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Getting dogs to snow takes a drive

Could you suggest places within about 45 minutes of Medford where I can take my dog to play in the snow, either now or later in the winter? I'm pretty sure dogs are not allowed at sno-parks.

— Brian

The distance it takes to get Fido to some snow for play time depends largely on the weather. But there are generally three directions to head to find the white snuff.

Many people might first think of Mount Ashland off Interstate 5 south of Ashland, but much of the property lining the Mt. Ashland Ski Access Road is private and dogs are not welcome on that private land, said Steve Johnson, who retired after a career as a U.S. Forest Service recreation specialist.

When the Mt. Ashland Ski Area is closed, dogs often romp at the ski area or on land at the back end of the parking lot. Dogs are not allowed on ski area slopes when the ski area is operating, Johnson said.

Instead of Mount Ashland, Johnson said, a better place to take dogs is Dead Indian Memorial Road east of Ashland. The higher up you go, the more likely you are to hit snow. There are usually a number of plowed turn-outs along the road to use.

"When we don't have a lot of snow, you have to go up high," Johnson said.

The Howard Prairie Lake area off Dead Indian Memorial Road is often a good spot for dogs to play, he said.

Johnson said dogs generally are allowed at sno-parks, unless signs state dogs aren't allowed.

Another option to find snow is to head north on Highway 62. Some years, snow falls around the town of Prospect. In low snow years, dog owners can either keep going on Highway 62 toward Crater Lake National Park until they find snow, or turn off Highway 62 onto Highway 230 toward Diamond Lake and hope to find snow, according to staff at the ranger station in Prospect.

If you go all the way up to Crater Lake — which is well beyond a 45-minute radius from Medford — be aware that dogs must remain leashed in the park. They can walk on paved roads and in parking lots, and up to 50 feet off those paved surfaces.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.