February storms have dumped more than 85-inches of snow so far at Mt. Bachelor with more on the way. The mountain already had a decent base, which as of the writing of this blog is at 117 inches today. That means plenty of fresh powder to go around and more on the way. The conditions at Mt. Bachelor have been a dream come true for Powder Hounds, but we know this much snow isn’t for everyone. Luckily, the Cascades are filled with snow parks and warming huts for guests who would rather snowshoe, cross-country ski or take the kids sledding.
Where to Go Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing and Sledding Near Sunriver
Traditionally, the US Forest Service offers snowshoe tours departing from Mt. Bachelor. These tours have unfortunately been canceled for 2020/21 due to the pandemic. That doesn’t mean you can’t get out and explore the Deschutes National Forest with your own group.
Wanoga Sno Park
We recommend Wanoga Sno Park for families with young children and first-time snowshoers and cross-country skiers. There is a designated snowshoe trail that is one-mile long, groomed and flat. You can even bring your pup along for the journey. After you finish snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, grab the sleds or tubes and hit the snow-play area.
Paulina Creek Falls
Paulina Creek Falls is a beautiful winter wonderland when blanketed in snow. Located in the Newbery National Volcanic Monument, the trails are popular with snowmobiles, but there is a designated ski and snowshoe trail that’s roughly a seven-mile loop. Trek to the warming hut at the front of the park where you can rest and make a day of it. Bring along a lunch and warm drinks as you warm your fingers at the hut. Park at 10-Mile Sno-Park to access this moderate trail.
Virginia Meissner Sno-Park
Head up the Cascade Lakes Highway to this excellent sno-park named for a long-time Central Oregon resident, Virginia Meissner. Meissner taught cross-country skiing and introduced many people to the outdoors in Central Oregon. This popular sno-park includes various trails and a warming shelter where you can enjoy a snack or a Hydroflask filled with hot cocoa.
Have you ever seen Tumalo Falls in the winter? It’s already pretty breathtaking to behold, but wait until you see it covered in snow. Skyliner Sno-Park is your best bet for taking in this beautiful sight, located 19 miles from Bend along Skyliner Road. Follow the Tumalo Creek trail to the falls or snowshoe out and back on the closed Tumalo Falls Road.
Where to Rent Snowshoes and Cross-Country Skis in Sunriver
What to Wear
Remember to dress in layers in order to add or subtract clothing along the way. Wear waterproof boots, pants and a shell for protection from the elements. It might be a good idea to bring a day pack with water, snack and extra clothing. You don’t need special boots for snowshoeing, but you may need to rent specific shoes for cross-country skiing.
Enjoy Sunriver’s Winter Wonderland
There’s still time to enjoy the winter wonderland around Sunriver with snowshoes or skis strapped to your feet. If you can walk, you can snowshoe, which makes it a great winter recreation activity for the whole family. See you in Sunriver!