Johnny McVenture, NEAR CRATER LAKE: | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Johnny McVenture, NEAR CRATER LAKE:

Diamond Lake Ice Fishing Strap on snowshoes and a life jacket and test your luck on Diamond Lake. In the dead of winter, the lake is typically covered by two inches of solid ice with a topper of any number of inches of compacted snow. Use extreme caution, but if you're lucky, you can angle a hole and take home some really cold fish.

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Toketee Hot Springs After a long day in the cold, what could be better than a hot soak in a naturally heated spring? Venture about an hour off I-5 outside of Roseburg to visit this gorgeous pool that overlooks the Umpqua River. Although the springs are challenging to access in the winter, the reward is worth the task. One large tub-like pool and two smaller pools temp out at around 100 degrees. If you happen to stumble upon other dippers, expect nudity.

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Cat Ski Mt. Bailey Just five miles outside of Crater Lake National Park, some of the lightest, driest snow on the West Coast can be all yours, face shot after face shot. Mt. Bailey Cat Ski operates on 6,000 acres of varied terrain and is limited to 12 skiers and riders a day. That means no lift lines and fresh tracks, every time. A backcountry enthusiast's fantasy, the snowcat will take you to powder you've only dreamed about. $350 per person per day.

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Hemlock Butte Cabin This will be the highlight of your winter if you can snag a reservation for this uber-popular ski-in cabin. About five miles from the Three Lakes Sno-Park, Hemlock Butte Cabin is only accessible on skis. If you're an experienced backcountry rider, you can hike the foot of Mt. Bailey, right out your back door, for some fresh downhill tracks. The two-story cabin has room for around 20 people, but call early—reservations can be hard to come by, as the cabin is a popular destination for downhill and cross-country enthusiasts.

Learn more here: Diamond Lake Ranger Station, 541-498-2531.

Crater Lake You've been to Crater Lake in the summer, but can you imagine the picturesque scenery covered in snow? They average 44 feet of snow each year. Such heavy snowfall pretty much shuts down tourism, making it the perfect time for an isolated trip to the lake. Pack up your snow-camping gear and ski out on one of the main roads. When you're tired, just set up camp and enjoy unparalleled views of the lake and the stars at night. If you're feeling slightly less prepared for a solo snow-camping venture, take a mile-long guided snowshoe walk on Saturday or Sunday at 1 p.m.

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