Groomed trail
No
Elevation Gain
?
Distance
0.00 mi (0.00 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.

It's not surprising why most people choose cross-country ski trips on Mount Hood that offer the occasional views of the mountain. However, because of the mountain's draw, those trails are often crowded, especially on the weekend. The Sandy River Trail offers something different - a little winter solitude on the flanks of Mount Hood.

Starting at the bridge crossing on the Muddy Fork Road, skiers can enjoy an open road ski to the Ramona Falls Trailhead and continue along the Sandy River Trail toward Ramona Falls. Along the way, you'll get many opportunities to stop and enjoy beautiful winter views of the Sandy River and the surrounding hillsides, and you'll likely have the view and ski all to yourself. The trail is a very gradual uphill slope the whole way, making the ski back much faster than the climb.

Situated at much lower elevations than many of the more popular ski trips on Mount Hood, save this adventure for a time when there is a sizable base of snow on the mountain, or you may risk having to carry your skis to reach a place suitable for skiing.

In a sizeable flood in 2008, the Sandy River and surrounding tributaries washed out a number of roads and bridges. The truss bridge at the start of the trail was rebuilt in 2010. If you have the time for a detour and want to explore some of the storm's carnage, take the first right off Muddy Fork Road onto NF-382, and in a short while you'll come to a large landslide that covers the road. Some small creek crossings and waterfalls along the Cast Creek Trail makes this a fun area to explore, but you won't be able to ski much of this terrain.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

River views. Solitude.

Cons

Lower elevation means less snow. Carrying skis may be required on sections.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Features

Big vistas

Trail type

There-and-back

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

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

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

Comments

08/13/2016
In fairer weather, the Sandy River Trail is used primarily for trail riding on horseback. I walked the stretch of the trail from the parking lot at the end of the road (NF 100) to McNeil Campground (just down the street from the campground really) with my 4yr old daughter and dog. We stopped along the way for a splash in the Sandy River (take care to find a suitable spot sheltered by boulders due to the rapid flow of the river). The trail eventually crosses back over the road (NF 100) and meanders down along Lost Creek, which is wooded and green and flows crystal clear. This creek is a better place to take kids for a dip. If on horseback, the trail continues across the creek and into Riley Campground, but it's not an easy crossing without a horse. We began our walk around noon and didn't run into any horses on this trip - though we saw plenty of horse evidence - and we only crossed paths with another couple while on the trail. It doesn't have the views that other trails do, but it's a pleasant, peaceful, and easy walk.
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