Mount Hood snowshoe trails

Fun in the Snow

Michael and I had the chance to have some fun in the snow and sun this weekend! On Saturday, his mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan and we drove up to Mount Hood to go snowshoeing WITHOUT a kid and WITHOUT a dog! It was so crazy! LOL It was crazy how easy it was to pack for just us. 😉

It was such a gorgeous day. It was clear blue skies and warm–almost 45 degrees up on the mountain. We drove to White River West Sno Park and arrived at about 10am. (When we left the parking lot that holds 200 cars was packed full.)

White River is a popular place for sledding and there were lots of kids out sledding. It looked super fun! The other nice thing about White River is the immediate view of Mount Hood:

It was such a nice day! And it was so nice being out there just the two of us, doing something we used to do before having Logan. Not that it’s not nice doing stuff with our dog and kid, but it’s also nice just doing stuff as a couple, too.

We hiked around a bit and then crossed over into the trees where we found some other trails.

Lots of people were out that day!

 

We ended up doing the Boy Scout Ridge Trail (or at least, part of it). We were the only ones on the trail, which was kind of nice! We followed the trail through the quiet trees, away from the sledders. The trail had been forged and then the snow had frozen a bit and there wasn’t new snow, so that was nice because we didn’t lose the trail.

We followed the trail for a bit and then felt like it was time to turn around. We didn’t have a ton of time and since it was about an hour to drive home and we wanted to stop for lunch, we had to get going. I definitely want to explore this trail some more, though!

I was feeling really good and felt like I could keep going, which is a bummer! But we were short on time, so had to head back to the car. It was such a gorgeous day to be outside on the mountain! And such a nice way to spend some time together.

I was surprised that I didn’t burn more calories. Especially being at a higher weight that I am currently at right now. Usually snowshoeing burns a pretty decent amount. But my heart rate just never really got that high.

We stopped at the Tollgate Restaurant for lunch on the way down. We had a beer.

And split some mozzarella “sticks”:

I had a side salad and the brussels sprouts (about 1/3 of them. I was stuffed by then). The food wasn’t anything special. I don’t know that I’d go back, honestly.

Then home to this cutie pie:

He didn’t want to take a nap until we got home, which actually worked out well because we got home and ALL took a nap!!! It was glorious! It was a nice, relaxing, lazy afternoon. Just what we all needed. We were super lazy the rest of the night and I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, slathered my calves with this magnesium lotion to hopefully stave off soreness, and went to bed early!

Sunday I went swimming and sat in the hot tub and that felt fantastic! I think the magnesium lotion helped a lot, too, because I wasn’t sore!

Glacier View Snowshoe Adventure

Sunday morning Michael and I ate a hearty breakfast (splitting a bacon and cheese omelet) and scampered up to Mount Hood to take advantage of the snow and the sunshine. We decided to do the Crosstown Trail not far from Government Camp.

We parked at the Glacier View Sno-Park and apparently missed ALL of the signs pointing to the Crosstown Trail. 😛 What we ended up actually doing was the Glacier View Trail instead.

Glacier View was a downhill ascent into the trees and over frozen creeks. It was quiet out there and we didn’t see a lot of people. I think the other snowshoers we’d seen at the Sno-Park found the correct signage and took the right trails. Oh well!

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday–sunny, clear skies and pretty warm for being January. There’d been some recent snowfall and the snow was light and crunchy under our shoes.

We kept going downhill and eventually we turned a corner revealing a small view of Mount Hood. It looked gorgeous: white and majestic against the clear blue sky. It was partially obscured by the tall trees.

We trekked through clearings and dodged naked trees amongst the huge pines. Kinda spooky, huh?

Eventually we got to the end of the trail. I thought it was a loop but we were literally at the end–with Highway 26 below us! We turned around and backtracked.

It was a MUCH better workout heading back–it was entirely uphill. My heart rate stayed in the 145-150 range for the climb up.

Half-way up the hill, I saw a sign for a short 1/2 mile loop called Kurt’s Konnection. In fact, we’d parked our car in the Sno-Park right in front of the beginning of Kurt’s Konnection. I suggested we take that route back to the car instead of backtracking. The trail went off the main trail and immediately went downhill again.

We descended into the forest and trekked along uneven terrain that hadn’t had  much traffic on it lately. It was clear that there was a trail there, though, so we confidently forged on.

We trekked along the trail that weaved through frozen, bare trees and we were dwarfed by the humongous evergreens that drooped with snow.

The trail leveled out and we hiked along a creek on a narrow ridge. We got to one section of the trail and realized we had to cross over a frozen creek. There wasn’t a clear trail here and our steps were tentative. Michael heard the sound of ice cracking underneath him but we made it across the narrow creek okay.

The trail got super sketchy at this point. I couldn’t see the continuation of a clear trail OR footprints. Not only that, there was yet another frozen creek except it was much bigger and more difficult to get around. There were steep parts, uneven parts and Michael didn’t think it was a good idea. I said, “Let me put my camera away”–wise words. I put my camera safely back in the bag and then took a step. And tripped. And fell. I got back up and brushed the snow off, but we decided that it was time to turn around.

It had disaster written all over it. The last thing either of us needed was to end up in a creek and get hypothermia 3 miles from the parking lot. We headed back up the path to the main trail and then back to the Sno-Park.

Michael estimated we did about 4 miles total, I think it was probably like 3. There’s really no way of knowing, though, with all the backtracking we did.

Stats:
Time: 1:40
Calories Burned: 502

It was a beautiful day and a really fun way to exercise. I’d skipped my swim at the gym and spent a wonderful day with Michael instead. After we got back to the car, we ate our Subway sandwiches and drank iced tea before heading back down the mountain. What a day!

QUESTION: Are you a skilled “backcountry” hiker/skier/snowshoer? Do you have a GPS device for hiking?