Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail

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Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail

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  • The trail begins from the north edge of the Mount Hood Meadows Nordic parking lot.- Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • Check in at the Mount Hood Meadows Nordic Center for avalanche conditions.- Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • Clark Creek flowing off of Mount Hood.- Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • The area has seen some intense avalanche activity in the past.- Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • - Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • - Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • - Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • - Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
  • Mount Hood Meadows establishes a limit for uphill travel where lift service begins.- Heather Canyon Ski + Snowshoe Trail
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Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Portland. Groomed for skate skiing. Great views. Near Mount Hood Nordic Center.
Cons: 
Pay to ski. Short trail. Some crowds.
Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Mount Hood Meadows Nordic Pass, Sno-Park Permit ($15.00)
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
4,489 ft (1,368 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
170 ft (52 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trail condition: 
Groomed
Trail Uses: 
X-Country Skiing

Current Local Weather

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Today

Snow (2–5 in.) throughout the day.
29°F
18°

Tue

Snow (1–3 in.) throughout the day.
33°F
25°

Wed

Snow (1–2 in.) until afternoon.
36°F
29°

Thu

Light snow (under 1 in.) starting in the evening.
37°F
28°

Fri

Snow (3–6 in.) throughout the day.
28°F
23°

Sat

Snow (6–10 in.) throughout the day.
25°F
22°

Sun

Snow (9–14 in.) throughout the day.
25°F
20°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

The Mount Hood Meadows Nordic trail system can be thought of as an Eastside network and a Westside network, with an access road that divides the two. You can start any trail in this system at the Nordic Center in the parking lot attached to the Eastside trails, where you can purchase your nordic pass, warm up on a cold day, get some instruction and rent gear.

Though the Heather Canyon Trail begins on the north side of the parking lot halfway between the Nordic Center and the Alpine Service Center, begin at the Nordic Center to buy trail passes and to check avalanche conditions. Heather Canyon does slide with some frequency higher up the mountain, and the ski patrol occasionally closes the entire trail when conditions warrant it. 

Once you have the information and your pass, ski to the north around the parking lot, and look for the Heather Canyon backcountry trail on your right. Nordic access is limited on this trail due to downhill resort traffic, but there are nearly 2 miles of wide, groomed conditions on a trail that affords big views of Mount Hood as it follows Clark Creek up the canyon. The trail is also perfect for several repetitions or laps. A gradual ascent will keep you working as you ski in while the descent is just steep enough to reward your efforts on the way out. Having intermediate descent skills will make the run out a little more comfortable. Skiers should be aware that the canyon and run out are part of the alpine trial network, so watch out for downhill traffic and keep to the side of the trail when possible.

Backcountry Safety

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.

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(56 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(147 within a 30 mile radius)

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