Crater Lake snowshoe hikes are back

Rogue Valley residents looking for something different to do with their out-of-town Thanksgiving guests can turn to Crater Lake National Park for a chance to work off some of that turkey and fixings.

Starting Saturday, the park will again offer free, guided snowshoe hikes at 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through April. The walks last about 90 minutes and cover about a mile of moderately strenuous terrain through forests and meadows along the crater's rim.

No previous snowshoeing experience is required, but participants should be at least 8 years old and should come prepared with warm clothing, water-resistant footwear and water.

Snowshoes are provided free to use, but visitors may bring their own.

Walks are limited to about 30 people, and reservations are recommended. To reserve a space, telephone 541-594-3100.

School groups, outdoor clubs and other groups of 10 or more people can arrange for a special snowshoe walk by telephoning 541-594-3093.

The park, at 7,100-feet elevation, is one of the snowiest places in North America, hosting about 44 feet of snow annually.

Hunting and fishing licenses now available online

Hunters and anglers who don't want to stand in line at point of sale license outlets can point and click themselves for their tickets to the outdoors.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has launched an online license sales site, which the agency has unveiled in time for Monday's start of the 2009 license sales.

"This is a service our customers have been asking for," says DeAnna Erickson, ODFW license services manager. "Both residents and nonresidents can use the site, which will save people a lot of time."

The online license fees are the same as those charged through the point of sale system, but there is a $2 shipping and handling fee.

License buyers need to plan ahead because the documents must be mailed.

For a full list of the licenses and tags available online, and to purchase them, visit the ODFW's Web site at

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 776-4470, or e-mail

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