Crater Lake Camping/Snow Shoe Expedition
I took two weeks earlier in the month of December to meander up through Northern California on an epic winter road trip to Crater Lake National Park in central Oregon. I first stopped in Redwood National Park in Humboldt county to spend some time hiking through the ancient redwood giants on the foggy, cold Northern California coast.
I hiked both the Boy Scouts Trail as well as the Tall Trees Grove. There were plenty of elk grazing on the side of the road on the way up which was awesome to see. In order to access the Tall Tree Grove Trail you had to take an unpaved side street off the major highway. In the 2 hours it took to hike the trail, two trees had completely fallen over the road obstructing my exit out! Thankfully I had a bit of phone service and was able to call Park Service to remove the tree (which only took about 1.5 hours). It was quite an experience!
After Redwood National Park area I headed up to Crater Lake for my 4 day/3 night snowshoe expedition and backpacking trip. We camped in the snow while it dumped three feet of snow on us over the course of the trip and dropped down to 16 degrees at night. It was quite a bit harder than I anticipated to snow shoe in super deep snow with 30 lbs on my back but I did it!
It was my first time snow shoeing and it took a bit to get used to (was really feeling the burn in my hips) but it was totally worth it! We saw no other people or groups the entire time we were out there, although we were not alone in the wilderness for sure (saw lots of bear tracks). We had to wear avalanche beacons during our day hikes which was a little scary but reassuring. Overall I had a great time and would try it again. The conditions were so blizzardy the whole time we were there and we didn't think we would be able to see the lake but on the last day we had a bit of a reprieve and caught a glimpse in the morning on the way out!
I can't wait to do some more winter exploring. Would love to try cross country skiing or snowboarding at some point. And what's better than finishing off at the lodge with a hot toddy ;)