Spring Like January Morning

Mount Hood Weather Report for January 2022. It’s been a much warmer week on Mount Hood. Indeed there has been an inversion layer keeping the temperature on Mount Hood unseasonably warm. The freezing level has risen to over 11’000 feet. So whereas two weeks ago, there was consistent snow down at 1’500 feet that has pretty much all gone. From a hiking perspective that opens up a couple more options. It’s definitely spring-like conditions. Both for skiing and hiking.

Snow on the ZigZag Trail
Light Snow on the trail at around 3’500 feet

Firstly the lower down trails are now snow-free again – this would include those around Rhododendron, like the Salmon River Trail and Flag Mountain. I decided to see where the snow level was by taking a go at the West ZigZag Loop. This is taking the ZigZag Mountain Trail to West ZigZag Outlook and then taking the West ZigZag Mountain Trail back to Forest Road 27. Hunter and I set out from the ZigZag Mountain trail and made it up to 4000 feet. Below this, there was the occasional broken slow. There was no need for spikes or snowshoes. Beyond 4’000 feet the trail was snow-covered. In places, the trail is a little steep and the snow created some hazard to slipping sideways. So after 4 miles, I decided enough. This was pretty close to the highest point so I imagine that in a week this too may have melted out.

Overall it’s been a dramatic change in a week or so. There is still plenty of snow, especially when you get to Govy. However, it’s been through a few freeze cycles and has hardened up some. There really isn’t snow in the forecast in the next seven days so expect the snow to continue to melt relatively quickly. Daytime temperatures are in the forties and fifties. After a remarkable amount of snow between Christmas and the New Year, January has turned into an early thaw.

Check out some great hikes around Mount Hood.


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