When planning a backcountry trip, it can be very helpful to have an idea real time snow levels. Is the trailhead snowed in? Should I bring skis? Should I prepare for camping on snow, or bare ground? I heard it's really dumping in Utah, how much snow do they have?
Elsewhere on this site, I've mentioned the NOAA “Interactive snow information” webpage. Well, that’s no longer my favorite, this is! This page, created by Adam Schneider (thanks Adam!) has the snow data overlaid over the top of a nice basemap that actually shows trails. (He even gives you an option of several different map layers you can choose, although the “streets” layer will probably be the most useful, as it shows trails.)
According to info from the US Forest Service: “This map displays current snow depth according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Snow Analyses (NSA). The NSA are based on modeled snow pack characteristics that are updated each day using all operationally available ground, airborne, and satellite observations of snow water equivalent, snow depth, and snow cover. “
Thank you Adam, for making these data much easier to understand.
And, in case these maps disappear for some reason from Adam’s website, here's another link to similar data from the US Forest Service. (The underlying map layer here is not quite as helpful as Adam’s, so it’s a second choice.)
Here’s a screen grab. Note the “Map background” in the top right corner. Use this to change the base map layer. (The image is from mid April 2019, with a pretty typical looking spring snowpack for northern Oregon.)
Zoomed in, note that you can see actual trails.