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Winter and Spring Backpacking

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 17:53, 28 February 2013 by Retiredjerry (Talk | contribs)

This is just the beginning of this - will fill it out in a few days.

Most people consider backpacking something for just the summer, but winter and spring offer many opportunities. The weather can be bad and snow closes many hikes, but it is possible to find good places to go backpacking. The lack of other people makes up for some of these difficulties. Even very popular places in the summer can be deserted in the winter.

There are two problems. If it's raining all the time, even with the best gear, it's difficult to have fun. And if there's snow, it's difficult to find where the trail is, if the snow is soft your feet sink in although skis or snowshoes help, and if the snow is hard it can be difficult where there are steep places.

Some good winter hikes

  • Deschutes River on the East side where it's much drier and it's at low elevation so there's not a lot of snow

In order to decide where to go, you need good weather information:

  • NOAA 10 day weather forecast has maps showing precipiation amount and temperature for 10 days
  • NOAA 7 day forecast what's good about this is you can scroll around on the map and select a location to get the forecast for there]
  • NOAA Radar shows where the rain was in the last few hours - better for deciding when to go out for a walk
  • NOAA snow model shows the amount of snow on the ground. This is centered on Mt Hood, but you can scroll around anywhere in the U.S. One problem is it gives the amount for about 1 square mile areas, so it's not going to be very good for narrow ridges, but you can take that into account. And, it's a model so it's only so accurate, but it gives you an idea.

Some portlandhikers.orgs threads that discuss this:


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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