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Snowshoeing and Snow Camping - Maiden Peak Shelter

One of my favorite winter shelters, Maiden Peak Shelter is a cozy and fully enclosed shelter tucked away at the base of Maiden Peak. We will enjoy an overnight snowshoeing trip to the Maiden Peak Shelter, with a day of summiting Maiden Peak, and another day of heading back out. Please expect two night for this trip, with the possibility of spending New Year's Eve up there as well.

At this current time I am looking into three different routes to the Maiden Peak Shelter. I have backpacked the trail along the Pacific Crest Trail, up to Rosary Lakes, and then over to the shelter several times, and feel very comfortable with my knowledge of that route. It is calculated at about 6.3 miles that way. Another route is from Gold Lake and over to the shelter. A route I have not hiked or snowshoed yet, but is shorter, at only 3.5 miles. The last option is to take the chair lift from Willamette Pass up to the top. Then snowshoe along some trails, over to the trail junction with the Pacific Crest Trail, and continue to the shelter from there. I would like to hear some feedback from others as to which trail they would prefer taking. I plan on leaving in the morning to allow us enough time to take either route, and still make it to the shelter before it gets too dark.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/willamette/recreation/wintersports/?cid=stelprdb5109521&width=full

Snowshoeing Checklist - With Additional Gear For Overnight Camping

Snowshoes
Poles with baskets
Backpack or a sled with waterproof bag
Tent and a possible lightweight tarp
Sleeping bag rated for cold weather and consisting of down if possible
Sleeping pad (some carry two for winter camping for added insulation)
2 to 3 liters of water with a insulated hose if possible
SnoPark Permit
Map
Compass
GPS if possible with extra batteries
Moisture wicking top and bottom base layer made of wool or synthetic
Insulating layers such as down, synthetic, or fleece
Waterproofing layer such as lightweight and waterproof rain jacket
Hat with a brim and warm enough to insulate the head and cover the ears
Gloves with liners and a waterproof layer
Boots that are waterproof and insulated
Gaiters if possible
Extra wool socks
Food that is lightweight, and high in protein and calories
Cup for scooping snow to melt (boiling for at least 3 minutes is recommended)
Stove with fuel, lighter, and storm proof matches
Sunglasses
Sunscreen
First Aid kit
Hand warmer packets
Headlamp with extra batteries
Fire starter since not all wood you find will by dry
Knife or small multi tool
Emergency blanket
Camera if desired
Whistle for emergency purposes
Trip information in your car and also left with another person

Additional gear and variations of what each individual prefers to bring is up to them. This is simply a helpful list of items I use for my own safety.

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  • Matthew H.

    Great trip! Amazing views and blue skies on Sunday.

    1 · January 1, 2013

  • Santa A.

    Meet you at Best Buy 7:00 am. Any particular spot in the parking lot.
    I will bring water filter and extra stove fuel cartridge.

    1 · December 28, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      I usually park away from the store, closest to the entrance from Gateway. Look for a small and blue Mazda 3 hatchback. See you in the morning.

      December 28, 2012

  • Matthew H.

    Andy, do you have a preference as to which route you would like to take? I believe Katie and I are going to take the chair lift up. My second option is to snowshoe up the Gold Lake route. Coming back down on Monday morning on the Gold Lake route, or come down using the ski trails, such as Kaleidoscope or Rosary Run.

    December 28, 2012

    • Santa A.

      I sent you a email with my phone number. If it didn't go through let me know.

      December 28, 2012

  • Santa A.

    I have a stove,2 person 4 season tent, and water filter. Would like to share to lighten my load.

    December 26, 2012

    • Santa A.

      Matt/Katie what type of stove I may have fuel to share.

      December 27, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      We have the MSR Pocket Rocket and Microrocket. Both take a standard canister.

      December 27, 2012

  • Sue S.

    http://www.sarasavesanimals.org/Obsidians/2010/maiden/home.htm This shows a nice topo map and good photos(very good info to know when unsure of the trail) from Gold Lake Park to Maiden Peak Shelter. The Gold Lake Sno-park people can give you more information also. :)

    December 27, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      Thanks for the information, Sue. Justin and I snowshoed some deep powder up that way last week. From the advice given to me, taking the chair lift to the top, then following the Tait's Trail to the saddle, then along the Pacific Crest Trail to the shelter is our best option. I have the maps, and a GPS. I've hiked to the shelter several times, but not in deep snow. Hoping my sense of direction and photographic memory helps me out.

      December 27, 2012

    • Sue S.

      I had to actually chain up my 4 wheel drive yesterday for 4 miles. Took me longer to get the chains on right than it did to drive there...lol! Time for cables fer sure!

      December 27, 2012

  • Brian B.

    Will be snowshoeing with the wife as Santa brought her a set to try it out on. Hope you all have fun. Hope the weather is cooperating for you.

    1 · December 26, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      Thanks, Brian. Enjoy your snowshoeing trip. Glad you and your wife will be able to enjoy some snowshoeing together.

      December 26, 2012

  • Matthew H.

    Anyone else interested in going?

    December 26, 2012

  • Brian B.

    Need more winter gear but looks like fun. Maybe next year.

    December 23, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      Also, REI rents out winter camping gear.

      December 23, 2012

    • Brian B.

      Sled,4 season tent,warmer bag,winter clothes.

      December 23, 2012

  • Matthew H.

    After checking the snow conditions last week (the 19th) up there and getting advice from Bill, I feel it wold be best for all of us to take the chair lift up from the ski area. Guest Services informed us that it would cost $10 for a one time trip to the top. From there we would still need to snowshoe to the shelter, but we would have a lot more time to do so, and also less of the uphill in the powder. We will however have to plan to snowshoe all the way back out, as the ski area may be closed. They currently are scheduled for weekends only. We will also need to park our cars at the Pacific Crest Trail parking lot, just past the ski area, so we don't get our cars locked in the parking lot. I hope that answers everyone's concerns. Any others please ask.

    December 23, 2012

    • A former member
      A former member

      Sounds good Matt. From the top of the lift, go North down the other side and stay all the way to the right. Don't take the first sign for the Tait's trail. Stay on the groomed ski trail down towards the back ski lift. Right before the ski trail takes a steep drop, you go to the right and the Tait's trail is there. Get the ski area map when you buy the tickets and you should see what I'm talking about. Take a left on the Tait's and the Maiden Peak saddle is 1/2 mile or so. Have fun!

      1 · December 23, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      I have the map, as well as my GPS with the shelter's coordinates. If it is the same route we all took when I went with you two summers ago, I remember the way. Thanks for the advice.

      December 23, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    It's a tough snowshoe hike either way. It may be shorter from Gold Lake, but you can't start from there in the winter, so they're about the same. Rosary Lakes is a lot prettier hike, but a really hard climb above the lakes to the saddle.

    The only way I would recommend is to go up the ski lift first. I think they have a 1-way lift ticket for about $12 about now. You still have a traverse just past the saddle that's pretty hard for sleds, but you don't have the climbing. I doubt you'd have time to make it up there before dark except on the ski lift.

    This will give you an idea of what the traverse is like:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=k-s0H1qPoXA#t=77s

    1 · December 18, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      Justin and I are going to go scout around up that way. Get an idea of things. You think even if I got to the trailhead at 9:00AM? That is allowing 6 hours to cover 6 miles.

      December 18, 2012

    • Matthew H.

      I found out today how much really deep powder will slow me down. Also, the chair lift at Willamette Pass is $10 for a one time use. So we have options now. Thanks for the input, Bill. I appreciate it.

      December 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have hiked the route from Rosary Lakes. Is the shorter route marked with trail blazes? If so, I think I would prefer the shorter one because 3.5 miles is still pretty far in snow shoes.

    1 · December 18, 2012

  • Matthew H.

    At this current time I am looking into two different routes to the Maiden Peak Shelter. I have backpacked the trail along the Pacific Crest Trail, up to Rosary Lakes, and then over to the shelter several times, and feel very comfortable with my knowledge of that route. It is calculated at about 6.3 miles that way. The other route is from Gold Lake and over to the shelter. A route I have not hiked or snowshoed yet, but is shorter, at only 3.5 miles. I would like to hear some feedback from others as to which trail they would prefer taking. I plan on leaving in the morning to allow us enough time to take either route, and still make it to the shelter before it gets too dark.

    December 17, 2012

3 went

  • Matthew H.
    Founder of Willamette Valley Outdoors, Organizer,
    Event Host
  • A former member

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