Last Snowmobile Ride of the Season from Skyline Sno-Park

I am stubborn, as most would attest to, and not willing to give up on winter yet. I took my friend Ryan snowmobiling today for his first time even though Spring is here. I knew we would probably find plenty of bare road, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to go out one last time from Skyline Sno-Park in the Mt Hood National Forest. We had fresh snow the day before and overnight, so I was hopeful to find at least a few miles of riding.

We arrived to the mostly deserted (only two cars that had been left overnight) Skyline Sno-Park around 7:30 AM. There were 1-2 inches of fresh snow covering the parking lot with light snow still falling and a temperature right around freezing. We set off snowmobiling down Forest Service road 42 where we quickly ran into bare patches of road. We rode on and found a little more snow by the junction with road 4290. Ryan was able to have a little fun and get on the throttle a bit.

Past the turn off to the Clear Lake lookout tower, we started to run into larger and larger bare patches of road until we couldn't see any snow in sight. We decided to turn around and head back toward Clear Lake.

Ryan Riding out of Skyline Sno-Park     Forest Service Road 42 Almost Completely Bare of Snow

We took a quick trip up to the Clear Lake lookout tower, hoping the extra elevation would provide more snow. Unfortunately it did not. There were plenty of bare patches on the way to the top. There was so little snow at the lookout, that I saw a picnic table and fire ring that I didn't even know existed (normally buried under snow).

Picnic Table and Fire Ring at Clear Lake Lookout Tower     Clear Lake Lookout Tower

Things were not looking good, so we headed back down. We turned off onto road 4290 in our final pursuit of some snow. To my surprise it paid off! We only found a few small bare patches on road 4290 and it was even better on road 2660 as we headed around the North side of Clear Lake toward Blue Box Pass. We turned around shy of Blue Box as we hit bare road again, but at least we got a few good miles of riding in.

Some Snow on Roads 4290 and 2660     Ryan on a Snowmobile Break

It snowed off and on all day, coming down hard at times. There were 2-6 inches of new snow up higher where we actually found enough snow left to snowmobile. While not an awesome trip, it was still great to get in one last ride and show a buddy how fun snowmobiling is. I think he is hooked and will be out more next season.

Sun Peaking out Between Snow Showers

Gear List

'02 Polaris 500 RMK Snowmobiles
HMK Summit V16 Pack
GMAX GM76X Helmet
Smith Phenom Turbo Fan Rx Goggles
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Max Electric Boots
Columbia Men's Echochrome Ski Pants
Columbia Titanium Hightail II Softshell Jacket
Columbia Sportswear Men's Peak 2 Peak Jacket
Columbia Powerfly Down Puff Jacket
Head Digital Sport Liner Gloves
Outdoor Research Ambit Gloves
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Fleece Hat
Petzl TIKKA XP 2 Headlamp
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Snow Shovel
First Aid Kit
iPhone w/NeoTreksGPS
Suunto A-10 Compass


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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.