GOVERNMENT CAMP, Ore. — In this week's Let's Get Out There, we put on the snowshoes and take a walk in the snow with Mt. Hood Outfitters.
No matter which direction you come from, it doesn’t take long to drive up to Government Camp.
Scott McKnight is a guide with Mt. Hood Outfitters, an outdoor adventure shop offering rentals and tours for your next mountain outing. They rent skis and snowshoes and even do snowmobile tours.
McKnight graciously took me along on a short, but scenic snowshoe excursion. We started at the Thunderhead Trailhead, just down the road from the shop. After about a half-mile, we reached a junction with the Crosstown Trail. From here, you can hike up to a viewpoint overlooking Summit Pass (formerly Summit Ski Area). If you’re really feeling adventurous, it’s about three miles up to Timberline Lodge.
“That's what a lot of people do is they'll hike up early in the morning and then ski back down to this spot,” McKnight said, referring to Thunderhead Trailhead .
Before turning around, we met a group of guys from Eugene. They see the benefit, and perhaps secret, of using these trails in the winter months.
“We're out here this morning, just hiking around in the snow. Decided to get out and kind of be alone, enjoy the fresh air and get the dogs some exercise…out here wandering,” said Ian Campbell.
“You can get out here and see less people…the crowded trailheads that we all see during the summer months are empty right now,” added Ben Schorzman.
"It’s nice that the trails are pretty compact so it’s not like it’s overly challenging to be able to get through the snow,” said Cody Bjorklund.
For McKnight, he loves to guide the snowshoe tours, but also the quiet and solitude.
“I'll come up here and do a tour and not see another person. It's so nice to come out here,” he said. “I really encourage other people to come up and just experience this.”
If guided tours aren’t your thing, Mt. Hood Outfitters will rent you snowshoes and poles and you can choose your own adventure. Always make sure you have the proper gear, carry a map and let someone know where you’re going if you travel solo. In summer or winter, the trails around Mt. Hood are a great way to get lost, figuratively of course.
For Mt. Hood Outfitters rental and tour pricing info, visit: www.mthoodoutfitters.com/
Let's Get Out there airs once a week on KGW's 4 p.m. newscast and The Good Stuff, which airs Monday-Thursday at 7 p.m. We're including viewer photos for this series. You can text your photos to 503-226-5088 or post them on the KGW Facebook page.