GO HERE: Snowshoeing Deep Into the Wilderness
Unlike skiing or ice skating, with snowshoeing there really is no need to practice. A good pair of waterproof boots, snow pants, and a hard-shell jacket will keep you warm, comfortable, and dry. For people interested in getting into the back-country, it’s important to have the right shoes. Back-country snowshoes should have a sharp edge and tapered, exaggerated tails, whereas recreational models are rounded and will slide more on a hillside. An ascension bar is also a plus. There are plenty of places in the area for novices and experts alike. Essentially, you can just head off into the wild mountain yonder as long as there’s enough snow. There are, however, a few places that are definitely worth your time.
Bull Gap – intermediate to advanced
The Bull Gap Trail (5.7 miles) is likely the most popular trail near Mt. Ashland. Sitting at about 6100 ft and dropping down to 5500 ft, before then climbing up to around 6600 ft., the adventure ends at the Mr. Ashland Ski Park parking lot. Loop trails are also possible via the PCT and Bull Gap Road.
Buck Prairie – beginner
For beginners, there are 17 miles of nordic trails at Buck Prairie 13 miles east of Ashland, as long as you don’t mind the company of cross-country skiers. Just make sure to not walk on their tracks.
Crater Lake – most levels
Bucket list for anyone who lives in a 100 mile radius of the crater! This year is particularly sweet: December 2015 was the snowiest month for Crater Lake on record! Crater Lake averages around 44 feet of snow each year. That said, most of the park is usually closed, but excellent terrain still remains. Inquire at the Steel Visitor Center for current trail conditions. Ranger guided snowshoe walks are also usually available through April.
Grizzley Peak – moderate
With only 750 feet elevation gain, this 5.4 mile round trip is a nice afternoon snowshoe. Beautiful Douglas Fir trees, Cedar and White Fir, line the trail until you continue along the loop trail and find great views of Ashland, Emigrant Lake, Pilot Rock and Mount Shasta.
Edison Butte – moderate
Join Oregon Wild for a snow trek through snow-covered lava fields and old-growth ponderosa pine trees near the Edison Butte Sno-Park on the Deschutes National Forest on Saturday January 23. 9 am – 3 pm. Great for first-timers and experienced alike! Four miles long and 500 feet elevation gain. firstname.lastname@example.org