Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
170.00 ft (51.82 m)
3.00 mi (4.83 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.

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.

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

Mount Hood Meadows Nordic Pass, Sno-Park Permit


Close to Portland. Groomed for skate skiing. Great views. Near Mount Hood Nordic Center.


Pay to ski. Short trail. Some crowds.

Trailhead Elevation

4,489.00 ft (1,368.25 m)


Big vistas

Trail type


Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping

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


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