Frog Lake Buttes
Why it’s great: You may accumulate a few icicles in your beard on the trek to Frog Lake Buttes, a windy 5,294-foot peak near Government Camp. But with the state’s snowpack hovering at near-record levels, it’s worth the strenuous three-mile climb for a stunning 360-degree panorama of winter backcountry splendor. To the north, Mount Hood dominates the horizon, glimpses of the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson can be had to the south, and the thickly forested hills of the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness offer a splash of evergreen against the otherwise blindingly white winterscape.
Distance: Five miles out and back
Route: Snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and even dog-sledders frequent Frog Lake Sno-Park. As a result, snowfall on the trails in the area can be well-packed, making uphill journeys less daunting. Start by following Forest Road 2610 southeast toward Frog Lake. After about a half mile, the real workout begins, with a march up Forest Road 220 to the left—a narrow, unsigned road that climbs relentlessly for nearly 2,000 feet. Approximately a quarter mile from the turnaround point, the trail splits; keep to the left to reach the top. Once there, head due north across the flat-topped wide-open summit to drink in views of Mount Hood and beyond.
Getting there: From Government Camp, travel east on Highway 26 for six miles to Frog Lake Sno-Park. Turn left into the sno-park to access the trailhead. Oregon Sno-Park Permit required.($3 and are not available at the trailhead)