Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean that you’ll want to keep away from the trails, right? Snowshoeing is a great way to stay active in the winter and is a great excuse to get back on the trails amidst a dazzling scenic, snowy view. Snowshoeing is similar to hiking and some say it is as easy as walking! Outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels and ages can take up snowshoeing.
As always, make sure that you’re safe, staying on marked trails, and are prepared for the weather and terrain you plan to hike! Like any physical activity, make sure that you are aware of your limits and make sure to stretch, just like you would before a hike in the fall or spring. It is also important to take precautions like checking with your local park rangers for anything like an avalanche warnings.
Snap on your snowshoes and check out some of these trails located near some Thousand Trails and Encore campgrounds in Oregon and Washington!
Mt. Hood Village RV Resort, OR
Located in Zigzag, OR, the Old Maid Flats trailhead is only a 20 minutes drive east of the Mt. Hood Village RV Resort and is a popular destination for snowshoeing in the fall and is a great trail for any level since it’s mostly flat. In the fall, people come to Zigzag to gather mushrooms, which are abundant in the Mt. Hood area. Birders may see Hermit thrush and the Western Tanger in the springtime. Or you can try the Old Salmon River Trail. This trail is only 5.2 miles and reaches about 100 feet of elevation, making it an easy and flat for snowshoeing. There is a required park pass fee of $5. Open year round, this trail is located approximately 15 minutes drive from the Mt. Hood Village RV Resort. Long ago, The Old Salmon Trail was actually an Oregon Trail shortcut, allowing travelers to pass the nearby Sandy River.
Now that you know about Leavenworth’s spectacular Christmas Lighting festival traditions, you’ll also want to know that Leavenworth is a great town to indulge in your favorite outdoor sports. When it comes to snowshoeing, Leavenworth has a variety of trails to choose from. About 20 miles south of the Leavenworth RV Campground, is the Icicle Ridge Trail, a great snowshoeing location for all ages and skill levels. Upon reaching the top, you’ll be treated to some spectacular views of Grindstone Mountain and the Icicle Creek valley below. Also near the Leavenworth RV Campground is Hatchery Creek Trail. This trail isn’t as popular as those in Icicle Creek, however, it is just as beautiful. This 6.5 mile trail will take you to the Lake Augusta Trailhead and onward to catch views of the Wenatchee River Valley. This area can be prone to avalanches after a snowfall, so be very cautious and make sure to check if the Northwest Avalanche Center is issuing warnings. If all clear, you’re views of the Wenatchee River Valley will be extremely rewarding.
If you are staying with Thousand Trails at the Bend Sunriver RV Campground, how about trying some snowshoeing in the area? There are several tour guides in the Bend, OR area who will happily lead you on your snowshoeing adventure. One of those guides, Wanderlust Tours, not only leads you through some of the best snowshoeing trails in the Deschutes National Forest, the guides teach you the history about snowshoeing and the trails that you venture along. If you’re a beginner, a guide will be most helpful, especially in such a large area as the Deschutes National Forest. There are also a fair amount of well-known breweries in the area like, Deschutes, Cascade, 10 Barrel, and Boneyard Brewing that are great places to stop for lunch after a morning of snowshoeing.