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Groomed trail
No
Elevation Gain
?
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Warming hut
No
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 Pocket Creek trail system is a less popular cousin to the Teacup Lake trail system to the south, and that's why it may be an ideal option for your afternoon ski. While it doesn’t have some of the amenities that Teacup offers, Pocket Creek has plenty of what you need for a great day skiing within view of Mount Hood. Beginner and intermediate trail options loop around the area, and a connecting trail that leads to the Teacup Lake system makes for a longer loop. 

For an intermediate, 6-mile ski, take the Meadows Creek Tie Trail to the Meadows Creek Trail, and follow it until the junction with the Pocket Creek Trail on Forrest Service Road 3540. Parts of this lower section are uneven, including a small stream crossing that relies on snowpack for a bridge. The trail is well marked, however, and made beautiful by the abundance of Spanish moss. 

The trail opens up considerably once you cross the East Fork of the Hood River bridge. As you admire the views, try to keep your eyes open for the blue diamond trail markers. They are a little less frequent in the stretch between the East Fork bridge and the Pocket Creek Trail junction. The trail ascends sharply from this crossing up to a ridge before it meets the road that will take you back to the original Meadows Creek Tie. A nice, wide trail for descent rewards your climb. 

Of course, you may take the loop in the opposite direction as well, but be aware that your descent will be through some tighter sections of the trail.
 

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

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

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

Pros

Varied terrain. Less crowded than nearby Teacup. Picturesque creek crossing.

Cons

Wayfinding isn't obvious in sections. Not as many views as at nearby Teacup.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

3,450.00 ft (1,051.56 m)

Net Elevation Gain

735.00 ft (224.03 m)

Address

NF-3540
Mt Hood, OR 97041
United States

Features

Snowshoeing

Trail type

Loop

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

Comments

01/09/2017
Spent many a wonderful day at Pocket Creek both snow shoeing and XC. Options also include a 5.5 mile (ish) out and back. Slow, steady uphill followed by a downhill that makes you feel, if you're on skis, like a hero.
Agreed: not many vistas for the first couple of miles, but beautiful woods/stream crossings.
Considerations:
--snow shoe and ski trails sometimes blend, so don't expect pristine.
--Dogs welcome
--The map (see left) is pretty accurate, though the loop has more like a popsicle on a stick
12/28/2016
Skied the 6 mile loop from Pocket Creek trail head, we went around clockwise and had stunning views of Mt Hood on a clear and sunny day. The Meadows Creek Tie Trail requires some effort getting up and down a handful of humps and bumps, still fine for a highly motivated beginner but if at all concerned the skiing on FSR 3540 is excellent and that is where the views are if you pick the right day. Have fun!
01/31/2016
Hiked on 1/31, great conditions, trail system was pretty well marked, with blue diamonds. There was only one small bridgeless stream crossing (currently on snow bridge), the rest were on wooden bridges.
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