Thursday, December 12, 2013


When was the last time you remember seeing Trillium Lake frozen over with clear ice.
My recollection was the late 1970s when we all went to Goodwill and bought the closest sized ice skates we could find and had a blast!

Here's what it looked like on Thanksgiving eve this year.

December days have been something to remember.

Starting with 30 hours of many, many inches of intense rain then turning to cold, dry snow, long enough for our 5-7 inch of base to become established. Who would have expected frigid, close to zero degree weather for a week after that?
The good news is that the cold temperatures left us with a week of dry, powder snow skiing for our season's first grooming of the Trillium Lake Loop.

Those frigid temperatures also contributed to amazing, delicate  snow, ice and hoar frost creations in some of our creeks.

Many of our seeps and waterfalls have dramatically changed with icy features.
Take a look at Tamanawas Falls.
We haven't even seen the first day of winter yet. Wonder what will come next? 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

We had a GREAT summer, but when will it snow?

Summit Meadow transitioning into fall

Except for the dreary (remember wet and cold) September, we can't complain about our summer and October fall.

Here are some of my favorite memories 

MT Hood Lilies were prolific 

Split Rock near Paradise Park

Mop Tops (Western Pasque Flowers) at Mc Neil Point


Tom Dick Ridge huckleberryless in Sept

but not where you'd expect them

Now the real question is when will we be snowed in????

I wish I knew, but the reality of the matter is we'll know after it happens. Our first real "dump" was Nov  5 and here's what it looked like.

After that melted and we had the usual rain, clear, rain, mode, we got another blast of snow this weekend which left several inches of new.

Weather for the next week looks more like rain than anything else so our new snow may melt again (or not!).

Bottomline, we'll know when we get snowed in after it happens.


In any case, it's not too early to plan a winter getaway at Summit Meadow Cabins. 

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Friday, May 10, 2013

There's LOTS of reasons to visit this summer.....

Chimney Rock Aframe
Join us for long days and cool evenings this summer at Summit Meadow Cabins, off the beaten path on Mt Hood's southern slope.

There's a lot to do, whether you want to spend your days hanging out at the cabin, out do yourself on an awesome bike ride, Summer ski on the Palmer chairlift, enjoy a hike, visit one of our many lakes, or ?
Trilliums are one of the first wildflowers to pop up

A great blue heron at Trillium Lake

Fused glass class at the Arts Cabin
Intersted in water colors, digital photography, fused glass or weaving? The Arts Cabins offers classes throughout the summer and the Mt Hood Cultural Center & Museum is always an interesting stop.  

Tamanawas Falls
Avalanche lillies along the Timberline Tr
June brings wildflowers, migratory birds, the opening of Volcano Cones (the best ice cream in Government Camp), the 30th annual Wy East Nordic  Summer Tele Camp and more. 
Indian Paintbrush
Galaxy is my favorite flavor!

Forest Service Interpretive programs at several locations, including Timberline Lodge & Trillium Lake, are in full swing .
Enjoy Timberline's Magic Mile Sky Ride or summer skiing on the Palmer Snowfield & the Mt Hood Summer Adventure park.

Trillium Lake less than 1.5 mi from Summit Meadow Cabins
Trillium Lake does warm up enough for most of us to enjoy a dip (or a lap).
How about huckleberry picking, incredible upper mountain hikes, a visit to HawkWatch's  Bonney Butte site.  You'll be amazed at the volume of raptors along this flyway.....

2011 Blacksmith War teams & their projects
August also brings some special events to Government Camp: Steiner Cabin Tours - Sat 8/10, the Barlow Trail Century road bike ride - 8/17 & 18,  Western States Blacksmith Conference and the  "Blacksmith Wars" - 8/22-25.

"Mop tops" (Western Pasque flowers)
Don't lose out. Give us a call (503-272-3494) or send an email  (info@ if you'd like to get more info on these events and activities or make your  reservation.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Grooming Trillium Lake Snowtrails, a 27 year labor of love

Little did we know 27 years ago when we first had a small snocat and the idea to offer xc skiers a better experience at Trillium Lake by grooming the main trail, that it would explode into a 27 year labor of love. It's a labor of love not only for Dave and now Jeremy, who volunteer their time to operate the snocat and do the grooming, but also for the local Government Camp Marketing Council  and those of you who donate  at the trailheads. These funds  cover the snocat operating expenses.

Boy, have things changed!
Here's a picture of David & Jeremy with our first snocat a few years into the effort. The snocat pulled a  "drag" that left a single double ski track for those skinny skis. Sometimes the snow was too heavy +/or  deep to operate the snocat.Parts broke easily.Snowshoeing wasn't popular & the few folks that did it, used the type that looked more like "Sargent Preston's.

Now, Trillium continues to be a very popular winter destination, but not just for xc skiers. Weekends, my guess is that 80% of the folks at Trillium are snowshoers, sporting those lightweight, aluminum snowshoes, which allow any one that can walk to have fun and be a  successful snowshoer. Many of these folks are new to winter +/or outdoor activities and they may only get out once or twice a year.  Midweek sees mostly xc skiers at Trillium and many of those are also skiing further out.
So what does the grooming look like now?

Our current  snocat is still ancient, but much bigger. We even have 2.  Depending on the conditions, the snow can be track packed by the snocat alone, or we pull a large roller to reduce the volume.  The side for xc skiers then gets a double wide xc ski track set. If we get a dump of 2-4 feet, it's not unusual to make 4 passes before the job is done. Other times it's one. In the end, there's a double wide flat lane for snowshoers (xc ski skaters, walkers & the occasional snowmobiler or dog sledder) and a double xc ski track, so folks can be side by side. 

Another thing that has changed. You'll find Jeremy the one that volunteers the most to do the grooming these days. This winter (a fairly light snow year)
the Trillum Lake Loop and Hemlock were groomed 23 times.

Grooming has ended for this winter. You can follow the snow conditions at Trillium Lake by clicking on the Gov Camp Trail Condition Button at next winter.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Spring at Summit Meadow?

March can wear the face of spring or winter

These last few weeks have had many days you could almost describe as balmy. You'd ski around a corner and a very warm breeze would greet you, just for a bit.

The sunny days and folks with smiles on their faces, the songs of the varied thrush, the first day of SPRING and
the return of the juncos around the feeders, it's almost enough for me to imagine blooming trilliums.

Then, we get 7 inches over night, the temperatures drop into the 20s and it snows like mad for a day or two at a time. 

I remember the local mountain paper's weather observer reminding us that the record  24 hour snowfall  of 22 inches was set last year on March 21 (funny, how I don't exactly  remember that...).

Although the lower elevations of Mt Hood see  trilliums soon, we seem to always be plowing way more snow than we'd like to in April and May, just to drive into the cabins.

Folks that know me don't ask when we will be driving in this year. It's the same answer every year. "We'll know when we're driving in for sure after it happens......"

Friday, February 1, 2013

A GREAT start to the WINTER

January arrived after a series of storms with cold, dry snow not usually seen on Mt Hood for weeks at a time. 

 There were LOTS of sunny
(still w/cold, dry snow days), again  somewhat of a novelty on the westside of Mt Hood, particularly when it goes on and on.

There were all sorts of interesting frost formations  and even some moonlight skiing here and there around the full moon.                         

Crisp, sparkly snow and sunny days made for some of the best xc skiing a person could ask for, both on the groomed trail and on backcountry routes like the Quarry Loop

 Alpenglow from the view at our Meadow
Chalet was hard to beat!

The last week of January brought over 3 feet in 48 hours, followed by rain, all of which will slowly consolidate and add to our winter snowpack. While some folks wonder if there will be six more weeks of winter, those of us at Summit Meadow know it'll be winter here at least through April.

February will be a GREAT time to enjoy the snow in and around Trillium Basin.

Don't forget, we have LOTS of midweek openings and a great winter midweek special. 
Pay for 2 nights and th 3rd is free.