Snow camping and snowmobiling - Little John Sno-Park, Oregon

My friend John and I played hooky from work Friday and headed up to Little John Sno-Park on the East side of Mt Hood to snow camp and snowmobile. We waited to leave town until the freezing rain from overnight had thawed out enough to safely drive. We arrived at Little John Sno-Park just before noon to snow showers and a temperature of 14°F. There was one other vehicle in the parking lot and lots of snow. Little John Sno-Park is a low elevation sno-park (3,300') just of hwy 35 between Mt Hood Meadows and Parkdale. It is not often we find this much snow here. I was excited.

We set up camp and then finally went for a little snowmobile ride just as it started snowing pretty good. We went up the road toward Lookout Mountain where no one else has been in awhile (no tracks). It was awesome. Endless dry powder. Any time we stopped, we had to stay on the sleds or sink down past our knees.

On our way back down we, headed further up hwy 44 and then 17 past a group of people camped in the middle of the road. I was surprised they were able to drive their vehicles so far in the deep snow.

Back at camp, we fired up the wood stove in our tent and relaxed while watching the snow pile up outside. After enjoying hot dogs, corn, and chili for dinner, we went to bed hoping to wake up to tons of fresh snow.

Snowmobiling back from Lookout Mountain     Snowmobiles do much better in deep snow

We got our wish and awoke to almost 8 inches of new snow. And to top it off the clouds had parted giving way to partly to mostly sunny skies. It doesn't get much better than this.

Lots of fresh snow overnight     Trail out of Little John Sno-Park

After eating breakfast, we dusted off all the new snow covering the snowmobiles, and headed off down the trail.

John posing in front of our snow camping tent     Bluebird snowmobile day!

We headed back up to Lookout Mountain where most of our tracks form yesterday were gone. We continued past Lookout Mountain until a tree blocked our way (I got stuck on top of it). After finally getting both snowmobiles turned around, we headed back down the road.

A beautiful day to snowmobile     Snowmobiling with Mt Hood in the background

We continued riding down hwy 44 until we came to Billy Bob Sno-Park. The last time I was here was when I was first dating my wife almost 15 years ago.

Mt Hood covered in snow     Billy Bob Sno-Park

What a great snow camping and snowmobiling trip. This was my first time camping at Little John Sno-Park. It proved to be a great base camp and I would love to come back if we continue to have low elevation snow this winter.

2016/17 Mileage

Trip: 61 miles
Season: 128 miles
Total Days: 5

2015/16 Season: 408 miles, 15 days

Gear List

2014 Polaris 800 Pro RMK Snowmobile
2013 Polaris 800 Switchback Assault Snowmobile
Up North Technologies PRO SERIES Snowmobile Cargo Rack
P-700-B Low Profile Powder Keg
Echo CS-271T chainsaw
Fiskars 28 in. Splitting Axe
Kel-Tec P-3AT .380 Auto
Kni-Co Alaskan Jr Camp Wood Stove
Eskimo FatFish 6120i Pop-UP Shelter
High Peak Alpinismo Arete Mummy Bag
Alpinizmo by High Peak USA Latitude 20 Sleeping Bag
Therm-A-rest Explorer Self-Inflating Mattress
Disc-O-Bed Cam-O-Bunk Portable Bunk Bed Cots
GCI Outdoor Quik-E-Seats
Suboos Gen 2 Ultimate LED Tent Lantern
HMK Summit V16 Pack
GMAX GM76X Helmet
Smith Phenom Turbo Fan Goggles
Columbia Men’s Bugaboot Max Electric Boots
HMK Hustler 2 Snowmobile Pants
Columbia Titanium Hightail II Softshell Jacket
HMK Cascade Snowmobile Jacket
Columbia Powerfly Down Puff Jacket
Head Digital Sport Liner Gloves
Outdoor Research Ambit Gloves
Columbia Men's Fast Trek Fleece Hat
HighGear ATF8 Altimeter
Petzl TIKKA XP 2 Headlamp
Olympus Tough TG-1 Camera
Lifeline Aluminum Sport Utility Snow Shovel
Fiskars POWER TOOTH Softgrip 10" Folding Saw
First Aid Kit
Samsung Galaxy S6 Active w/BackCountry Navigator
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.