The Newton Clark Moraine, commonly known as the Ridge Between by backcountry skiers, is a massive medial moraine running between Clark and Newton Creeks, just to the east of Mount Hood Meadows ski area. This almost 3-mile-long gravely ridge offers beautiful open slopes and grand vistas, and it is easily accessible from the Hood River Meadows parking lot/snowpark.
The first half-mile follows a wide, gentle road. Where the road ends the trail crosses Newton Creek via a fairly narrow log, which is possibly the most dangerous part of the whole approach. After crossing Newton Creek, the trail follows the creek for a short distance before climbing steeply to the crest of the ridge. Follow the ridge crest until the trees thin out at around 5,900 feet. From here there are stellar views of Mount Hood, Gnarl Ridge, and Bennett Pass to the south. The route continues up for approximately another 1.5 miles, offering skiable slopes to both sides. One bonus of this area is that it offers both open slopes and more protected, treed slopes. As always, remember to check avalanche conditions and to practice safe avalanche awareness at all times.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.