Mount Hood National Forest

Cross-Country Skiing - Easy Trails
Mount Hood National Forest
Mount Hood National Forest (Theo Allofs/Photodisc/Getty)

Mt. Hood National Forest starts low and climbs high. At 3428 meters, it's the highest peak in Oregon and the fourth highest in the Cascades. Get high enough, and you can see over to the Three Sisters peaks and Mt. Jefferson.

High or (in some years) low, there's some worthy skiing. Check in with the rangers before heading out.

Permits, Help, and Information

Oregon Sno-park Permits: A valid Sno-Park permit must be displayed in the windshield of your vehicle if you park in designated winter recreation parking areas between November 15 and April 30. Money from the sales of these permits is used by the Highway Division to plow parking lots and roadside parking areas used by winter recreationists. Many businesses in the Highway 26 corridor sell permits; you can also pick one up at the visitor's center.

Search and Rescue is the responsibility of the County Sheriff. Use 911 for emergencies.

Avalanche Information: 503-326-2400.

Mt. Hood Information Center: 503-622-7674. Open seven days a week (except holidays) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Trails Overview

Old Maid Flat: Low altitude. Maybe snow, maybe not.
Government Camp West: Views of Mt. Hood
Government Camp East: An original route of the pioneers
Westleg/Glade Trail: Features the Snowbunny trail. Good practicing, silly name.
Trillium Lake Basin: Popular, for good reasons, but can get congested
Yellow Jacket Trail: Expert-class trail that crosses the Salmon River
East Fork of the Hood River: Some of the best tracks in Oregon
Barlow Pass: Historic trails, from nice 'n easy, to real tough
Twin Lakes: Good views that you gotta work to see

Old Maid Flat

Length: 17.6 miles
Access: Follow US Highway 26 east of Sandy to Lolo Pass Road 18. Continue north for 6 miles to junction of Road 1 X28.

Old Maid Flat Area
The road system area in Old Maid Flat is extensive. You can use Roads 1825, 1825-382, 1825111, 1825-109, and 1825-100; all are gentle and may vary in length from 2 miles to 10 or more. This is a road system not marked for cross-country skiing.

Government Camp East

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

Summit Trail (marked road) 2 miles
This wide, nearly flat road can be accessed from the Barlow Trail and Multipor Ski area, or from the east end of the Ski Bowl parking lot. When passing through the ski area, please stay on the marked cross-country trail.

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.

Alpine Loop (marked trail) 1/2 mile
This short trail, combined with the West Leg Trail, creates a scenic loop in the Government Camp area Ski up the lower mile of the West Leg Trail, then turns left (west) onto the loop. The Alpine Loop rejoins the West Leg Trail after 1/2 mile. Then ski downhill to return to the Still Creek Sno-Park.

Tie Trail (marked trail) 1/2 mile
This trail was originally the road that connected East Leg and West Leg Roads, the original access routes to Timberline Lodge. The Tie Trail is used to connect the Snowbunny and West Leg Trail systems, and allows skiers a wide variety of loop and parking options. Use caution when crossing Timberline Road.

Trillium Lake Basin

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

Yellow Jacket Trail

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

White River Trail Area 3 miles (this trail is in the Zigzag District)
Easier/More Difficult
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.

Sahalie Falls Trail (marked, snow-covered road) 1.3 miles. This is a good trail for beginners. It has little elevation gain and passes scenic Sahalie Falls. Follows old Highway from Bennett Pass to Hood River Meadows. Slightly downhill. Groomed trails in the Hood River Meadows area are part of the Mt. Hood Meadows Nordic Ski Center (fee required).

Clark Creek Trail (marked trail) 2 miles. An easy trail. It leaves the Clark Creek Sno-park, turns right at a junction with the Elk Meadows Ski Trail, and crosses Clark Creek. It then follows some old roads to a junction with the Kate Creek Trail. The trail then enters an open lodgepole pine stand for a moderate, downhill run to the Pocket Creek Sno-Park, passing a junction with the Newton Tie Trail just before reaching Highway 35.

Newton Creek Tie Trail (marked trail) 0.3 miles. A short trail connecting Clark Creek Trail with the Newton Creek Trail.

Robinhood Creek Loop Trail (marked trail and snow-covered roads) 3.3 miles. Designed with the novice in mind. This loop goes through open woods and plantations maintaining a fairly constant elevation. Good beginner trail.

Horsethief Meadows Trail (unmarked, snow-covered road) approximately 3 miles. This trail is a beautiful trip on a gently rising hill overlooking the east fork of the Hood River drainage. Leaves Road 3520 (part of the Robinhood Creek Loop) about 0.75 miles from Highway 35. The meadow makes a fine area for beginners to practice.

Meadows Creek Tie Trail (marked trail and snow-covered road) 1.2 miles. An easy trail connecting the Pocket Creek Trail (road) with the Meadows Creek Trail.

Barlow Pass

Beaver Marsh Loop
A loop at the bottom of the Pioneer and Pioneer Women's Grave trail. It is a nice easy extension to the pioneer trails. The loop meanders among the trees and open marshes. Signs of beaver activity have been seen in the past.

Pioneer And Pioneer Women's Grave Trail 4 Miles
A nice downhill trip through the forest start at Barlow Pass Sno-Park. Have someone meet you at the bottom near the junction of Highway 26 and 35 for a short two-mile top. You can make an easy loop by following the Old Barlow Road down and returning up Road 3531.


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