Moon Prairie Snowshoe 3-31-23

Photos by Alex and Kay

Ashland Hiking Home

This was a discovery day. In this winter-to-spring awash with snow, seven of us headed off with a preferred plan but armed with backup options. Our aim was to snowshoe to Brown Mountain Shelter on the PCT and enjoy making s’mores with lunch in the shelter. We arrived at the Sno-Park at the PCT crossing on DIM to find tall snow berms, a mostly snow-covered sign, and obscured trail. After trying the PCT on both sides of the DIM highway, we decided to return to Moon Prairie, one of our favorites for snowshoeing.

A special treat for this trek was having Kay’s son, Alex, with us (visiting from southern California). We found a cross-country ski track in the unusually high snow cover there, so we were faced with breaking a snowshoe trail.  Kay and Alex did most of the trail blazing, with help from Kate and others.

As always, we enjoyed the journey across open fields and through dense forested areas, having a mix of sun and clouds on this day but no precipitation. Temperature started at 30 degrees and moved into the low 50s by afternoon. At just one point did we get a view of Mt. McLoughlin, thankfully at the ‘magic’ spot coming out of a forested area into an open field.

Our journey amounted to nearly 4 miles RT with an elevation gain at roughly 400’. We didn’t see wild animal tracks, but were surrounded by the beauty of expansive white snow fields, adorned with forests of deep green evergreens. Although these favorite locations for snowshoeing are familiar to us, each immersion presents fresh perspectives. As always, we are grateful for this time with friends and first time joiners. 

Report by Elisabeth