Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
Webfoot
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Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Post by Webfoot » December 7th, 2018, 3:35 am

On December 5th it was possible to access Top Spur Trailhead over only shallow packed snow, taking Lolo Pass Road all the way to the pass, then turning on FR 1828. Probably OK in a 2WD car with dedicated winter tires, though there were a few nasty potholes on 1828 that one wouldn't want to get stuck in so AWD might be prudent. Mazama TH was also accessible with similar conditions.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm

Re: Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Post by teachpdx » December 7th, 2018, 9:48 am

The road to Laurance Lake is plowed all winter long.
Have you considered departing from there, heading up via Elk Cove/Dollar Lake/Barrett Spur to the McNeil Point area?
Seems like less avalanche risk, but definitely not doable in one day. Lots of altitude gain in deep snow.
I've always wanted to snowshoe from there and set up camp at Dollar Lake, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. That may be a good spot for an overnight, before continuing with a lighter pack to McNeil Point the next day.

Limey
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Joined: December 19th, 2012, 2:34 pm

Re: Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Post by Limey » December 7th, 2018, 10:42 am

Laurance Lake road is closed at the settling pond this year. They are doing work on the dam and irrigation system. So, no access from there.

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CyrusK.
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Joined: November 27th, 2018, 8:28 pm

Re: Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Post by CyrusK. » December 7th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Any idea when they'll reopen the Laurance lake road? Also, if I could get up there in the winter, I'd probably go from there towards Snowdome or Langille crags instead of hiking around to McNeil point.
Cyrus "Ice" K.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm

Re: Winter access to McNeil Point area?

Post by teachpdx » December 7th, 2018, 1:29 pm

CyrusK. wrote:
December 7th, 2018, 12:28 pm
Any idea when they'll reopen the Laurance lake road? Also, if I could get up there in the winter, I'd probably go from there towards Snowdome or Langille crags instead of hiking around to McNeil point.
The closure was "supposed" to last until October 31, 2018, but it may continue through the winter as the FS has not rescinded the closure order yet. Another source says it should be open "for the 2019 season". And the FS roads table says that Laurance Lake Road is closed due to a washout and debris flow. So who knows? The Hood River Ranger District will (hopefully) be in-the-know.

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