Overnight snowshoe trip. Tentatively our goal is to do the Prairie View Loop from the Ikenick Sno Park off Hwy. 126, 3 miles SW of the junction with Hwy. 20. This is a 5.5 mile round trip with a simple 150 foot elevation gain. However, the elevation here is only 3,350 feet so if we stop and check it out and the snow conditions aren't great for snowshoeing/ camping, then we will likely head up a little farther to either Hoodoo Sno Park or Maxwell Sno Park and choose a trail from there that is of similar distance and difficulty.
As mentioned, this is an overnight snowshoe trip. You need to be prepared to tent camp, even if we end up in an area with a shelter because shelters are first come first served. If you have not snow camped before, this is not likely a good trip for you to attend as it will require some flexibility in changing plans dependent upon snow conditions.
Driving directions: From Eugene/ Springfield, drive northeast on Hwy. 126, barely 3 miles southwest of the junction with Hwy. 20.
Carpool info: We will be meeting at 9am at the 58th and Main St. Albertson's toward the back of the parking lot. We will leave the parking lot promptly at 9:15 to head to the Sno Park. Please let me know if you're available to drive or if you need a ride. Passengers should expect to contribute $20 to your driver to cover gas and wear and tear on their vehicle, regardless of how much gas actually costs or how many other passengers are riding in your car. It's the least we can do for our drivers.
What to bring: Most of the people who have been hiking a while will probably know what to expect and what to bring. But just for fun, I'm going to list it anyway.
At the very minimum, having your 10 essentials is key: 1) Navigation (map and compass) 2) Sun protection (sunglasses, sunblock, hat- yes, even in the snow) 3) Insulation (extra clothing, outerwear, knit hat, gloves, baselayers- in case of an unexpected storm, and hey... we're hiking/ camping in the snow) Avoid cotton clothing. When cotton gets wet it gets cold and it does not dry quickly. Waterproof boots. Bring extra socks. Waterproof rain jacket. Dressing in layers is good so that you can add or take off layers as your body temperature changes. 4) Illumination (headlamp, flashlight, include extra batteries/ bulbs) 5) First aid kit 6) Fire (waterproof matches and firestarter). 7) Multi tool and repair kits for any gear (mostly applicable to tents/ sleeping pads but could be useful for your pack as well) 8) Nutrition (at least one extra day's worth of food in addition to the two days worth of food you'll need for a one night/ two day trip). 9) Hydration (always carry adequate extra water). 10) Shelter (space blanket or similar item for emergencies) and in this case you'll need a tent, sleeping bag and pad as well.
Not listed in the 10 essentials, and perhaps a bit obvious, is a pack. But let's mention it here anyway. I prefer to see actual backpacks as opposed to shoulder bags, especially on a hike of this nature. Some people may use snow sleds to haul gear.
Some of the 10 essentials may seem pointless to people for a simple overnight hike. But I really encourage people to be prepared for the unexpected- for example, getting separated from the group, being stuck out longer than expected, inclement weather, etc. So even though you may not end up needing some of the stuff, better safe than sorry.
Other things to consider bringing: You may find trekking poles useful. A camera might also be a good addition to your pack.
If you have any questions about what you should bring, you are welcome to message me and I can see if I can help you sort it out.
The goal of these trips for me is of course the hike, but also sight seeing and enjoying the company and conversation of other hikers. So that being said, it is not a goal of mine to rush through these hikes. There will be points where we will stop and take pictures, stop and have a snack/ lunch (be sure to pack one), and perhaps stop and rest. I will be limiting the number of participants to 12 so that it is easier to keep track of all members of the party and to minimize impact to the environment that larger groups often bring. If you are a power hiker who just wants to rush through, this won't be the trip for you. Likewise, if you are not in decent physical condition, the level of difficulty of this trip might not be a good fit for you either. I hope that you'll join us on this adventure!