Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Gold Lake SnoPark to Bechtel Shelter via Pengra Pass

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(13)
Gilchrist, Oregon

Gold Lake SnoPark to Bechtel Shelter via Pengra Pass is a 4.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gilchrist, Oregon that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for camping, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 4.5 miles Elevation Gain: 341 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

kid friendly


cross country skiing





4 months ago

3/1/20: Conditions were perfect for snowshoeing today. Broke trail alongside cross country ski trails in fresh powder with blue skies and sun. First took Abernathy to Bechtel Shelter and then cut down a tie (on return) to pick up the PCT for Eagle Rock Lookout. Looped around past Westfir shelter back to sno park for a total of 6 miles. I recommend getting a paper map at the Gold Lake Shelter where you park. People working there were great. Snow got sticky toward the end but that was late afternoon. Please note that there are not separate snowshoe trails. You have to be cognizant of staying out of Nordic tracks which proved tricky in a few steep areas. Everyone was happy to share the trails though. Views from lookout are stunning on a clear day. Moderately trafficked on weekend.

5 months ago

I was there today and it totally sucked!Small "ski trough" for Nordic skiers,otherside,trail was tore up from walkers,dods,kids pulling sleds,snow shoers,,people did not know which direction to travel in,Had to tell a few people to get on other side,as I was not getting off trail,was on trail 40 min,only went half mile,due to poor trail condition,and too many people on trail,and waste of $5 dollar snow pass.Ended up paying 20 bucks to at least get in a few hours of real Nordic ski time at Willamette pass.The ski patrol ladies were very nice tho.

off trail
6 months ago

We camped at the snow park then hiked through some of the trails leading towards Waldo lake across the street the next morning. This was truly a winter wonderland with lots of snow and all fresh powder. We ultimately hiked through the trails all the way to willamette pass ski resort, hiked up (the lifts were still closed) then snowboarded down. We did about 6 miles with a big climb and it was well worth it if you’re looking for a challenge. Skinning with skis would be better but we went with snowshoes and boards on our back.

Wet snow. Snowing most of the time. Packed down for snow shoes and skis. Bechtel Shelter was nice break in the middle.

Sun Jan 13 2019

I love skiing out to Betchtel. I have stayed in the shelter in the winter and in the summer. Easy, flat x-country skiing, except for a steep last 100 feet from the trail to the shelter, I ran right into it

Mon Jan 07 2019

My second trip out. Left early and got the shelter to myself for a couple hours just before the torrent of mid-day families coming out to enjoy the fresh powder. I love the solitude of the shelter; I like the distance (not short or too long); and as it's right near the top of the pass it gets some good snow even during tepid winters like this one.

Sun Jan 21 2018

Went on a clear day with probably 18" of snow pack along much of the trail, didn't need snowshoes but they wouldn't have hurt to take along. Took a detour on accident down to the train tracks (sharp right off the trail just before the slight right that goes to the shelter) and had a serendipitous train sighting which was enjoyable. Tons of railroad spikes laying around by the tracks that might make for a welcome souvenir. Gradual grade most of the way to the shelter which is a short side path off of the main trail. Well stocked with wood and we got a fire roaring quickly, had a couple Worthy beers and enjoyed the afternoon before making it back just in time to lose daylight. A welcome day trip that I'll make again.

Thu Nov 23 2017

I snowshoed to Bechtel shelter in mid November after a good weeklong snowfall. The whole route is on forest roads (Abernathy/Pengra pass road): NF5899 for the first mile and then NF511 for the last mile to the shelter. I had to blaze the snowshoe trail in virgin deep (2+ feet) and powdery snow. That made for a pretty long slog and a couple undignified falls. If the trail is already packed by others this should be a easy to moderate snowshoe route; the elevation gain is around 300ft and makes for a relatively flat-ish route. The last half-mile to the shelter is a bit steeper than the rest. The shelter is a a couple hundred feet steep drop below the road and steep (I put on my heel lifts when climbing back up). When I got there, the shelter was well kept and stocked with firewood. A wood stove, wooden table, and benches form the ground floor room. A loft provides sleeping quarters for a few backpackers. There are no views to speak of on this trail (other than, of course, the wonderful winter scenery on a bright sunny day). Parking at the Gold Lake Sno-Park is convenient (don't forget you Sno-Park pass in season) and provides restrooms plus the Gold Lake SnoPark shelter and warming center (fully enclosed structure).

4 months ago

Wed Apr 17 2019

Sat Jan 12 2019

Sat Nov 18 2017