Are you new to Central Oregon or thinking of moving to our amazing community?  Embrace the magic of the full moon with a snowshoe adventure in Bend, Oregon! 

 

Embarking on a moonlit snowshoe adventure in Bend is like stepping into a winter wonderland under a celestial spotlight. As the moon casts its ethereal glow upon the snow-covered landscape, every step becomes a journey into enchantment. The crisp air fills your lungs with a refreshing chill, while the silence of the night amplifies the crunch of snow beneath your snowshoes. With each stride, you’re drawn deeper into the serene beauty of the wilderness, surrounded by towering pines adorned with glistening snow. The moonlight dances off the pristine powder, illuminating your path and revealing nature’s intricate details. In this magical setting, time seems to stand still, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the tranquility of the snowy night.

Grab your friends, family, or make it a fun date — you are in for an unforgettable experience trekking to the Meissner Snow Hut under the glow of the moon and enjoying a nice warm fire at the top. 🏔️❄️ Let the serene beauty of the winter landscape captivate your senses as you navigate through the snow-covered trails. ✨ 

Whether you’re a seasoned snowshoer or new to the sport, this journey promises enchanting views and unforgettable memories.  

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to connect with nature and bask in the glow of the full moon. Next full moon is on/around 3/25/24.  

See you on the trails! 

Virginia Meissner Sno-Park

The short trail up to the Meissner shelter is a great one for beginners. It’s only about 1.5 miles long and gains about 385 feet in elevation. The shelter offers a nice destination and has some good views up toward Broken Top and out toward Smith Rock.

Mileage: 1.5 – 3 mile loop w approximately 310 – 385 ft. elevation gain

Approximate hike time: 1 hour 40 minutes w/ an average pace of 1.8 mph

Difficulty: Easy

Highest elevation: 5,433 ft. Lowest elevation: 5,180 ft.

General location: 13 miles southwest of Bend – Deschutes National Forest

Permits required: Sno-park pass is required from November 1 – April 30

Pit toilet at trailhead: Yes

Trail allows: Snowshoes, cross-country skis. Dogs are NOT allowed.

 

OTHER SNOWSHOE TRAILS

 

Swampy Sno-Park

Both the short and long loops here make for excellent nighttime snowshoes, as the trail icons reflect a headlamp’s beam and will help keep you on the trail. Another trail reroute leads from the sno-park to the Nordeen shelter and avoids the steep climb up to that shelter. Add the short and long loops for a total of 6 miles.

Edison Sno-Park

This “electric” area has trails named after Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, alternating and direct current, light bulbs and more. Snowshoe and Nordic ski trails intersect often in this area, so a good map helps with navigation. Though trails lead to the Edison shelter, it is technically closed due to its condition. The AC/DC shelter is a bit higher in elevation and provides a good destination for those wanting to snowshoe a longer loop. A new, dedicated snowshoe trail leads to this shelter which parallels the ski trail. Tesla to AC/DC Shelter – 5 miles

Dutchman Flat

For those heading out to Todd Lake, Dutchman Flat or the Mt. Bachelor Nordic Center, these are good jumping-off points. A new snowshoe trail from Dutchman separates snowshoers heading to the common corridor from snowmobile traffic along the Cascade Lakes Highway.

Whichever way you go, the snowshoe out to Todd Lake provides excellent views of Mt. Bachelor, Todd Lake and of the massive old-growth mountain hemlock that grow in the area. Circling around Todd Lake adds another mile to the trip but is well worth the effort; just beware of thin ice along the lake edge.

Todd Lake Loop

Enjoy the views of Mt. Bachelor, South Sister, and Broken top. 

It’s so peaceful to be out snowshoeing through the Cascade Mountains. There are views of Mt. Bachelor, the South Sister and Broken Top on a clear day. Also, feeding the birds at the end is really fun! The trail approximately 5.5 – 6 miles round trip (it’s a loop if you go around the lake at the end) and is good for beginners in terms of snowshoeing since there’s not a huge elevation gain. 

Upper Three Creeks Sno-Park

Though the initial part of the trail out to the Jeff View shelter is steep, the Peak View Snowshoe trail soon levels off and follows a gentle grade up to the shelter. Snowshoers get excellent views of Mount Jefferson and other peaks at the shelter. A return loop through a young stand of trees is testament to forest regeneration after a wildfire. Peak View Loop – 3.5 miles

Salt Creek Falls Trail

Located in the Willamette National Forest, west of Lake of the Woods Resort on Highway 140, a great overnight destination with cabins and a lodge that serves meals, is the Salt Creek Sno-Park. The snowshoe down to Salt Creek Falls is about ½ mile long, but seeing the frozen falls which plunge over 200 feet over a basalt lip is a sight to behold. For those wanting a longer snowshoe, another loop trail leads from the falls to several other smaller waterfalls. Salt Creek Falls – 1.0 mile

Other Sno-Park locations – click HERE

 

Snowshoe trail maps can be downloaded from the Central Oregon Nordic Club’s website at https://conordicclub.org/Trail-Maps-Info

And, get your Sno-Park permit here:  https://www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv/pages/vehicle/sno_park_permits.aspx

Sources: Hike Oregon, Central Oregon Nordic Club, and Visit Central Oregon 

 

Are you new to Central Oregon or thinking of moving to our amazing community?  Embrace the magic of the full moon with a snowshoe adventure in Bend, Oregon!