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Backcountry bliss along the Tilly Jane Trail

Teacup Lake / easy / cross-country skiing

Considered One of the most well-maintained groomed trail systems in the state, Teacup Lake’s ski trails are dutifully tended to by the Oregon Nordic Club. A burly PistenBully 170 snowcat lays down the velvety track twice a week, leaving a classic kick-and-glide path as well as an ample skate lane in its wake. Stop in on a weekend; the Ray Garey day-use cabin will probably have a fire stoked.
20 miles of trails. Distance from downtown: 67 miles. Map: Green Trails No. 462; Mt Hood Ski Snowshoe Trails —CVT

Tilly Jane / difficult / snowshoe

This challenging outing leaps some 2,000 feet up Pollalie Ridge to command sweeping views of the Hood River Valley. At the 5,500-foot mark, the Tilly Jane shelter—an old A-frame climber’s hut that survived last year’s devastating Gnarl Ridge fire unscathed—makes a welcome spot to drop your pack and sip a thermos of hot tea. If your quads aren’t protesting too much, continue another mile to Cloud Cap Inn. Built in 1889 by Portland luminary William Ladd, the large log cabin is maintained today by the storied Crag Rats Mountain Rescue unit. Ask nicely and they might give you a tour of the inside.
Round trip: 5 miles. Distance from downtown: 88 miles. Map: Green Trails No. 462 —CVT

White River West Sno-Park / sledding

Not even Clark Griswold could hurt himself on this small sno-park’s mild slopes. It’s the perfect place to take future powderphiles who are still learning how to lace up their Sorels. The hills are short, gentle, and only minutes away from a steaming cup of cocoa in Government Camp. Marshmallows on top, of course. 4 miles north of Hwy 26 on OR 35 —Kasey Cordell

Little John Sno-Park / sledding

Little John’s low elevation (about 3,200 feet) means it doesn’t get as much snow as other sledding areas, but when the skies dump powder, this is prime tubing turf. Nestled within earshot of Culvert Creek, the area boasts two shriek-inducing hills—one that’s 600 feet long—making the trek to the top a long one, but oh-so-worth-it for that hair-blowing blast back down. Plus, the Forest Service maintains a warming hut with a fire pit—just the thing you’ll need when one of those rides ends in a wipeout (and trust us, one of them will).
31 miles south of Hood River on OR 35 —KC

Snow Bunny Lodge / sledding

Established in 1952 just up the road from Summit Ski Area, Snow Bunny Lodge drew more than 25,000 visitors each winter in its 1970s-era heyday. Traffic has diminished since Summit’s lodge was demolished in 1992. But that’s good: there’s less wait time between runs now. These days, Snow Bunny is open only on weekends and holidays (when rented sliders are the only kind allowed), but you’re free to visit and use your own gear on the lodge’s slopes anytime.
3 miles east of Government Camp on Hwy 26 —KC