|Peak Summited||2019 Tumalo Mountain|
|Type of Hike||Snowshoe/XC Ski|
|Trailhead||Dutchman Flat Sno Park|
|Road Conditions||Road suitable for all vehicles|
|Bug Status||No bugs|
|Snow Conditions||Trail snow-covered at times - Gear and expertise recommended|
|Trail Conditions||Trail difficult/impossible to navigate|
I've hiked Tumalo mountain more times than I can count, but it's always been in the summer when the peak is clear of snow. Snowshoeing the peak has been on my todo list for a while, but I never seem to get around to it (especially because parking can be such a mess at the trailhead in the winter). Last weekend ended up being the perfect time to do it! Late season snow means the trail was still fully covered in snow-shoeable snow, Bachelor is closed for the season so traffic is down, and the Cascade Lakes highway is open so people don't need to park at Dutchman Flat to get back there.
I started out from the trailhead at 9 am. Immediately I hit snow and was able to walk on it in my regular hiking boots for the first ~1/2 mile. As it warmed up the snow softened enough that I decided to strap on my snowshoes and I kept them on the remainder of the hike. It was debatable if they helped with the sinking and grip at all, but they did help keep my feet and socks dry since I forgot my gaiters.
I chose Trail conditions as difficult/impossible to navigate since the trail was 100% covered in snow. I quickly gave up trying to follow the regular trail to the summit. It is not marked with blazes or reflectors, but if you generally follow the route eastward up the mountain and approach the summit from the south there are no real obstacles or steep slopes to navigate. It's not difficult to find a route up the peak, there is just no trail to follow right now.
I saw one other set of fresh footprints and one other car at the trailhead. I love hiking these popular trails in the shoulder seasons!