Oregon Snowmobile TrailsMaddy Scheinost
Oregon Snowmobile Trails
Where to Find the Best Snowmobiling in Oregon
Oregon offers snowmobilers a chance to ride more than 6,400 miles of groomed snowmobile trails during the winter months, and is one of the most scenic states to ride your sled, with snowfalls that tend to be heavy. The extensive network of snowmobile trails provides snowmobilers with many options for day trips and weekend outings, along with a full docket of remote backcountry exploration. A license on your snowmobile from any state or province is all you need to enjoy Oregon’s trails, without any other special fees, permits or club association necessary. So, where are the best Oregon snowmobile trails? Which is the best snowmobiling near me when I’m in the state? What trails do I absolutely have to experience when I’m snowmobiling in Oregon? Below is a list of a few of the most popular Oregon snowmobiling areas, compiled by the experts at Treadworld. It’s always a good idea to check out snowmobile trail conditions for the area you’re headed to before beginning your snowmobile adventures.
Crater Lake National Park
Location: Southern Oregon on the crest of the Cascade Mountain range
One of the best places to snowmobile Oregon, Crater Lake is also one of the most interesting places, since it lies inside a volcanic basin (caldera) created when the 12,000-foot Mount Mazama collapsed 7 centuries ago following a large eruption. Snowmobiling is allowed along the 9 miles of snowmobile trails on the North Entrance Road, from the north entrance to the park all the way to the basin’s rim at North Junction, where the entrance road meets Rim Drive. Snowmobile use is limited to the unplowed roadway. The landscape is stunning, centered around the deepest lake in the U.S., Crater Lake, and the area boasts one of the largest snowfalls in the nation averaging 45 feet of snow during the winter. In fact, during some years, snowfall is registered in every month of the year. Klamath Falls is the closest Oregon city to Crater Lake (see below).
Deschutes National Forest/Mount Bachelor/Bend, OR/Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Location: Deschutes, Klamath, Lake and Jefferson Counties in central OR
Deschutes National Forest is huge, spanning 1.8 million acres, and it offers more than 560 miles of groomed snowmobiling trails, several of which are accessible from Bend, OR, known as a truly epic area to ride snowmobile. The area has a wide variety of landscapes and elevation changes, from Lake Billy Chinook at 1,950 feet above sea level, to South Sister’s summit at 10.358 feet above sea level, and includes five wilderness areas. Top trails within this national forest include Crescent Lake, Hoodoo, which has over 80 miles of groomed trails; and Mt. Bachelor with 250 miles of trails that provide a thrilling ride through acres of backcountry with both twisting trails and wide open expanses. Snow season here lasts from November until the end of May, with an average snow-base from 150 to 200 inches. The area around Mt. Bachelor is known as Moon Country because it resembles the lunar surface.
While on the Newberry National Volcanic Monument Snowmobile Trail, you’ll see signs encouraging caution on curves so as to avoid collisions with dog sled teams, which are encouraged to travel on the right side of the trails. Newberry, which last erupted over 1,300 years ago, was formed into the shape of a broad shield by repeated eruptions over 400,000 years ago. This beautiful area, filled with lava flows and beautiful lodgepole forest lands, tends to fly a little bit under the radar when people talk about the best places to go snowmobiling. It covers more than 84 square miles, surrounding the volcano’s caldera and Paulina Peak, with two large pristine lakes, Paulina Lake and East Lake.
Diamond Lake Snowmobile Trail
Location: Douglas County in southern OR
Snowmobiling adventures in the Cascade Mountains are much acclaimed and snowmobilers will find over 300 miles of groomed trails in the Diamond Lake area. The Diamond Lake trail system connects with the Crescent Lake Trail to the north, and also offers access to Crater National Park’s north rim overlook, and the top of Mount Bailey.
Location: Klamath County and parts of Lake and Jackson Counties in OR, plus others in CA
Offering more than 360 miles of groomed trails and hundreds of miles of backcountry and ungroomed snowmobiling trails, the Klamath Basin has a reputation as not only one of the best places to snowmobile in Oregon, but in the nation. Sno-Parks, designated areas for winter recreation, in the area include Great Meadow Sno-Park, with over 185 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and 36 to 60 inches of snow every winter, Annie Creek Sno-Park, Pelican Butte, which offers a trail from the base to the top of the 8,036-foot Pelican Butte peak, Walt Haring Sno-Park and Odell Lake Sno-Park, which provides access to ride all the way to Crater Lake.
Location: Between Clackmas and Hood River Counties, 90 minutes outside Portland, OR
Oregon’s highest peak at 11,239 feet above sea level, Mount Hood rests at the center point of a network of more than 400 miles of groomed and ungroomed snowmobile trails crisscrossing both public and private lands. The area provides some of the most spectacular landscapes and vistas in the northwest. There are six Sno-Parks in the area with snowmobiling, including Trillium Lake Sno-Park, White River East Sno-Park, Bennett Pass Sno-Park, Little John Sno-Park, Frog Lake Sno-Park and Skyline Road Sno-Park.
Rogue River/Siskiyou National Forest
Location: Southwestern OR, extending into northern CA
Spanning five counties in southern Oregon and northern California, this area offers some of the best snowmobile trails in the state, both groomed and ungroomed. Snowmobiling is centered in parts of the park close to the Cascade Mountains, in the Ashland and Prospect Ranger Districts, including popular snowmobiling trails like Deadwood Trail, the 82-mile Fish Lake Trail and the more difficult 9-mile Fish Lake//Dead Indian Memorial Road Trail, ByBee Creek Trail, and the easier 10-mile Hamaker Loop Trail. The Rogue River National Recreation Trail stretches 40 miles between Grave Creek and Big Bend providing some of southwestern Oregon’s most amazing vistas as it traverses the canyon landscape of the Wild Rogue Wilderness, characterized by steep terrain of near vertical cliffs, sharp ridges and cascading mountain creeks.
Willamette National Forest
Location: Mainly Lane, Linn, Marion, and Douglas Counties, as well as Clackamas and Jefferson Counties, OR
Stretching for 110 miles along the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains in western Oregon, and covering 1.6 million acres, this national forest has eight wilderness areas and a varied landscape of high mountains, narrow canyons, cascading streams, and wooded slopes. You’ll find more than 1,500 miles of rivers and streams here, as well as more than 375 lakes, including many at elevations above 4,000 feet. The McCoy Snowmobile Trail is one of the more popular trails in the area with a variety of loops along groomed forest roads. Trails at Big Springs Sno-Park give you an opportunity to ride among large old growth trees.
That’s Only A Few…
Oregon is a state filled with enthusiastic snowmobilers, with a vast trail system that makes it a “go-to” during winter months in the Pacific Northwest. We’ve only highlighted a few of the outstanding Oregon snowmobile trails here, but you won’t have to look very hard to find many others, all guaranteed to provide a wonderful wintry weather outdoor activity experience.
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