The fun and adventure of this beautiful land does not go dormant through the winter months - it merely takes on a different character. Trails weave through the forests, cross the fields, and even follow the frozen avenues of the rivers and lakes. You can choose to follow them on your cross-country skis, or try your 'feet' at an often preferred mode of transport, snowshoeing.
Ice Skaters at Inn of the Seventh Mountain
Deschutes National Forest
Trail excerpts from the Guidebook "Snowshoe Routes: Oregon".
Barlow Pass - This route is a great cross-country hike that uses the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. In crossing from Twin Lakes over to the Barlow Pass area, youíll see a lot of the rugged wilderness for which Mount Hoodís lowlands are famous. Climbing up from Wapinitia Pass gives you the sort of view that alternately confounds and delights Oregon wilderness enthusiasts: rolling evergreen forest, in this time of year frosted white.... - Government Camp, 6 miles
Frog Lake - This route does a good job of clearing your head without requiring much of your legs, your preparation, or your ambition. Itís perfect for snowshoers with small children who need to get out and who want to expose their kids to the outdoors without getting into a huge ordeal. Or you might just be traveling from Bend to Portland and need a brief opportunity to stretch your legs. Frog Lake is a popular sno-park for snowmobilers too, so donít bother with this area on a weekend. Come in the midweek, when youíre more likely to have the peace youíre after. Heavy snowmobile use does improve the route for snowshoeing in one way: they do tend to pack the road down quite well.... Government Camp, 1.5 miles
South Sister - Hereís a test of your quadriceps. This potentially grueling climb up the southernmost peak in the Three Sisters Wilderness is a great springtime snowshoe outing. From the summit of South Sister youíve got the astounding reach of the Three Sisters Wilderness before you, as well as views north almost to Mount Hood, and south almost to Mount Shasta. The summit of South Sister is host to a dramatic teardrop lake that forms out of a depression filled with ice for much of the year. The climb up the peak leads you past yawning glaciers and dramatic fields of cooled lava.... Bend, 10 miles
Swampy Lakes Trail - Ask Bend locals where to go snowshoeing on a winterís day, and theyíre likely to tell you to head for Swampy Lakes for two reasons. First, the Swampy Lakes Sno-Park accesses many trails of widely varying difficulty. And second, itís a good place to tell tourists to go so locals can have their secret haunts to themselves. But thereís no reason to disdain Swampy Lakes. It is popular, yes. But because it has so many different trail options, you can easily find a route to accommodate your needs for both exercise and wintry peace. Beginners will find at least three loops less than 2 miles long. More advanced snowshoers can fill their entire day covering trails more than 8 miles long.... Bend
Trillium Lake Loop - A Classic winter sight, and not something you would expect to find so close to a highway. The wide sweep of the frozen lake surface lends a natural sense of drama that you might think.... - Government Camp, 5 miles
Tumalo Falls - If youíre in Bend looking for a simple but extremely rewarding route, keep this one on your short list. The Tumalo Valley is beautiful in all seasons, but the Tumalo Falls really show their wild beauty when surrounded by ice and snow. For some reason itís a rare year that this low valley gets enough snow, but cross your fingers and watch the forecasts.... Bend, 3 miles