Trail update With Chris Sabo

Published Mar 6, 2013 at 04:00AM

Weather moving in

This week, a weather system is expected to affect all elevations. By Thursday, there could be upwards of 1-15 inches of new snow at lower to midelevations. High elevations could see 18-20 inches of new snow. With the new snow, backcountry users should be prepared to use snowpack assessments for potential avalanche hazards. Expect larger crowds at the sno-parks. Temperatures are expected to be warmer by the weekend: 40s to 50s, with sunny skies.

Lower trailheads, such as Phil's Trail and Deschutes River Trail, are currently in late Marchlike conditions, which include both dried-up and soggy sections. For safety, trail users should avoid trampling through mud, because it will curve damage to the trail that volunteers will have to fix later.

At the sno-parks

There is a good chance that Lower Three Creek and Six Mile sno-parks are done for the season.

At 10 Mile Sno-park, there are low snow conditions. Don't ride snowmobiles over bare ground; instead, access Trail 1 directly through Forest Road 21.

Upper Three Creek Sno-park will have a substantial amount of bare ground, so riders are advised to access the main trail via pavement.

The sledding hill at Wanoga Snoplay Area is icy and crusty but is expected to improve with 4-10 inches of new snow.

The informal sno-park at McKenzie Pass has marginal conditions at best.

At this point in the season, signs might be missing due to fallen trees or other causes. Trail users are always advised to take a map with them and track themselves on the trail. A GPS system is also recommended, but since batteries are not always reliable, carry a paper map as well as the rest of the 10 essential systems for safety.

EVENTS

The Fourth Annual Crescent Lake ski race will take place Sunday. Expect the park to be exceeding capacity on race day.

The Special Olympics Winter Games will occur this weekend near Mount Bachelor on Dutchman Flat Sno-park. Snowmobilers on Trail 5 need to be cautious as a nordic ski route will criss-cross twice along the trail.

Sno-park snow depths:

Virginia Meissner: 16-26 inches

Wanoga Snoplay Area: 26-34 inches

Wanoga Snowmobile: 30-38 inches

Swampy Lakes: 40-48 inches

Vista Butte: 56-64 inches

Dutchman Flat: 90-100 inches

Edison Butte Sno-park: 22-28 inches

Skyliner Sno-park: 6-10 inches

10 mile Sno-park: Patchy to 6 inches

Crescent Junction/ Crescent Lake Sno-park: 14-18 inches

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