It’s been a week of heavy snow – here’s a quick Mount Hood weather report for the last week of December 2021. There have been feet of snow on Mount Hood and the snow level has dropped to 1500′, at the base of the mountain. In Welches and Rhododendron over Christmas, there was a good 18 inches. The temperature has rarely got above freezing and at times has dropped into the low teens. Up at the ski resorts, there have been days that have been positively frigid. There has been a fairly continuous storm cycle where conditions have been very windy, with the occasional clear day in between. Roads in the mountains have been snow-covered all week making access to many trailheads difficult. Definitely a good time for traction tires and chains.
The good side is that it’s been a magical time to get out for some hiking. Beautiful times for some snowshoeing. Wandering between the snow-covered trees, listening to the occasional snow-bombs cascading from the higher limbs.
If you are looking for an introduction to snowshoeing The Barlow Wagon Trail is one mile (or two-mile there and back) – which follows forest service road 19. You can get to the trailhead from either end – either off of the LoLo Pass Road end (East Mountain Drive) or from the East Henry Creek Road end. There is limited parking at each end (but no pass is required). The trail itself is flat and follows the old Barlow Trail – at the moment it makes a great introduction to snowshoeing.
For something more adventurous you can head up the ZigZag mountain trail. Currently about the first mile of the trail has been broken and is fairly easy to hike in normal boots. Of course this could change rapidly!
Here are some additional tips on winter hiking.