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If you thrive in winter and enjoy the challenges of fresh, deep powder, then Rose Springs Sno-Park is your new best friend. Starting at around 4,000 feet, outdoor enthusiasts are treated to plowed forest roads and breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains. Enjoy an easy day on the sled hill or put in some serious miles exploring the forest in the winter. It’s a totally different look at some your favorite, more remote spots to hike.

  • Distance:

    1.5 - 2.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper, Adventurer, Mountaineer

  • Seasons:

    Spring, Winter

  • Elevation:

    4,800 feet

  • Pets:

    Yes

  • Status:

    Open

  • Reservations:

    N/A

  • ADA:

    No

  • Multi-Use:

    Yes

  • Motorized Vehicles :

    Yes

  • Your Public Lands

    Umatilla National Forest (Pomeroy Ranger District), Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program

  • What To Do
    • Camping

      The Umatilla National Forest Pomeroy Ranger District offers two winter cabin rentals. The Clearwater Lookout Cabin and Clearwater Big House Cabin are roughly 5.5 miles and seven miles from the parking area, respectively. The cabins have most things people who are camping in the middle of winter need to survive, including an outhouse and propane powered lighting, heating, stove, and refrigerator. To check cabin availability call the Pomeroy Ranger District office at (509) 843-1891 (open Monday through Friday, 7:30 am-4:30 pm). Winter campers must snowmobile, ski, or snowshoe to the cabins.

    • Cross Country Skiing/ Snowshoeing

      Thanks to the Sno-Park Program administered by Washington State Parks, there is ample parking for all types of users, from snowmobile trailers to a few families getting together to sled for the day. The program was initiated in 1966 and allowed snowmobile access to designated areas on a one-year trial. Over the next decade it evolved to include motorized (snowmobile), non-motorized (cross country skiing, snowshoeing), and snow play (tubing and sledding) recreation areas. There are 47 miles of groomed trails that follow forest service roads. Trails are provided and maintained in cooperation with federal, state, and county entities along with snowmobile clubs and private landowners. These trails are shared by snowshoers, cross country skiers, and snowmobilers. View the Washington State Parks map of the Rose Springs Sno-Park Groomed Trail System for a brief overview.

    • Sledding

      Remember, Andies Prairie is the only designated sledding area in the Umatilla National Forest. There is a very nice, long, open hill at the south end of the parking lot that is ideal for sledding. Hike up to the very top and dare to ride the entire hill, or let the kids pick a section to test their adrenaline threshold. Do stay off snowmobile trails for safety, and sled at your own risk. Because there is no marked, designated sledding areas, that means snowmobiles, for example, could climb that same hill. Everyone is very respectful of each other, but if there is heavy fog or snow know that the visibility might make it challenging to safely share the area. Luckily, the high elevation keeps most fog in the valley, so enjoy the winter sunshine.

  • How To Get There

    Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained. From Walla Walla take HWY 12 east for 68 miles to Pomeroy, WA then turn right on South 15th Street. There is a sign for the Umatilla National Forest. South 15th Street becomes Peola Road in roughly a mile and continue for 16 miles. Peola Road becomes NF-40. Take a left on NF-911 and continue to the parking area. Winter enthusiasts, please check road conditions prior to venturing out on the roads and into the mountains. Know your vehicle’s limits, and always carry emergency equipment, such as supplies to survive a few nights stuck in the car. Be sure to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.

  • When To Go

    Winter comes in many forms around here, and it arrives when you least expect it. A typical season of winter fun begins in November and can last as long as April. This particular spot in the Blue Mountains tends to receive the most snow, making it possible to recreate in the snow close to half the year.

  • What To Expect

    Even when there isn’t tons of snow on the ground, this part of the forest feels more remote than others. Perhaps it is the higher elevation and more open vistas. The landscape really steals the show, and the higher viewpoint makes it easier to recognize many unique geologic features to our area.

  • Fees

    No fees outside of the Washington Sno-Park Permit.

  • Permits

    Washington Sno-Park Permit is required to utilize the parking area and recreate. These permits are available for purchase online at the Washington State Parks website or visit your local Forest Service office.

  • Regulations

    None other than being good stewards of the land!

  • Amenities

    There are two vault toilets located at the sno-park (parking lot). Vault toilets and snow shelters are located along the trail.

  • Wildlife Awareness

    We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.

  • Field Notes

    Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.

    Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.

    Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.

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