Or snowboarding slope. Or inner-tubing haven. Or the place to access cross-country skiing and snowmobiling trails.
The facility is about 15 miles east of O’Brien, Ore., that little town with the vintage police car parked alongside U.S. Highway 199.Signs point the way, but you’ll also know you’re there when you run out of plowed roadway.
After the last snow storm, 30-50 people could be found at the SnoPark, and plenty of them were from the coast. When they weren’t trudging up the hill or careening down it, they were warming themselves in a cabin furnished with firewood and a woodstove that you can cook on if you bring some utensils.
The SnoPark also has two outhouse-style (no-flush) bathrooms.
SnoParks (spelled Sno-Parks on a California website) can be found in several states, and this one is inside the Siskiyou National Forest. A SnoPark annual permit will get you access to SnoParks in any state (an Oregon website specifically says they are also valid in California, Washington and Idaho), but there are very few SnoParks in California and none nearby.
More likely you’ll just want to pick up a one-day parking permit, which can be purchased at the O’Brien Country Store where the aforementioned police car is parked.
Chain requirements may vary according to weather conditions, but you should at least have some in the trunk just in case, especially if you don’t have four-wheel drive. The road may be crusted over with solid ice as you near the SnoPark.
The snow can be very deep and the weather very cold. Going without boots is foolish. Dress very warm, with lots of layers and head coverings.