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Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes Loop, OR
mini location map2019-01-21
12 by photographer avatarkeepmoving
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Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes Loop, OR 
Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes Loop, OR
Snowshoeing avatar Jan 21 2019
Snowshoeing9.53 Miles 2,178 AEG
Snowshoeing9.53 Miles   4 Hrs   57 Mns   1.93 mph
2,178 ft AEG20 LBS Pack
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Weather forecast showed mostly clear skies after dumping snow on the mountain for the last couple of days, so I decided to head up and do some snowshoeing.

I started from the Frog Lakes Sno-Park at about 0830. There were about 6 other snow covered vehicles in the parking lot that belonged to several groups that spent the night at the Upper/Lower Lakes that I would encounter in a couple of hours. I'm not used to running into people who are snow camping, but I suspect they were all taking advantage of the long weekend and trying to view the blood moon eclipse.

I set off up-trail with my snowshoes strapped to my bag. The trail was well padded down from all the previous hikers and snowshoes were not necessary to begin with. I briefly paused at the Lower Lake to take in the view. There was a group of campers set up on the north side of the lake, but I didn't approach their camp until my return trip after they had vacated.

Arriving at the Upper Lake, I encountered two women camped right by the lake outlet. They were breaking camp and loading their gear into a pulk next to the warmth of a fire. We briefly chatted and they confirmed it was far too cloudy overnight to witness the eclipse. I set out to circumnavigate the lake, but the trail around the far side was covered in fresh powder that was far too deep to hike in, so I put the snowshoes on.

I headed back down to the lower lake to find the trail that would eventually lead me to Frog Butte. The group that had been camped there had departed, so I briefly wandered over to check out their setup- they had put quite a bit of effort into digging out multiple camping areas and building a giant walled snow fort around their campfire, very impressive.

I finally located the Frog Butte Trail marker and started heading south. The trail was completely covered in snow and there were absolutely no previous tracks. I was a bit nervous about navigating this section of trail for the first time when it was completely obscured by snow, so I took a very slow and methodical approach to navigating it. It was absolutely amazing to be going through deep powder with no signs or sounds of other hikers.

After about an hour I arrived at the Frog Butte/Frog Lake trail marker. I was surprised to encounter another couple there who had just given up trying to find the Frog Butte trail in the snow and were already starting to turn around. We all had a good laugh about my fortunate timing as I explained that I had just left fresh tracks for them to follow to the Twin Lakes junction and we parted ways.

I continued the steep climb up to Frog Butte, eventually running into a pair of previous snowshoe tracks that made a straight line for the summit. The view from the top was non existent and a bit windy, so I dropped off the far side onto a 4x4 road where I sat down for a quick snack before making the long slog back to Frog Lake and the trailhead.
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