Sno-parks still springlike

Published Feb 13, 2013 at 04:00AM

Sno-park conditions:

Lower to mid elevations still have springlike conditions, with no substantial new snow in the past two weeks. For the following snoparks, expect icy and crusty conditions in the morning, followed by softer snow in the afternoons: Meissner, Wanoga Snoplay and Sno-park, Swampy, Skyliner, Edison, Six Mile, Ten Mile, Upper Three Creek Lake, Crescent Junction and Crescent Lake. Be aware that icy conditions can make for out of control skiing or snowmobiling.

In higher elevations, including Dutchman and Vista Butte snoparks, the conditions are not as icy or crusty, but are still springlike.

Snow depths have not changed much since last week — perhaps an inch or two of snow lost.

Crowds:

Expect more traffic on the trails and high country roads this weekend. President’s Day brings out some of the heaviest winter weekend use and WinterFest is likely to also bring winter enthusiast visitors to the area. Be extra cautious and courteous on the roads, in the sno-parks and on the trails.

Some sno-parks are likely to fill up before noon on the weekend. Parking can become an issue, especially on holiday weekends. Be sure to have a second choice sno-park in mind. No-parking zones at the sno-parks are strictly for emergency vehicle access.

Especially for folks new to the area, be sure to get as much information as you can about the area you’ll be visiting before you hit the trails. Folks should pay close attention to boundaries, especially closures for motorized use or dogs. Carry a map and all the necessities for emergencies.

Low elevations:

Low elevation trails are still experiencing spring thaw conditions — icy in the morning, muddy in the afternoon. Hiking and biking on muddy trails will damage the trail tread, sometimes past the point of repair. Avoid muddy trails to minimize trail impacts.

Lower- to midelevation sno-parks still have springlike conditions, with no substantial new snow in the past two weeks. For the following sno-parks, expect icy and crusty conditions in the morning, followed by softer snow in the afternoons: Virginia Meissner, Wanoga Snoplay Area and Sno-park, Swampy Lakes, Skyliner, Edison Butte, Six Mile, Ten Mile, Upper Three Creek Lake, Crescent Junction and Crescent Lake. Be aware that icy conditions can lead to out-of-control skiing or snowmobiling.

In higher elevations, including Dutchman Flat and Vista Butte sno-parks, the conditions are not as icy or crusty but are still springlike.

Snow depths have not changed much since last week — perhaps an inch or two of snow lost.

Presidents Day crowds

Expect more traffic on the trails and high country roads this weekend.

Presidents Day brings some of the heaviest weekend use and Bend WinterFest is likely to add to the traffic, bringing winter enthusiast visitors to the area. Be extra cautious and courteous on the roads, in the sno-parks and on the trails.

Some sno-parks are likely to fill up before noon on the weekend. Parking can become an issue, especially on holiday weekends. Be sure to have a second choice sno-park in mind. No-parking zones are strictly for emergency vehicle access.

If new to the area, be sure to gather as much information about your trail destinations as possible. Folks should pay attention to boundaries, especially closures for motorized use or dogs. Carry a map and all the necessities for emergencies.

Low elevations

Low-elevation trails are still experiencing spring-thaw conditions — icy in the morning, muddy in the afternoon. Hiking and biking on muddy trails will damage the trail tread, sometimes past the point of repair. Avoid muddy trails to minimize trail impacts.

Sno-park snow depths:

Generally unchanged from last week, although lower parks might have lost an inch or two.

Virginia Meissner: About 18-26 inches

Swampy Lakes: About 34-42 inches

Wanoga Snoplay Area and Sno-park: 26-32 inches

Dutch-man Flat: 80-84 inches

Crescent: About 18-24 inches

Edison Butte: 18-26 inches; watch for rocks and low-snow hazards

Upper Three Creek: 16-22 inches; watch for low-snow hazards

Ten Mile Sno-park: About 10-16 inches

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