Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
1,093.00 ft (333.15 m)
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Warming hut
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Clear Lake Butte is a challenging and satisfying out-and-back option within the Skyline-Timothy Lake trail network. This system is groomed for snowmobile use, which can be heavy on weekends. The trails are all on roadways, so they are wide enough to accommodate traffic. Clear Lake Lookout Tower is available for rent through the forest service, and it is accessible to day-trippers as well. From the lookout tower you will have fabulous views of Mount Hood to the north and Mount Jefferson to the south. It is worth trying to make this trip on a clear day in order to enjoy these views.

The trail starts at the northwest corner of Skyline Sno-Park. The route follows Forest Road 42 or Skyline Road toward the Clear Creek drainage. Soon after crossing Clear Creek, ignore the trail to the right and continue on Forest Road 42. Next find Forest Road 240 or Clear Lake Butte Road; it's on the right and well signed. Begin climbing steadily, and be aware that there are a few steep sections that can be challenging on skis. At the summit, a side trail leads up the final, short climb to the lookout tower. If the tower is occupied, please be respectful of the occupants. The route back down has some steep sections that beginners should consider walking, but otherwise it provides a fun, quick descent on skis.

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 

$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 • $181.61 • 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


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.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)


Great views. Historic accommodation.


Accommodation is frequently booked. Snowmobile traffic can be heavy.

Trailhead Elevation

3,630.00 ft (1,106.42 m)


Big vistas

Trail type


Typically multi-day


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon


A very nice snowshoe hike. We were fortunate that the skies cleared up.
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