety of snowplay activities. You may access this area from Bend by going west on Galvaston Avenue and Skyliners Road. The parking area is 13 miles out. Sno-Park Permits are not required at this lot.
Skyliner Trail No. 1. . . 1 mile
This is one of two trails that begin at the Skyliner Play Hill parking lot. Trail No. 1 branches east of the parking area and follows basically flat terrain.
Skyliner Trail No. 2. . . 2 miles
Trail No. 2 goes west from the Skyliner lot and follows a road for a mile before traversing northeast along a ridge in the Bridge Creek bum area k than bops bade so Skyliner Lodge, and X is a short ski back to the trailhead.
Trail/Road 4603. . . 2.3 miles
This is the primary access route to Tumalo Falls and the South Fork Shelter. It rolls slightly up through an open area to Tumalo. From the falls, go southeast across the burn to pick up the trail to the shelter. NOTE: This road is not signed with ski markers or snowpoles.
Access to the Meissner Area is by the Cascade Lakes Highway, 13 miles west of Bend. Sno-Park Permits are required at Swampy Lakes Nordic Lot, and at the Virginia Meissner Parking Lot from November 15 to April 30. No dogs or motorized vehicles are allowed in the Swampy Lakes Area or the Meissner Area. Virginia Meissner taught cross-country skiing in Central Oregon for many years. She wrote several books on hiking and skiing in the Cascades. The Virginia Meissner Parking lot, formerly known as the Tangent area, was renamed in memory of her contribution to Nordic skiing. Many of the trails ware named after local native plants, one of Virginia Meissner's interests. Wednesdays Trail was named after a mid-week touring group that Mrs. Meissner led for many years.
Wednesdays Trail. . . 4.2 miles
Provides easy access to other trails. When combined with Tangent Loop, a 6.0-mile circuit is possible.
Tangent Loop. . . 5.9 miles
This route provides access and loops to both the Swampy and Meissner areas.
Snowbush.. . . 1.6 miles
Manzanita. 0.9 mile
Provides access to Meissner Shelter
Pinedrops. . . 1 mile
All are easy trails which form connecting loops.
Penstemon. . . 0.5 mile
Forms an easy beginners loop with Wednesdays Trail.
Paintbrush. . . 15 miles
Easy ski to some great views.
Lupine. . . 0.9 miles
Provides alternate access to and from the Meissner Shelter.
Shooting Star. . . 1.4 miles
This trail is more difficult but provides access to spectacular views at the future shelter site.
Swampy Lake Area
Through lodgepole pine territory.
Tangent Loop. . . 5.9 miles
This loop starts at the Swampy Lakes Trail. It is an excellent beginner trail and serves as access to the Nordeen, Swede Ridge and Meissner Trails. A long downhill run on Road 080 can be very testy skiing when snow is firm or icy.
Swede Ridge Loop. . . 4.6 miles
This trail loop is accessible from four different locations shown on the map. The most direct one is a mile from Swampy Lakes Sno-Park on the Swampy Lakes Trail. Here the trail ascends largely through lodgepole pine timber to where it joins Road 140 and continues on Road 100 to Swede Ridge Shelter. A return link descends through a thick forested setting all the way to where it terminates at Swampy Lakes. The shelter provides a cozy lunch break or rest stop. Overnight camping is prohibited.
Nordeen Loop. . . 3.9 miles
This loop branches off the northwestern halt of the Tangent Trail Loop and travels about 0.2 miles before separating into two different directions. The northeastern spur descends through sparse woodlands to Nordeen Shelter. The shelter is located 2 miles from where the trails divide.
The Nordeen Shelter is located atop a southeast facing ridge. Newberry Crater and the eastern plains are easily seen from here. [The shelter was built in 1980 in honor of Emil Nordeen.]
From the shelter, southwestern spur descends 0 4 mile before ascending the remaining 1.6 miles to where it reconnects. The loop is mostly traveled in the clockwise direction because of a gradual descent.
Swampy Lakes Trail. . . 2 miles
This relatively short easy trail climbs gently following an old road through a lodgepole pine forest to a ridge overlooking Swampy Lakes. There are excellent views of the mountain peaks in the high country afforded from the ridge. Skiers can take a short, steep downhill route off the ridge or use the by-pass to the southwestern side of the lake to the shelter.
The shelter is located directly north of the lakes in a sparser stand of lodgepole pine. Built in 1988, the shelter has a woodstove and benches for seating. Overnight camping is prohibited. Wood is provided by the Central Oregon Nordic Club volunteers. This popular trail gets early snow. Swampy Lakes is closed to dogs and motorized use.
Swampy Lakes Loop. . . 1.9 miles
This trail provides a slightly easier, but longer, access to Swampy Lakes Shelter from the Swampy Sno-Park. The trail loop branches off the Tangent Loop Trail and follows a road for about 3/4 of a mite before descending through scattered pockets of dead standing lodgepole pine timber. At 1.3 miles the trail bypasses a short steep hill and climbs before leveling out across the lake. After a northwesterly turn it climbs for a few hundred feet to the Swampy Lakes Shelter.
Beginner Loop. . . 1.4 miles
This loop offers a short but interesting trip along gentle terrain though lodgepole pine. The trail gradually climbs from the trailhead to within about 1 mile of the midway point then loops back to the Swampy Lakes trail. A good "first time out" trail.
Ridge Loop. . . 2.6 miles
This trail provides the beginner/intermediate skier with generally flat to gently rolling terrain through fairly dense lodgepole pine timber. The hall mile section between the Vista Butte Trails and the Swampy Lakes Trail is steep and narrow This well defined trail is accessible from three different locations and offers excellent views of Broken Top and Tumalo Falls vicinity
Dry lakes and dense forest.
Flagline Trail. . . 4 miles
This trail is 4 miles long and begins at the junction with South Fork and Swampy Lakes Loop close to the Swampy Lakes Shelter. This trail leads through a thick forest to the north of Tumalo Mountain before connecting with the Big Meadow Trail. A more popular way to enjoy this ski tour is to leave a car at Swampy Lakes parking lot and ski from Dutchman Flat parking lot via the Flagline Access Trail. Once on the Flagline Trail it is mostly downhill going this way to the Swampy Lakes Trail and then a rolling 2-mile ski to the Sno-Park. This ski tour covers about 8.0 miles which can take up to 4-5 hours to complete for the accomplished skier and should only be attempted in good weather.
Flagline Access Trail. . . 1 mile
This trail branches On the Dutchman Loop at the northeastern corner of Dutchman Flat and travels in a northerly direction through dense hemlock timber until it intersects with the Flagline Trail. The route is all uphill from Dutchman Flat. There are very few scenic views but the trail provides a loop opportunity as well as an alternative access to the Three Sisters Wilderness. This trail is a very popular intermediate to advanced skier trail.
Flagline Tie. . . 1.3 miles
This is the major connection between Vista Butte and the Flagline Trail. It passes through mixed lodgepole and mountain hemlock and a beautiful open area with large gray snags. The trail follows gentle terrain.
Butte Trail. . . 2.2 miles
The trail begins at the Vista Butte Sno-Park and travels west for a short distance before turning east up a moderate to fairly steep side hill. The hill is followed by flat gentle terrain. Then the trail splits into two equidistant sections that eventually connect again to form a single route. Continuing on the trail circles the base of Vista Butte where it intersects with the Ridge Loop Trail. Recommended for advanced skiers.
Vista Butte. . . 0.5 miles
This trail branches off the Butte Trail and traverses to the top of Vista Butte The terrain is steep but may be easy when covered in fresh snow. During the spring season. Icy conditions present a potential skiing hazard. The butte top affords spectacular views. Take your camera.
Swampy Lakes Trail. . . 2 miles
This relatively short easy trail climbs gently following an old road through a lodgepole pine forest to a ridge overlooking Swampy Lakes. There are excellent views of the mountain peaks in the high country afforded from the ridge.
Swampy Lakes are dry and can be skied across. The shelter is located directly north of me take in a sparser stand of lodgepole pine. Built in 1988 the shelter has a woodstove and benches for seating. Overnight camping is prohibited. Wood is provided by the Central Oregon Nordic Club volunteers. This popular trail gets early snow. Swampy Lakes is closed to dogs and motorized use.
Swampy Lakes Loop. . . 19 miles
This trail provides a slightly easier but longer. Access to Swampy Lakes Shelter from the Swampy Sno-Park. The trail loop branches off the Tangent Loop Trail and follows a road for about 3/4 of a mile before descending through scattered pockets of dead standing lodgepole pine timber. At 1.3 miles the trail bypasses a short steep hill and climbs before leveling out across the lake. After a northwesterly turn it climbs for a few hundred feet to the Swampy Lakes Shelter.
Beginner Loop. . . 1.4 miles
This loop offers a short but interesting trip along gentle terrain through lodgepole pine. The trail gradually climbs from the trailhead to within about 1 mile of the midway point then loops back to the Swampy Lakes trail. A good first time out trail.
Ridge Loop. . . 2.6 miles
This trail provides the beginner to intermediate skier with generally flat to gently rolling terrain through fairly dense lodgepole pine timber. However, the first half mile west of the Swampy Lakes Trail junction is narrow and steep. The well defined trail is accessible from three different locations and offers excellent views of Broken Top and Tumalo Falls vicinity.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication