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Snowshoe - June Lake - Mt. St. Helens - Beginner

DOGS are welcome.  I'll be bringing my 7 month old.
I am trying to cater to BEGINNING snowshoers/hikers.  I am going to give priority to those with dogs and those that are beginners. Magnus requests that leaders keep the group together and it is just too hard to manage when there are experienced shoers with inexperienced ones. Hope you understand. I'll start bumping off Thursday or sooner if there is a big wait list.

I like to see a map of where I am going before I sign up for things. Here are the maps below. I am going to say that the snowshoe is 5 miles after discussions with my advisors.

We start are Marble Mnt. parallel the snowmobile trail for 1 mile. Head up to June Lake and eat lunch there. Climb up a pretty steep hill which puts use at tree line of Mt. St. Helens, then back down.

Snowshoe map with mileage, but I can't read it. http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/... June Lake Map.

Here is a good map but no mileage. click on the lick, go to the bottom, under winter sports click on show, Click on Marble Mountain Ski trail map http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/...

We will be taking the June Lake Ski Loop. This maps rates the trails so you'll get an idea of what you are in for.

FORECAST: 4 Feet of snow at Marble Mt. Sno Park as of 12/17/2012. Expect more heavy snow this week. 83 Rd. Closed @ Marble Mt. Sno-Park.

Here is a good map of the mountain:

Map: http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/... click on Marble Mountain.

This snowshoe kicked my butt and most of the people that went on it.  We'll go slow, stop a lot to catch our breath and to take lots of photos, take off our clothes and any other excuse we need.

This is a beautiful hike.  The information below doesn't seem exactly what I remember so it might change. I think the hike will be closer to 7 miles because the June Lake trail head is closed and we will be leaving from Marble Mnt.  I am going snowmobiling up there on Monday so I'll have better info on snow and other stuff.
This will be a SLOW hike. I am not going to call it beginning due to length, but the beginners have done great the last three hikes.  So if you are experienced this is not a hike for you.
I writeup below says 1000 ft elevation gain, so not sure why this say 500 ft.  I got the info from the same site.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Statistics
Roundtrip 5.0 miles Elevation Gain 500 ft Highest Point 3100 ft
Features
Lakes, Waterfalls, Old growth, Mountain views
User info:
Good for kids
Sno-Park pass required

What to bring:

- Snowshoes (we will not stop to rent snowshoes so please come prepared)

- Rain gear (or snow pants and a rain jacket)

- One or two extra warm layers

- Hat, Gloves (2 pair of gloves)

- Waterproof boots

- Gaiters to keep snow out of your boots.

- Trekking poles

- Camera

- Something to sit on

- 2-3 liters of water, hiking snacks, ten essentials, non cotton clothing, sun screen.

PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trailhead or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.

Here is an interesting writeup:
The June Lake Trail is a beautiful hike any time of year, but exploring the trail on snowshoes, with the deep old forest, wide lake basin, and crashing waterfall all swaddled in a blanket of white, is the only way to enjoy the truly wild nature of the area. The trail is a gentle path through the woods, and snowshoers of all ages and abilities will appreciate and enjoy the remarkable beauty of the route.

Located on the south side of the big volcano, this trail doesn't delve into the blast zone, nor does the scenery make snowshoers think about the volcanic nature of the area. Indeed, if the eruption of 1980 comes to mind, it's usually in the context of "I can't believe an area this beautiful survived such a big eruption." The Mount St. Helens summit is visible along the trail to the lake, but looking up at the south flank of the mountain, with its snowy mantle of winter, it looks like just another big, beautiful peak. And June Lake is such a remarkable setting that it doesn't need the powerful imagery of the eruption to make it a wonderful snowshoeing destination.

From the Sno-Park, snowshoe north from the upper parking lot on the well-signed Pine Marten Trail No. 245E. This trail, which is often groomed for skiers, parallels the road, but it is off-limits to snowmobiles. (You can also hike up the road to the June Lake trailhead, but it is often crowded with speeding snowmobiles.) The trail heads north for 0.75 mile, and then hooks right (east) and dips down to join the road at 1 mile. After using the road bridge to cross the wide Lake Creek, turn left and snowshoe into the large parking area of the well-marked June Lake trailhead.

The trail leaves the north end of the broad lot and crosses a large meadow in full view of Mount St. Helens. The open, treeless slopes are painted stark white by the drifting snow, and most weekends when the weather is clear, snowshoers on the June Lake Trail can watch snowshoers and skiers climbing the Monitor Ridge route (see Route 97) to the summit of the volcano.

The trail stays well above Lake Creek as it climbs gradually through a few stands of second-growth forest and open clearcuts before finally crossing into the protected national monument at 2.4 miles. The last few hundred yards of trail dip steeply down to cross the creek on a wide bridge before rolling north to the shore of June Lake. Across the lake, on the right, is a waterfall cascading down through a curtain of interlaced icicles. The wide bench at the lakeshore makes a wonderful picnic spot with its spectacular views.

Author’s Rating: More Difficult
Some previous snowshoe experience helpful. Some winter survival skills recommended (basic knowledge of avalanche evaluation, emergency shelter construction, etc.). Elevation gain is usually less than 1000 feet with a gradual slope.

Driving Directions:

To get there, from Woodland drive east on State Route 503 to the community of Cougar and continue east another 7 miles to a junction with Forest Road 83. Turn left (north) onto FR 83, and drive 5.8 miles to the Marble Mountain Sno-Park at the end of the plowed road. Small maps of the local winter trails are generally available in the kiosk inside the warming hut at the Sno-Park.

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  • Kathy

    FYI: Reciprocity
    Sno-Park permits issued by California, Idaho and Washington are honored in Oregon. California, Idaho and Washington also honor Oregon's sno-park permits.

    December 17, 2012

    • Robert R.

      Washington's sno park permits are not transferable between cars. They are good in the other states though.

      December 29, 2012

    • Kathy

      I have a snowmobile pass (the only good thing the ex left me) and you have to write the license plate number on it. The sherriff lives at Marble Mnt so NEVER go there without a pass unless you want to pay the fine....wait I haven't seen him this year!

      December 29, 2012

  • Kathy

    Deep snow with three comedians, what else can you ask for? Diane feeding us ODD food. Malay losing his shoe and not even knowing it. Two guys knocking snow from a tree and a dog making snow dog angels.

    December 22, 2012

  • Kathy

    I just added two photos that I took on Tuesday. There was TOO much powder to have any fun. I don't know if it will melt and ice over or if we'll have fluff on Sat. Things will probably not go as planned because we'll need to adjust to the weather conditions. I am hoping we do not have to blaze a trail up there. We will take the path that is blazed, so I plan of going up on the west side and down on east (June Lake) if we make it that far. My co-lead dropped out so I am hoping for a smaller group. So if people drop out they will not be replaced so if you are on the wait list there is a slim chance that you will get on. Sorry. If someone wants to step up and co-lead I can have a larger group.

    December 20, 2012

  • Carrie

    Wish I could go--I'll be out of town but hope to see you all in the new year.

    December 16, 2012

    • Kathy

      New Year!! Zeus is having Wesley withdrawals! He was playing with a dog today and grabbing its tail......oh, and Zeus is a whiner so I feel bad for laughing at you. He sounds just like Wesley when I put him in his kennel. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

      December 17, 2012

    • Carrie

      Haha! I'm glad other people have whiney dogs, too! Maybe by the new year I'll have a dog gate that works...Merry Christmas to you, too :)

      December 18, 2012

  • lisa

    Wish I could go. I hope you do more at Mt St. Helens. Have fun!

    December 16, 2012

    • lisa

      Wisdom is ready to sign up for all three! She's ready to play in the snow with her new friends again. I'll check meetup now.

      December 18, 2012

    • lisa

      Shoot, can't make either of those Mt St Helens trips, but would love to see you on Barlow Pass. I added a reminder to my calendar to RSVP on the 22nd. Sounds fun!

      December 18, 2012

  • Kathy

    I like to see a map of where I am going before I sign up for things. Here are the maps below. I am going to say that the snowshoe is 6 miles, but I am going to be safe and call it 7 miles. We start are Marble Mnt. parallel the snowmobile trail for 1 mile. Head up to June Lake. Climb up a pretty steep hill which puts use at tree line of Mt. St. Helens, then back down. Snowshoe map with mileage, but I can't read it. http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/trails/?TrailType=nonmotorized&Region=5&Park=73 June Lake Map. Here is a good map but no mileage. click on the lick, go to the bottom, under winter sports click on show, Click on Marble Mountain Ski trail map http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mountsthelens/recarea/?recid=64876 We will be taking the June Lake Ski Loop. This maps rates the trails so you'll get an idea of what you are in for. FORECAST: 4 Feet of snow at Marble Mt. Sno Park as of 12/17/2012. Expect more heavy snow this week. 83 Rd. Closed @ Marble Mt. Sno-Park.

    December 17, 2012

    • Robert R.

      If you look at the winter rec map for that area, it has at the bottom a 1mi scale, arrow tip to arrow tip. Comparing that to the trail length will give you a pretty close approximation.

      December 17, 2012

    • Kathy

      I did that and I got 5+ and didn't account for all the curves. I'm calling it 5. Zeus ate my pedometer and I bought a new one and dropped it in the bathroom the first time I used it on Sat. Hopefully we don't have a bean counter in the group.....coming from a bean counter......

      December 17, 2012

  • Kathy

    Map: http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/... click on Marble Mountain. Look for June Lake. That is where I plan on going. I plan on doing a loop to the left of June Lake. People are questioning my length so I'll try to find the exact mileage.

    December 17, 2012

  • Robert R.

    Wish I could go with you but I'll be at the ocean for the weekend. I really want to do this and possibly do an overnighter.

    December 16, 2012

    • Kathy

      Added two more today at St. Helens but no overnighters for me unless I can take my electric blanket.

      December 17, 2012

  • Rick L. J.

    We went up there in the summer very nice. I hope to return this Winter sometime. Have fun but drive safe on the road. The lady wrecked her car when we went last Winter.

    December 17, 2012

    • Kathy

      I like going to St. Helens better because the traffic isn't so heavy, but the bad thing is that they don't plow the road as frequent as Hood. I am going snowmobiling so I'll have a better idea regarding the roads and the snowshoeing conditions. I went in the summer too and it looks totally different and oh so much easier. The lake is prettier with the snow.

      December 17, 2012

  • Kathy

    I am trying to cater to BEGINNING snowshoers/hikers. I see 4 people that RSVP'd that are NOT beginnings and recognize another name that frequents harder hikes. I am going to give priority to those with dogs and those that are beginners. Magnus requests that leaders keep the group together and it is just too hard to manage when there are experienced shoers with inexperienced ones. Hope you understand. I'll start bumping off Thursday or sooner if there is a big wait list.

    December 16, 2012

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