Conditions for Hikes Near Portland: Weekend After Christmas

Normally, when you think about hiking near Portland in winter, you’d first want to know, “Where is the snow?” At this point, the answer is basically, “It ain’t.”

portland hikes table rock
Oughta be more than this by now!

Over on the Snow Level Thread at, I have seen reports of no snow at Trillium Lake, one inch on Tom Dick and Harry (above Mirror Lake), one inch at Santiam Pass (!) and nothing below the ridges in Santiam Canyon (Detroit area). Even Observation Peak was hardly snow-covered on 12-24!

The upcoming Cascades weather forecast wouldn’t seem to be changing any of this.

According to a KPTV report, we had the lowest December 15 snowpack in 20+ years.

Not any time soon, sorry!

So, first we should probably rule out snowshoeing any time soon. I hear the ski resorts are almost having to make snow. If you want to travel, I bet there’s enough snow for guided showshoe trips at Crater Lake National Park.

One option is to skip hiking for now, head for the coast, and watch for whales. It is, after all, winter Whale Watch now through Tuesday. There’s a map of hosted sites here.

If you really want to hike, check out this list of frozen waterfalls from the Oregonianplus a report from icy Tamanawas Falls. I hiked there late this fall and filed a report with directions.

You might also sign up for a guided First Day hike on January 1 in Stub Stewart State Park, out by Vernonia.

Or heck, head past the mountains to a place like the Klickitat Trail just past The Dalles. This report from December 22 indicated a snow-free path and bald eagles. Elsewhere in the Gorge, an Angels Rest report on 12-19 indicated it was snow-free but chilly. That’s the same day I flew over it and took some pictures. Just be careful if you’re hiking in the Gorge. Another goofy sign on Wahkeena Trail might leave you confused. Why can’t they get this right?

Anyway, if you head out, please leave a comment here or on the 60 Hikes Facebook page (link below) to let us know where you went and how your day was.

Follow me on Twitter (@60HikesPortland) or Google+, or like the “60 Hikes” page on Facebook.

I don’t just hike around Portland, though: I also lead trips to Europe, and I’m the Portland Breakfast Guy. Check out