Snow Sports: Something for everyone


The Cascade Mountains in east Linn County offer something for just about any winter recreation lover, from alpine skiing to skijoring – right here on the edge of Oregon’s beautiful Willamette Valley. Once winter weather really sets in, the north and east ends of the county are great places to find quality snow for downhill and cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, dogsledding, snowshoeing and sledding or tubing and other cold-temperature winter sports.

Here are some of the locations where you can find great recreation:

Tombstone Sno-Park, some 30 miles east of Sweet Home on Highway 20, offers three trails, two of them fairly difficult and the other moderately easy for cross-country skiing and dogsledding as well. Across the highway, Cone Peak and North Peak are popular for telemark skiers and snowboarders.

Lava Lake Sno-Park, located about a mile west of the junction of Highways 126 and 20, offers easy to intermediate cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and snowmobile trails and a variety of snowmobiling opportunities. Nearby Potato Hill Sno-Park also offers entry into the Tombstone area trail system.

Little Nash Sno-Park,located just east of Highway 126, and Ikenick Sno-Park east of teh highway near Smith Prairie on Highway 126, directly across from Clear Lake, offer snowmobiling trails and a number suitable for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

For downhill skiers and snowboarders, Hoodoo Ski Area, on the crest of Santiam Pass on Highway 20, only 50 miles east of Sweet Home, is the oldest ski area in the Central Cascades. Hoodoo offers a full-service lodge, five chairlifts, a tubing hill – the Autobahn Park, and nordic trails.

Ray Benson Sno-Park, located just south of Santiam Pass on Big Lake Road off Highway 20, near Hoodoo Ski Area, includes two restrooms, a warming hut at the parking lot, three shelters out on the trails, orientation maps and a staging area with snub posts for sled dogs. It offers several designated snowmobile trails running down into the Big Lake area and one running all the way to the Mt. Bachelor area, six cross-country skiing/snowshoeing trails, and one suitable for mushing or skijoring.

Santiam Sno-Park is known for a great sledding hill, which is currently the only recommended public tubing site on the Santiam Pass, just east of Linn County, also near Hoodoo.

Big Springs Sno-Park and Maxwell offers six cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trail loops

Southeast of Mill City, on Highway 22, is McCoy Creek Snowmobiling Trail, a system of 23 miles of trails at an elevation of 2,400 feet. Marked routes follow existing roads offering a variety of terrain and scenic vistas. There are a warming shelter and toilets eight miles up McCoy Creek Road.

For more details on winter fun in the area, visit