Willamette Backcountry Patrol

Government Shutdown

The Willamette Backcountry Patrol operates as volunteers through the National Forest Service. As such, all of our volunteer activities must cease until the government shutdown comes to an end. This means that the warming cabin located at Gold Lake Snow Park will not be open to the public until the government opens again.

This doesn't mean you can't still head up and play, we just will not be there to greet you. The trails are open, and there is lot of snow to be enjoyed.

  • Be sure you have your Sno Park passes before heading up.
  • Dress appropriately and bring a change of clothes in case you get wet.
  • Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Consider a hot meal to help you stay warm.

In case of emergency there are still resources available:

  • State and local services such as Search and Rescue, and the County Sherriff patrol will continue to operate.
  • In case of emergency contact 9-1-1.

If you like snow (and, really, who doesn't?), and like to snowshoe in it and / or backcountry ski in it, and perhaps even camp in it, then maybe you or someone you know might like to join the Willamette Backcountry Patrol.

There are two levels of involvement, either as a volunteer or a fully qualified patroller (as a member of the National Ski Patrol). We are a volunteer organization from the Eugene/Springfield area, but have had members from Corvallis/Albany, Salem, Bend area and Portland. Benefits are too many to list, but training in Outdoor Emergency Care, CPR, mountain travel and rescue, search and rescue, avalanche awareness and safety are some of the highlights. If you are interested, just drop us a message at wbsp@wbsp.org . Find us on Facebook at: fb.me/wbspsnow

Gold Lake Snow Park

The Gold Lake Snow Park is located one-half mile northwest of Willamette Pass, approximately 30 miles east of OakridgeThe 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.