Big Lake Snowshoe

Central Oregon, Oregon

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Big Lake Snowshoe


  • The lake can still be frozen well into the spring.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • View of Mount Washington from along the multi-use route to the lake.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • The lake remains frozen in late spring.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • The scrub alpine forest along the road between Benson Snow Park and Big Lake.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • Heavy November snowfall at Big Lake with Mount Washington above.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • Mount Washington taking in the last bit of evening sun.- Big Lake Snowshoe
  • Colors abound during a phenomenal big lake sunset.- Big Lake Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Well-groomed trail. Clearly marked route. Mild grades. Expansive wintery views.
Snow machines also use the trail.
Central Oregon, OR
Pets allowed: 
Groomed trail: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
4.40 mi (7.08 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,600.00 ft (1,402.08 m)
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Pro Contributor

The well-groomed trail from Benson Sno-Park to Big Lake traces the paved road accessing the area in the summer. This certainly enables a generally mild route on which to experience the winter basics: flocked evergreens, deep powder, snow clad mountains, and more. Given that this is a multi-use trail, you are likely to encounter other types of winter recreation enthusiasts. Snow machine users and cross-country skiers also use this clearly marked path.

You will find plenty of parking at the Benson Sno-Park. From here, follow the road to the campground along the shore of Big Lake and enjoy the views of Mount Washington above the lake. The lake could be frozen over - remember to take care if crossing a frozen lake; assess the ice and avoid crossing if the ice is too thin or cracking. 

Many find snowshoeing enjoyable for its solitude and the ability to travel anywhere across the snow without making an impact on the terrain. Enjoy exploring this area, and if you will be traveling off of the main trail, be sure you can find your way back!

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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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(65 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(131 within a 30 mile radius)

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