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Trip Report    

Basic Snowshoe - Tonga Ridge (winter)

Benign weather, amazing hoarfrost and enough snow for 'shoeing.

  • Snow and ice on road
  • We were able to drive FS 6830 to within about a mile of the TH.  The trail is fairly easy to follow in the snow (for now....).

I've done this trip several times now and this was the farthest I have made it along the ridge. The lack of low - level snow meant we could drive to about 3800', or a mile from the TH. The road to the TH from this point was covered in ice and snow and very large hoarfrost.  The trailhead sign is easily visible and the trail, which starts in the forest, is easy to follow. When the trail transitions from dense forest to sparser forest and the views start, the trail gets narrower but was still easy to follow. Apparently there is now a Sawyer Mountain trail spur, we made it to the turn off sign but the slopes of Sawyer are fairly steep and despite low snow, I thought it prudent to avoid the detour, which is more properly and intermediate/advanced snowshoe route.

We made it as far as the flat (-ish) spot below Mt. Sawyer, near the Fisher lake turnoff. We saw one other person on the trail all day. Very benign weather, temps in the low 30s, a few snow flurries, sun breaks and clouds. Very low snow and some bare batches in shaded spots, 1-2 feet in the more open areas.  Snow was a mix of icy crust in places and soft snow in other places.