Mileage: 10 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 1600 ft/3182ft
Map: Green Trails Silverton No.110
Favorite Eats After Hike: LJs Bistro
1/18/2016 My mom and her friend wanted to find an easy snowshoe up the Mountain Loop so we headed up to check out the Deer Creek Road to Kelcema Lake. The highway is snow free and the parking lot was snow and ice, but I’m sure it wouldn’t pose a problem to most vehicles. Get there early though, by the time we got back down, it was packed with tailgaters sitting around fires, families on sleds and folks were parked out on the road.
We headed up at 10:15 and saw only a handful of others folks on snow shoes and skis the whole time until we were about .5 miles back towards the car.
The beginning of the road really didn’t need snowshoes due to the high traffic of sledders until you reach the first break in the trees and views. It seemed that most folks turn around here. I started to posthole more after this point so I put on my snowshoes.
It is clear this road will need some major spring clean up as there was evidence of multiple slides, especially in the sections where water normally runs down over the road and there are concrete slabs.
Evidence of others greatly reduces after the first big slide and the snow gets much deeper. After that, expect to cross a few streams running over the road.
My mom stopped at the second major break in the snow over the road but I continued on as far as the hairpin turn at about 2800 ft. The views of Big Four and Bald were wonderful but I ran out of time to finish to the lake. The snow is crunchy on top and it became easier to posthole the further I went. I hope to get up there all the way to the lake next time. We were back down to the car at 2pm.
Directions: Drive east on the Mountain Loop HWY from Granite Falls 12 miles past the Verlot Ranger Station. Look for the Deer Creek sign on the lefthand sign (usually the Mountain Loop is gated here). Pull into the parking lot and head up FR 4052. There is a privy.
For more snowshoes, click HERE.