Snow Shoe to Trillium Lake

February 24, 2011 (Updated December 6, 2016)

If you can’t find enough snow in your local neighborhood for a wintertime outdoor adventure, consider this week’s getaway. I’ve discovered several local wintertime destinations where you can snow shoe, it’s an easy sport that’s close at hand in the Mt Hood National Forest on the trail to Trillium Lake.

Jeff and Emi Nishimura love to play in the snow: it keeps them feeling young and active in winter – plus it’s a fun adventure to explore someplace new like the Trillium Lake Trail in the Mt Hood National Forest.

The couple recently discovered that snowshoes don’t slow them down but have opened up the outdoors to new adventures in the winter months. They’re not alone – thousands of folks have discovered that Oregon’s winter landscape is inviting and easy to travel through with a pair of snowshoes strapped to their boots.

Drew and Emiko Hall decided to get away from it all on a day long adventure to Trillium Trail because it’s easy to reach just past Government Camp along State Highway 26. If you’ve never done it before – you might stop in and chat with an expert before you go – someone like Erin Harri at REI in Hillsboro.

A word about those boots – think waterproof! You will be in snow after all, so keep dry is critically important. Clothing is critical too! Harri advised layering with synthetic-based clothing that wicks moisture away from your body – never wear cotton but wear a synthetic base layer, then an insulating layer of fleece or down and then top it off with a waterproof or windproof jacket.

That brings us back to Trillium Lake – according to Harri it is one of the best beginner sites around. If you are a beginner, allow a full day for your hike into Trillium Lake. Bring a lunch, energy food and lots of water – as aerobic as it is, you lose a lot of water – it is important to remain hydrated.

There are many places for newcomers to try beyond the Trillium Trail in the Mt Hood National Forest. Consider Frog Lake, White River Sno-Park and the Tilly Jane District at Cooper Spur on the north side of Mt Hood.

Something else to keep in mind – Harri noted that this winter has been called “weather fickle!” That is, the snow level has risen and fallen up thousands of feet each week, so check on the snow conditions and the weather forecast before you go.

About The

Grant McOmie
Grant McOmie is a Pacific Northwest broadcast journalist, teacher and author who writes and produces stories and special programs about the people, places, outdoor activities and environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant’s roots run deepest in the central Oregon region near Prineville and Redmond where his family continues to live.