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Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek

Mount Hood National Forest

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek

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  • Leaving the Pocket Creek trailhead and skiing east on FS Road 3540.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • Crossing the bridge over the East Fork of Hood River.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • The skin track as it leaves FS Road 3540.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • The skin track crossing the bottom of the first clearing.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • Looking down the large, upper clearing.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • An example of some nice open tree skiing near the top of the ridge.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • Looking northwest toward Mount Hood.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • Dropping in off of Gunsight Ridge.- Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
  • - Gunsight Ridge Backcountry Ski via Pocket Creek
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy access. Good views. Both open and tree runs.
Cons: 
Heavily skied. Low elevation. Probably only good in good snow years.
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Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Max slope angle: 
15-30 degrees
Shuttle required: 
No
Total Distance: 
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,813.00 ft (1,162.20 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Vertical descent: 
2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Gunsight Ridge, located just to the east of the Pocket Creek ski area, offers some of the most easily accessed backcountry slopes in the Mount Hood area. With open, clean fall lines as well as some beautiful tree runs through mature mountain hemlock, it can provide some fun skiing and a good backcountry workout with minimal time and effort. Grand views of Mount Hood to the west and across Badger Lake to the east offer pleasant lunch-time viewing from the top.

Most backcountry skiers refer to this area as "Pocket Creek." However, Pocket Creek really refers to the network of cross-country ski trails originating at Pocket Creek Sno-Park. The downhill runs are located on the west face of a large ridge just to the east of this area named Gunsight Ridge, also a popular hiking and mountain biking trail in the summer and fall.

To find the skin track, ski east on the Pocket Creek Trail, which follows Forest Service Road 3540. After crossing a bridge, stay left at the junction with Meadows Creek Tie Trail. Ignore a road forking off to the left. At about three-quarters of a mile from the trailhead, look for a ski track heading up the road bank to the left. This is the beginning of the skin track.

The longest run drops between 500 and 600 feet through a long scree-covered clearing starting just below the top of the ridge. There is a second, smaller clearing just below and to the west of the upper one. Some nice tree runs can be found near the top of the ridge and just to the south of the upper clearing.

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.

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(56 within a 30 mile radius)

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