Snowshoe to Ghost Ridge viewpoint

The end of March is near, and the snowshoe conditions at Mt Hood are still very nice. This week, our snowshoe adventure took us back to Barlow Pass, and the Pacific Crest Trail, in search of the viewpoint on Ghost Ridge.
A few weeks ago we made our first attempt at finding the viewpoint through the brush, since there seems to be no markings to help you find your way there. we were unsuccessful, but Honey was undaunted, and unwilling to accept our slight navigational failure, we set out again in search of the view.  We tend to plan all our snowshoe outings around a view or significant destination.  So, off we went down the Pacific Crest Trail for a bit.  Just before the trail starts to dip down, we veered off the the west and paralleled the trail, off its course by a few hundred feet.  There is no markings, but we stayed away from the steep dropoffs of the ridge, in search for higher ground, and eventually we found what we were looking for.

Off Pacific Crest Trail, towards Ghost Ridge

Here, the terrain tilts dramatically up for a hundred feet or so.  Its a steep climb made a little more difficult by the thick layers of fresh powder, but we made it to the top, and in the clearing we had a 180 degree view of Highway 26 to the west, including Mt. Hood, all the way to south of Barlow Butte.  The skies were blue and sunny and the winds relatively calm. Perfect spot for lunch.

Mt Hood from Ghost Ridge Viewpoint

It seemed reasonable that we could find a more gentle slope for our descent if we headed south, over the other side, and then met up with the Pacific Crest Trail a litle farther out.  It that slope is out there, we didn’t find it.  What we did find, was a slope a little steeper and a little longer than the one we climbed.  Not a significantly dangerous descent, unless one falls and twists something, but it was a little slow going getting down nonetheless.

Climbing down to Pacific Crest Trail from Ghost Ridge viewpoint

But we know the general direction of the Pacific Crest Trail, and were confident if we stayed on course and paid attention, we would cross paths with it eventually.   The time spent trekking quietly through the trees, over clean white snow can be a peaceful experience.  Yet, we both agreed we would be a little more at-peace, with a capable GPS system.

Snowshoe through the trees near P.C.T.

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