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Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park

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  • Well-decorated snowman at the parking lot.- Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • Break at Upper Twin Lake.- Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • View from Upper Twin Lake looking southwest.- Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
  • - Twin Lakes, Barlow Pass Sno-Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Variety of terrain. Open views from the lakes.
Cons: 
Steep switchbacks for cross-country skis. Peak winter use.
Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
High
Groomed trail: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Total Distance: 
8.30 mi (13.36 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,180.00 ft (1,274.06 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

From the Barlow Pass Sno-Park, the Twin Lakes Loop offers a challenging but rewarding backcountry experience. Skis and snowshoes are both common on the ungroomed and unmaintained trail. The lakes can also be accessed from a shorter trail that begins at the Frog Lake Sno-Park. Despite the high use, the trail feels very isolated and offers sustained periods of solitude in deep woods. Many downhill sections are fun descents on skis, but be aware of any two-way traffic on the narrow trail.  

The trail begins at the northeast corner of the Barlow Pass Sno-Park parking area. The route follows the Pacific Crest Trail along a ridge for approximately two miles before dropping into the Twin Lakes basin. Upper Twin Lake provides a great lunch spot and a potential turn-around point if a shorter trip is desired. The trail follows along the shores of Upper Twin Lake before a steep, 200-foot drop down to Lower Twin Lake; look for a side trail that leads to the lakeshore. From here, the route ascends back up to the ridge, reconnects with the PCT, completes the loop to the Twin Lakes Junction, and returns to the parking area.

Note: From the parking lot, head southwest to ski or snowshoe down to Beaver Marsh.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

Standard Fit and Small Fit • $189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud and Women's Powderflo • $99.95 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Backcountry Safety Gear

If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel. Learn more and shop here.

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.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(55 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(111 within a 30 mile radius)

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