I did this hike several years ago with the Eugene group and it remains my all time favorite Meetup I have ever been to. Awesome!
Gold Lake Snopark is located 67 miles East of Eugene on Hwy 58 or about a half mile from Willamette Pass on the Right. Moonrise will be about 9pm that night and I think it would be good if we got to the snopark about 8:30 pm that would allows us maximum illumination for the hike. When I did this several years ago, we did not need our headlamps, but please bring one anyway.
The hike is fairly level to Marilyn Lakes about 1.6 miles and Gold Lake warming shelter is another half mile after stopping at Marilyn lakes to enjoy the view. Then we return back to the car for a round trip of 4 miles with 100 feet of elevation gain.
Please plan on wearing warm non-cotton clothing. Please bring several layers so that you can adjust your clothing as necessary. If the weather looks to be utterly miserable, I will likely cancel this trip as I have never enjoyed hiking in strong winds. If it looks to be just merely raining here in the Valley, I would consider that to be still a go for this hike.
Yes, you can brings dogs on this trail. Snowshoes can be rented from REI or several other places. A snopark pass will be required for vehicles parking at Gold lake. When we did this hike before we got back to the trailhead about 12:30 am, so be prepared to make sleeping arrangements for yourself. I was thinking of getting a hotel room in Oakridge or Eugene. I was thinking we could meet at the Brewer's Union for dinner before setting out for the hike. As the name implies, Brewer's Union has beer but they also have great food. I suggest that we begin organizing for carpooling and possible hotel room sharing prior to January 25. Please do not leave the planning for this hike until the last minute.
Please make financial contributions to the drivers Oakridge to Gold lake is about 26 miles. I am also asking for a $1 donation for the website fees.