Travel & Outdoors

Your Next Favorite Winter Activity Awaits

You’ve skied. You’ve skated. May we entice you with something new?

By Margaret Seiler, Julia Silverman, and Riley Blake December 14, 2020 Published in the Winter 2020/2021 issue of Portland Monthly


“I love skiing, and I love being outdoors with my dogs,” says Sandy resident and Cascade Sled Dog Club member Ruthann Lee of the easy logic that prompted her to try skijoring a few years ago with her two Bouviers, Chica and Lily. “A harness and a tug is really all you need, and a belt for yourself, and some cross-country skis. Most dogs like to pull.” It’s best to start with one dog and a flat trail, says Lee, such as those around Frog Lake.

Get the gear: Lee recommends Bend-based Alpine Outfitters, as well as the brands Non-stop and Howling Dog Alaska. —Margaret Seiler


It’s tempting to view snowshoeing as a consolation prize, the winter sport for those whose achy knees or busted wallets keep them from whooshing down the slopes. Committed ’shoers know better. Sure, it’s cheap, but it’s also a great workout. Try the trail to Lower Twin Lake, a 3.9-mile out-and-back near Government Camp. Or check out the Oldman Pass Sno Park near Carson, Washington, where a spiderweb of trails stretch in all directions—just make sure you’re not stomping on cross-country tracks, or prepare to be admonished by someone brandishing two sharp sticks. 

Pro tip: Call the ranger station to make sure trails aren’t blocked by downed trees from fall storms. Check snow levels, too; it’s always a bummer to arrive and find only a few inches of hard-packed, crusty snow. —Julia Silverman


For a young kid growing up in Sandy, at the foot of Mount Hood, there was a mysticism around the snowboarders, with their long, tattered hair, secondhand clothes, and old Subarus dressed in punk-related bumper stickers. The out-of-towners? No, thanks. I wanted to be the real deal. Snowboarding, I would later learn, didn’t really require the long hair and the Subaru—just a board and the will to get back up. I’ve knocked myself unconscious, gotten stuck in snowbanks, and been bruised by a ski lift I couldn’t quite catch. But when I’m on a board carving down the mountainside, I catch myself with that feeling of mysticism from all those years ago.

Favorite run: Timberline’s Magic Mile —Riley Blake