Typically, a real motivator for us is leaving the fog in the rear view mirror. Don’t get me wrong, it is all about perspective. I love looking down on the fog as I’m perched on a ridge in some quiet, snow-covered spot in the forest. I just want to scream when I open the blinds in the morning and can’t see across the street.
To state the obvious, Ski Bluewood provides an amazing, local opportunity to ski and snowboard. In recent years, significant investment in their infrastructure has updated and elevated the mountain experience. Whether you are needing some pointers, gear, or a latte, the good people at Ski Bluewood have you covered. Are you the non-skiing driver? No problem. Hang out in Dayton for they day. Check out the Touchet River Levee Trail and various downtown attractions.
Feel like walking in a winter wonderland? The Horseshoe Prairie Nordic Ski Area recently received updated signage and a few re-routed trails for safety thanks to dedicated Blue Mountain Land Trust Blues Crew members. Several loops throughout the ski area provide a varied experience. Bust out those snowshoes and cross country skis. The forest is waiting for you!
Who doesn’t love sledding? Claiming the title of the only designated sledding hill in the Umatilla National Forest is Andies Prairie. You can also snow camp. I admire the brave and seemingly cold folks who do such things. The sledding at Andies Prairie is far from the innocent bump on the ground that we all pine for in town. Bring your helmet and plenty of hydration and snacks.
The trek to the top is almost as exhilarating as the ride down. Leave good judgement and sense of personal safety at home. At least keep your medical insurance card in the glove box. Google thrilling and you will find a picture of someone sledding down the tall side of the bowl at Andies Prairie–the facial expression is somewhere between sheer terror and absolute exhilaration.
Although not a designated sledding hill, Rose Springs Sno-Park is definitely my favorite place to take the kids. The sno-park begins many remote snow adventures, ranging from snowshoeing to snowmobiling. There are also a few Forest Service cabins available year-round to rent. The sledding hill is conveniently located on the south end of the parking lot. A long, wide, and open area provides the entire family an enjoyable yet thrilling ride. It is a little further out of town, but enjoy any number of small towns along the way for breakfast or hot beverage on the trek home.