2021 Snow Level

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1659
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

2021 Snow Level

Post by Aimless » January 20th, 2021, 10:37 am

There is some useful January 2021 snow level information available at the tail end of the 2020 Snow level thread, but it seems more useful to start a new thread now that can carry us through the coming year, rather than extend the old 2020 thread out to 30 or 40 pages of mislabeled snow info.

Use this thread to note when, where and at what elevation you encountered X amount of snow as you were out and about in the wilds. Other details are optional. Fuller reports can still be posted to the Trip Reports forum. Thanks.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2403
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by Chip Down » January 22nd, 2021, 7:51 pm

Bluff Mountain Trailhead, NE of Silver Star, 3600'
Very light snow, but that changes soon.
Very firm around 3800', easy to walk on. Heck, probably easier to walk on than most bare trails.

Road clear of snow to TH, but mudbogs might turn you back.

User avatar
Posts: 42
Joined: February 12th, 2020, 7:49 pm
Location: Hillsboro

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by rubiks » January 23rd, 2021, 8:12 pm

Coldwater trail, snow patches start to show up about 3700' and become persistent above maybe 4100'. Snow was very crispy, needed spikes or crampons rather than snowshoes. Roads were completely clear, and gated at the Hummocks TH.

In case anyone is planning to visit very soon, there's snow in the forecast tomorrow.
You know exactly what to do.
There's no need to be afraid.
Keep walking.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2403
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by Chip Down » January 23rd, 2021, 8:24 pm

Notice how Little Baldy is snowy on the west side and bare on the east side. It's been so long since we had snow at mid elevations, we're seeing melting patterns typical of spring, or lower elevations.

As noted by Rubiks, snow all over is firm, I haven't wished for snowshoes since...I don't remember when.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2403
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by Chip Down » January 27th, 2021, 9:01 am

Timberline reports 4" in last 24 hours, which I find surprisingly low. With snow in Portland yesterday, I was expecting more on the mountain. We might still have a lot of roads/trails open.

User avatar
Posts: 182
Joined: May 16th, 2013, 6:51 am

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by dmthomas49 » January 27th, 2021, 12:44 pm

On the 420 trail today between Wahkeena and Multnomah Basin, there was between 3-6 in. Was slushy in Multnomah basin but on the ridge was firm.
Neat pick up stick logs on Wiesendanger Falls.
"The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
— John Muir

User avatar
retired jerry
Posts: 13438
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by retired jerry » January 27th, 2021, 2:31 pm

good idea

right now it's hard to get good reports because things change so quickly

there's always the nohrsc snow model. I like adam schneider's version


Click "usgs topo" to align the snow data with usgs topo map

It shows the average snow depth over an area about 1/2 mile x 1/2 mile

I have found that if it shows any snow at all, there are probably patches difficult to drive or walk over. You can't figure that if it only says 2 inches, it's okay.

User avatar
Chip Down
Posts: 2403
Joined: November 8th, 2014, 8:41 pm

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by Chip Down » January 29th, 2021, 6:59 pm

Gorge, west end, oregon side:
Trace of snow starts at 1300'.
At 1600' (think Angels Rest) snow is consistent, no longer spotty.
At 2000', starting to slow me down, maybe about 5".

Posts: 147
Joined: September 7th, 2009, 3:56 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by bushwhacker » January 30th, 2021, 6:08 am

One of best parts of hiking in the snow is that you get to see the tracks of who else is out there.
I followed these cougar tracks for at least four miles. One time they veered off trail for a quarter mile or so then reappeared. We were also joined for a half mile by someone else.
Looks like maybe a bobcat following the cougar tracks.

Definitely makes you more aware of your surroundings when you are following the tracks of something that may look at you as a cheese burger :D .

Posts: 232
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: 2021 Snow Level

Post by johnspeth » January 30th, 2021, 9:39 am

I tried to drive to the Conners Camp trailhead on Marys Peak on 2021-1-29. Snow was visible at the side of the road in increasing amounts from the start of Marys Peak Rd. It's 5.4 miles to the trailhead and I stopped driving at about 3 miles in (about 2300 ft), the point at which snow was hitting the bottom of my car. It might have been premature to retreat because four cars drove up the road while I was eating my lunch at the bottom of the road after my retreat. One of those vehicles was a tow truck, fortunately not coming for me.

I have no idea how much snow was past my turnaround point but I was not going to risk getting stuck. I've put myself in scary situations like that before (alone and forced to dig out) so I've abandoned that practice. I salvaged the day at the nearby Alsea Falls trails.

Post Reply