Gold Lake Sno-Park: Marilyn Lakes Loop

Along the trail to Marilyn Lakes
Snowshoeing is always something that I love to do, but very rarely have the opportunity. Not so recently a good friend and I made it out to the Gold Lake Sno-Park near Willamette Pass. It was his first time snowshoeing and my first time in this area. We happened to pick an absolutely beautiful day to go, it was sunny nearly the entire time. 

Looking back towards the Gold Lake Sno-Park parking area

Near Lower Marilyn Lake
There are many places that can be accessed from the Gold Lake Sno-Park including many shelters, mostly three-sided ones, but there are also is the fully enclosed Maiden Peak Shelter. These shelters can be used by anyone for free either overnight or just to warm up. We took the most direct route from the parking area to the Marilyn Lakes Basin. After crossing the somewhat sketchy Highway 58, we strapped on the snowshoes and set out down Gold Lake Road. About .5 mile down this road a trail will veer to the left that starts the decent to Marilyn Lakes. 

Upper Marilyn Lake at Gold Lake Sno-Park

Dustin Looking out at Lower Marilyn Lake
Because of the relatively low snow pack we ended up coming across a couple of areas that were flowing water. Thankfully this didn't last all that long as we began climbing back towards Gold Lake Road. 

Massive Douglas-fir near Upper Marilyn Lake

Flowing water near Upper Marilyn Lake
The area around Gold Lake Sno-Park is incredibly beautiful and definitely warrants another trip before the snow melts. As always the only place to grab food and beers at in Oakridge is Brewers Union Local 180.

Directions from Oakridge: Follow Highway 58 east for approximately 30 miles, parking lot is on the right.
 
Hike Distance: 4.7 miles round trip

Hike Type: Loop with short overlap

Elevation Gain: 200 Feet

Trailhead Elevation: 5000 Feet
Usage: Moderate

Difficulty: 2 out of 5 

Fees: Sno-Park permit required. 5 dollars for the day or 30 for the season, not sold on site.

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