Garfield Peak conditions?

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marahhe66
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Joined: December 7th, 2020, 4:45 pm

Garfield Peak conditions?

Post by marahhe66 » December 7th, 2020, 4:52 pm

Hello! I am a hiker returning to the Pacific NW (Seattle) from Chicago and can't wait to explore both WA and OR more than the last time I lived out here! I am driving from Lake Tahoe to Bend tomorrow (12/8) and wondered if there was any way to check trail conditions for Garfield Peak Trail (or whether it's open at all, given the seasonal road closures in the park). Thanks!

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adamschneider
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Re: Garfield Peak conditions?

Post by adamschneider » December 7th, 2020, 5:10 pm

The only way to get to Crater Lake in the winter is from the south via Highway 62, so you can still access the Garfield Peak area by parking near the Lodge. But it's probably not a hike right now, it's a snowshoe or ski trip... and the park calls the west side of Garfield Peak an "avalanche zone" (pink area on the map), so experience with PNW snow conditions is a must.

CRLA.jpg

marahhe66
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Joined: December 7th, 2020, 4:45 pm

Re: Garfield Peak conditions?

Post by marahhe66 » December 7th, 2020, 6:09 pm

Thank you!
adamschneider wrote:
December 7th, 2020, 5:10 pm
The only way to get to Crater Lake in the winter is from the south via Highway 62, so you can still access the Garfield Peak area by parking near the Lodge. But it's probably not a hike right now, it's a snowshoe or ski trip... and the park calls the west side of Garfield Peak an "avalanche zone" (pink area on the map), so experience with PNW snow conditions is a must.


CRLA.jpg

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Charley
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Re: Garfield Peak conditions?

Post by Charley » December 8th, 2020, 4:56 pm

That marked "avalanche zone" on the NPS map is no joke. There is a safer and far easier route, from the south ridge of Garfield up to its summit. It's probably possible to set off an avalanche there, but the terrain is less complex and less steep. You'd get there by going along Rim Drive to "Summit of first climb" and then heading up the center of the draw between Garfield and Applegate. A short while through steepish trees, then in to a high, gently sloping slope with big views all around, where you'd head left to Garfield. I highly recommend it!

The route would be on the ridgeline to the left:
IMG_2538.jpg
IMG_2524.jpg

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adamschneider
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Re: Garfield Peak conditions?

Post by adamschneider » December 8th, 2020, 5:45 pm

I snowshoed up Garfield Peak in May once, using the normal trail's route (mostly), and it didn't seem too bad... but maybe later in the season everything has compacted down and melted together a bit more.

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