Snow is in the forecast. Plan your winter retreat now.
Flakes are once again flying on Mount Hood. And now that there’s finally a little more white stuff to play in, I wanted to share a few suggestions that I came up with when a friend asked me about cabins up on Hood which are accessible by an easy to moderate cross-country ski (or snowshoe) trip.
(Note: such outings are in short supply on the mountain, and are often booked to the gills. But if you plan ahead, and have the ability to head up mid-week, openings are bit easier to come by.)
Clear Lake Lookout This forty-foot-tall Forest Service fire lookout on the south side of Mount Hood has all the proper ingredients for a snowbound adventure: A good heart-pumping ski in (about 2 miles), tantalizing views of Hood’s summit, a big sloping meadow for romping outside, and a pot-belly stove to warm yourself by upstairs.
Cascade Huts Definitely the more hardcore of the options listed here. Inside you’ll sleep in pine bunks and cook over a gas-powered stove. Sleeping bags and pads (and gas heater) are provided, so you can shave weight from your pack. Route-finding can be a tad difficult though, so study the directions before setting off. Bonus: you’re all but guaranteed to have the surrounding woods to yourself.
Lastly, try checking out Summit Meadow Cabins I haven’t had a chance to stay at these cabins yet, but they’re on my to-do list. Pricing looks to be a bit cost-prohibitive. Still the easy ski in (around 1.5 miles) and the fact there’s multiple bedrooms makes Summit’s offerings look ideal for large group outings.
Got any other tips about where to stay? By all means, send’em on in to the Muddy Boot.