Tackling Hayrick Butte (copy)

A view of Hayrick Butte from Ray Benson Sno-park.

Ray Benson Sno-park is located almost adjacent to Hoodoo Ski Area just a couple of miles off U.S. Highway 20. Somehow, though, it still seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere.

The Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile Club grooms and maintains snowmobile trails at Ray Benson, and at several other sno-parks in the Santiam Pass area. But Ray Benson also offers some 18 miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. These user groups are encouraged by the U.S. Forest Service to keep their trails separate, as skiing through snowshoe tracks can be difficult. Most of these trails at Ray Benson are not groomed, so it is a good place for classic touring skiers — not skate skiers — who are seeking to cut their own trail through deep snow or follow the tracks of a previous skier.

Directions: From Bend, take U.S. Highway 20 west for a little more than 40 miles to Santiam Pass. Make a left at the sign for Ray Benson Sno-park and Hoodoo Ski Area. Follow signs to the sno-park

Parking: Sno-park permit required

Reporter: 541-383-0318,

mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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