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Using Internet for trip planning.
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
Using Internet for trip planning. on 06/03/2012 11:01:56 MDT Print View

I've been messing around trying to plan a day hike next week-end towards Mt St. Helens, and I'm trying to get current info on what to expect in terms of snow. Trail reports are several weeks out of date, and the trail I want to go on isn't listed. I downloaded Google Earth to my computer to get sattelite views, but it looks like the data is from 2004-6. Is there anyway to get current sattleite imagery that shows current conditions? What web-site does one access?

Tyler H
(ctwnwood) - F

Locale: The Palouse
re: Using internet for trip planning on 06/03/2012 12:36:18 MDT Print View

Diane, the short answer to your question is no. We actually live in a pretty incredible age where Google and others update their satellite imagery almost yearly. You can even use the slider in Earth to look at historic imagery, which can be cool. As far as I know, nobody is taking daily satellite images on the level that would reveal snowpack.

This website:

is the best I've been able to find for snowpack data. This is NOAA's model for various snow-related variables across the U.S. If you poke around that link you may find some useful info.

And as always, a call to the Forest Service or other agency station closest to your trailhead will likely provide the best, most current information.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Using Internet for trip planning on 06/03/2012 12:43:48 MDT Print View

Diane, have you checked out There have been a number of recent trip reports to the Mt. St. Helens area. I haven't paid much attention to them because (1) I can't take my dog there and (2) I'm stuck at home nursing plantar fasciitis.

I personally haven't had a lot of luck calling the Forest Service, since in these days of severe budget cuts most employees can't get out in the field like they used to. Some of the local offices will tell you to check the site instead!

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/03/2012 12:46:13 MDT.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
know your snow on 06/03/2012 12:53:03 MDT Print View

SNOTEL may have the info you're looking for. I know Hillmap recently added SNOTEL analysis to its list of functions, although I haven't tried that feature myself.