Winter Sports

Winter Shelters

Gold Lake Shelter with deep snow on roof from winter 2006The Willamette National Forest has several shelters for use by winter sports enthusiasts. Some of the shelters permit overnight stays; some are warming shelters only. Find out about the terms of use for each shelter in the descriptions below. And remember to Leave No Trace as you enjoy your winter outing.

A big thanks to the volunteers whose dedication keeps these facilities open!

There are also three winter rentals in the cabin rental program that are available by advance reservation. You can find details about these facilities in the cabin rental section of this website.


 Santiam Pass Area Shelters

photo of Mt. View shelterMountain View Shelter
Accessed from the Maxwell Sno Park
Visitors to the Mt. View Shelter can use either the Big Meadows road or the Maxwell SnoPark parking areas, however, it is recommended that overnight visitors use the Maxwell area since there is a risk of vehicles at Big Meadows being temporarily "plowed in" in the event of a major snowfall overnight.

The snow shelter is open for day use and overnight stays. Overnight stays are permitted from November 15th to April 30th. All overnight stays are on a first come first served basis. Maximum stay limit is 3 nights and maximum capacity shall not exceed 15 persons.

  • Overnight users shall make the shelter available to day use visitors.
  • Garbage service is not provided, so “Please Pack it Out!!”
  • Firewood is provided for woodstove use only.
  • Please do not remove screens from windows.
  • Before you leave, remember to:
    • Make sure all windows are closed
    • Close shelter and restroom doors
    • Leave shelters clean for others to enjoy
  • Your participation of the visitor registration board located next to the information board is helpful in determining future management of this area.

Please report any misuse, vandalism or suggestions to the Detroit Ranger District.

photo of McCoy shelterMcCoy Snow Shelter
Located in the McCoy Snowmobile Area
The snow shelter is open for day use and overnight stays. Overnight stays are permitted from November 15th to April 30th. Maximum stay limit is 3 nights and maximum capacity shall not exceed 15 persons.

  • Overnight users shall make the shelters available to day use visitors.
  • Garbage service is not provided, so “Please Pack it Out!!”
  • Firewood is provided for woodstove use only.
  • Before you leave, remember to:
    • Close shelter and restroom doors
    • Leave shelters clean for others to enjoy
  • Your participation of the visitor registration board located next to the information board is helpful in determining future management of this area.

Please report any misuse, vandalism or suggestions to the Detroit Ranger District.

Shelters on the Deschutes National Forest

photo of Brandenburg shelter

These warming shelters are accessible from trails that lead off from Ray Benson Sno Park on the Willamette National Forest and cross over the crest to the Deschutes National Forest.

All three of these shelters are a similar log construction with metal roof style. They are designed as warming shelters and do not lend themselves to overnight use. There are no sanitation facilities.

Find out more about winter recreation on the Deschutes National Forest

Willamette Pass Area Shelters

There are seven shelters located in the Willamette Pass area: South Waldo, Gold Lake, Gold Lake Sno-park Warming Hut/Backcountry Patrol Cabin, Westview, Fuji, Bechtel, and Maiden Peak Cabin. All shelters are three sided except for the Gold Lake Sno-park Warming Hut/Backcountry Patrol Cabin and the Maiden Peak Cabin, which are fully enclosed. Overnight stays are allowed in all shelters except the Gold Lake Sno-Park Warming Hut/Backcountry Patrol Cabin. Shelters can not be reserved and exclusive use by individuals and groups is prohibited. Shelters must be shared with whomever would like to use the shelter.

Each shelter is supplied with firewood that is cut by volunteers assisted by Forest Service staff each fall. The shelters near the Gold Lake Sno-Park (Gold Lake, Bechtel, Westview, and Fuji) are maintained by the Willamette Backcountry Ski Patrol during the winter season. The Willamette Backcountry Ski Patrol maintains and staffs the Gold Lake Sno-park Warming Hut/Backcountry Patrol Cabin. The Maiden Peak Cabin is maintained by Chris and Kathy Jensen with any volunteers they can find willing to help.

The shelters located on the Middle Fork Ranger District are too remote to make restroom facilities feasible. Plan to pack out solid human waste. In lieu of packing out, cover and disguise human waste in deep snow away at least 200 feet (70 adult steps) from shelters, travel routes, and water sources.

All shelters should be treated as backcountry sites - that is all garbage and waste along with extra food and supplies should be packed out. Please follow good Leave No Trace practices. Leaving extra food or supplies "in case someone needs it" only attracts rodents. Volunteers must pack/ski out the garbage, food, and extra supplies left in the shelters.

photo of South Waldo shelterSouth Waldo Shelter
Accessed from Gold Lake Sno Park

NOTE: No firewood at South Waldo Shelter this year (winter 2013/14). Please plan accordingly.

The South Waldo Shelter was constructed in 1935. It is built using the "Trail Timber Shelter" design developed by the Forest Service in 1931 for alpine regions. This shelter style and this shelter specifically were designed to be used by Forest Service trail maintenance crews to relieve the need to pack in tents. The 14 x 14 three-sided log shelter is constructed on a rock foundation. The roof and sides are covered with cedar shakes. The South Waldo Shelter has been modified over the years with the addition of a wood stove, sleeping bench, and gravel floor to improve drainage. It will accommodate four people overnight.

photo of Gold Lake shelterGold Lake Shelter
Accessed from Gold Lake Sno Park
This shelter, located at the outlet of Gold Lake, has been a popular ski destination since the 1960's. Using the 1931 Forest Service "Willamette Winged Shelter" design Gold Lake Shelter was constructed in the late 1930's. The "Willamette Winged" style shelter was designed for use by large groups in alpine locations with commanding views. Since original construction, a wood stove, wooden picnic table, and gravel floor have been added. It is built with a cedar shake roof, solid log walls on the lower half and cedar shake walls for the upper half. Rocks support the sill logs. The shelter is a "T" shape with the front area measuring 18x5 ft, and the rear section, which includes a sleeping bench, measuring 12x10 ft. This shelter will accommodate four people overnight.

Gold Lake Sno Park Warming Hut/ Backcountry Patrol Cabin
Accessed from Gold Lake Sno Park
The Gold Lake Patrol Cabin is known as one of the finest Nordic facilities in Oregon. The services it provides are unique. Staffed solely by the Willamette Backcountry Ski Patrol volunteers (not associated with the commercial Willamette Pass downhill ski area), the cabin serves as an office and an overnight medical/search/rescue base for the patrol; a daytime warming center for winter recreationists complete with hot drinks, snacks, and a cozy wood stove; an information center where visitors can buy trail maps, receive winter safety information, and get up-to-date weather and trail conditions; and serves as a coordination point for overdue recreationists, medical aid requests, and day or extended trip registration.

The cabin is a 20'x30' enclosed log structure with windows on three sides and a metal roof. Completed in 1986, it was constructed primarily by Willamette Backcountry Ski Patrol volunteers with assistance from Forest Service staff and the Marine reserves.

photo of Westview shelterWestview Shelter
Westview shelter is an easy one-mile ski from the Gold Lake Sno Parkand provides access to the Westview Loop ski trail system. Forest Service crews constructed it in 1985. A modified "Willamette Winged" shelter design, it has a sleeping loft, a wood stove, wood picnic table and gravel floor. It is built with a cedar shake roof, solid log walls on the lower half and cedar shake walls for the upper half. The corner posts are supported by concrete blocks with gravel under the sill logs. The "T" shaped shelter has a front area measuring 18x5 ft and a rear section measuring 12x10 ft. It can accommodate four people overnight.

photo of Fuji shelterFuji Shelter
Accessed from Salt Creek Falls Sno Park and Waldo Lake Sno Park
The Fuji Shelter, built in 1987 by the Eugene Oregon Marine Reserves Unit sits at approximately 5600ft and has a inspiring view of Diamond Peak and Salt Creek Canyon. Its location off Fuji Creek Road 5894 (across from Salt Creek Falls access road) provides access to numerous cross-country ski trails including Birthday Lakes, Pothole Meadows, Fuji Mountain, and Island Lakes. A modified "Willamette Winged" shelter design, it has a cedar shake roof, solid log walls on the lower half and cedar shake walls for the upper half. The corner posts are supported by concrete blocks with gravel under the sill logs. It is a "T" shaped structured with the front area measuring 18x5 ft and the rear section measuring 12x10 ft. This shelter, like the Westview shelter, has a sleeping loft, a wood stove, wood picnic table and gravel floor and can accommodate four people overnight.

Bechtel Shelter
Accessed from Gold Lake Sno Park
Built in 1988 by the Eugene Oregon Marine Reserves Unit, Bechtel shelter is constructed exactly like the Fuji and Westview shelters. It is an approximately 2.3 mile easy road ski from the Gold Lake Sno-Park. Like the Fuji and Westview shelters, it has a sleeping loft, a wood stove, wood picnic table and gravel floor and can accommodate four people overnight.

 

photo of Maiden Peak shelterMaiden Peak Shelter
Accessed from Willamette Pass Sno Park

NOTE: Firewood is limited at Maiden Peak Shelter.
Please conserve wood: don't burn wood through the night; don't overstuff the stove.

In the spring of 1994, the Eugene Nordic Club in partnership with the Willamette National Forest, made a commitment to help build the first of three planned enclosed huts for Nordic skiing and winter activities. Construction began in August 1994 and with help from numerous other volunteers and Forest Service crews took five summers to complete with minor finishing touches still being added each year.

This unique, octagon shaped fully enclosed log cabin has a large sleeping loft, a wooden floor, several benches, three tables, a solar lighting system, a large woodstove with a rock hearth, and a covered entryway. The walls, beams, and corner posts are lodge pole pine cut from dead trees on site. The roof is made of 2x6 Doug Fir nailers with cedar shakes. The corner posts are supported on poured concrete pads with rocks (collected on site) under the sill logs. An upper story window looks out to a view of Maiden Peak, and 5 large lower story windows provide light to the cabin. The loft has an emergency exit door in case of fire or if snow blocks the front entrance.

Located at the 6000 ft level on the west side of Maiden Peak, this site was selected to provide a more advanced ski destination and access to backcountry skiing on and around Maiden Peak. It can comfortably accommodate about 15 people.

Willamette Pass Area Shelters Location

Please note the UTMs use NAD 27

Shelter UTM
NAD27 - 10T
Lat/Long Elevation
(approximate)
GOLD LAKE SNOPARK 0577150 - 4828147 43.60425N
122.04407W
5000 ft
GOLD LAKE SHELTER 0576755 - 4831014 43.63010N
122.04856W
4840 ft
WESTVIEW SHELTER 0576551- 4827306 43.59673N
122.05162W
5090 ft
BECHTEL SHELTER 0575064 - 4826823 43.59254N
122.07011W
5190 ft
FUJI SHELTER 0573353 - 4830839 43.62886N
122.09075W
5570 ft
MAIDEN PEAK CABIN 0580480 - 4831291 43.63220N
122.00236W
6000 ft