McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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proxie
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McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by proxie » December 29th, 2018, 9:01 am

Has anyone ever attempted getting to McNeil Point (at least till the shelter) in winter by going the usual route from Top Spur trailhead? Would it be unsafe in terms of route finding and anything else like avalanche conditions?

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retired jerry
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by retired jerry » December 29th, 2018, 9:15 am

it mostly follows along the top of a ridge so might have minimal avalanche risk

you might want to deviate from the trail a bit to avoid slopes that could avalanche, like right where the use trail leaves the Timberline Trail

the official trail traverses slopes as it gets towards the top but the unmarked use trail that goes straight up might be better

johnspeth
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by johnspeth » December 29th, 2018, 9:42 am

It sounds like a fun trip but I'm pretty sure the road will be gated closed miles before the trail head. See: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/a ... 108#Zigzag

proxie
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by proxie » December 29th, 2018, 10:44 am

Thanks. I was wondering about the roads. Your link does show though that the "Top Spur Trailhead Rd" isn't necessarily closed for winter, and this is what I thought usually you take to get to the start of the usual trail. Am I missing something?

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retired jerry
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by retired jerry » December 29th, 2018, 12:01 pm

There's a (closed) gate at the Sandy River for the road that goes over to McNeil campground, Ramona Falls trailhead,...

I don't think there's any gate for the road to Top Spur trailhead. One year it was blocked with concrete blocks near Lolo Pass.

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adamschneider
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by adamschneider » December 29th, 2018, 12:02 pm

proxie wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 10:44 am
Thanks. I was wondering about the roads. Your link does show though that the "Top Spur Trailhead Rd" isn't necessarily closed for winter, and this is what I thought usually you take to get to the start of the usual trail. Am I missing something?
I don't think FR 1828 (nor 1828-118) is gated... but it definitely isn't plowed, and the trailhead is at about 4000', which is the same as Government Camp. So if you see snow on the ODOT cameras at G.C., there's probably snow at Top Spur.

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OregonSurveyor
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by OregonSurveyor » December 29th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Several years ago I drove up the Rd1828 as far as I dare, then snowshoes up the road and trail and overnighted up there on the ridge below McNeil. The next morning I awoke to find fresh cougar tracks 20’ from my tent!
Look for a good weather forecast and go for it!
Jerry King
Oregon Land Surveyor (Retired)
SAR Volunteer - PNWSAR

johnspeth
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by johnspeth » December 29th, 2018, 2:42 pm

Yep, Adam. You are correct. I was mixed up in pointing to the roads table. I habitually consider that part of the road system closed in the winter due to the risk of me getting my car stuck in the snow.

Schrauf
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by Schrauf » December 29th, 2018, 7:48 pm

Someone got to within 3 miles of the TH recently and then snowshoed in to Bald Mountain.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Portlan ... SEARCH_BOX

If that doesn't work just search for "top spur" on the Portland Hikers FB page. Post was on 12/28 by Perez.

Webfoot
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Re: McNeil Point Hike in snowshoes?

Post by Webfoot » December 30th, 2018, 4:30 am

johnspeth wrote:
December 29th, 2018, 9:42 am
It sounds like a fun trip but I'm pretty sure the road will be gated closed miles before the trail head. See: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/mthood/a ... 108#Zigzag
Despite the content of that Roads Table, the actual signage on Lolo Pass Road is roughly: Closed to vehicles over 50" wide when there is 12" or more of snow.

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