By / 20th January, 2017 / Winter Vacation / No Comments

If the powder calls to you from the first snowstorm ’till the last flake, you might be a winter sports enthusiast. Though the winds might chill and the treks might be tiring, you know the ride is always worth the effort. Sometimes, though, you wish the ski resorts weren’t so crowded…

That’s where Central Oregon ski resorts come in. While still very accessible from Portland and nearby cities, the mountains of Central Oregon are among the best-kept secrets in the skiing world. If you find yourself dreading the typical overcrowded skiing experience but aren’t quite ready to venture into the backcountry, then we encourage you to check out what Central Oregon has to offer.

Another plus is that skiing and lodging rates are very reasonable. So why not stay and ski for a few days? Once you try any of these ski resorts in Central Oregon, you’ll definitely be back for more.

Mount Bachelor 

Connect with nature.

  • 30 minutes from Bend
  • 30 minutes from Sunriver

People using a ski lift at Mount Bachelor
K50 Dude at English Wikipedia [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Bachelor, located in the Deschutes National Forest, is the fifth biggest ski area in the United States. At the summit — which is 9,100 feet — there are amazing panoramic view of the whole mountain, with snow and trees as far as the eye can see.

One thing you won’t see is a billion lodges, villages, condos, or the like that can detract from a pure skiing experience. At times, you may feel a stronger connection to nature and even a bit of solitude you just won’t get anywhere else.

Bachelor  has 4,318 acres of lift-accessible terrain and eleven lifts, eight of which are high-speed lifts. There’s also more area to explore than ever before: in December 2016, Mt. Bachelor added over 600 acres of new skiing terrain, including 13 new runs accessible by the new Cloudchaser chairlift.

If Nordic skiing (cross country) is more your style, Bachelor has the longest groomed Nordic season in North America!

Check out their trail map for all the details!

Visitors to this Central Oregon ski location can stay off-site at Sunriver resort, just 20 minutes away with many vacation rental options. While you’re there be sure to check out Bend, Oregon, a fabulous town with stunning views, delicious brews and endless entertainment.

Mount Hoodoo

Activities for the whole family!

  • 1 hour from Bend
  • 1 hour 10 minutes from Sunriver

Hoodoo ski area, Central Oregon
By SkiHoodoo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mt. Hoodoo is located in the Cascade Range just west of Camp Sherman, Oregon and due north of Mt. Bachelor. With over 800 acres of terrain, including 32 runs, five lifts and lots of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, the Mt. Hoodoo ski resort caters to families.

Beyond the excellent skiing, you can experience the  Autobahn tubing park, the coolest sledding park we’ve seen! Want even more? It’s also the only ski park in Central Oregon to offer night skiing. There are also plenty of Nordic trails  to explore. The Mt. Hoodoo full-service lodge is 60,000 square feet and the perfect spot to get warmed up and refueled.

Check out their trail map for all the details!

Mount Hood

Iconic Oregon.

  • 3 hours from Bend
  • 3 hours 15 minutes from Sunriver

Mount Hood ski area

Mt. Hood is the iconic mountain peeking in the background of many photos of Portland. Its distinct peak is not only beautiful, but offers an amazing opportunity for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing – and photography. It’s only 90 minutes from Portland to the base camp of Mt. Hood, which welcomes skiers with all levels of experience.

Mount Hood Meadows Resort is located on the mountain’s southeast flank, which is sunny and protected from the wind. Hood has 11 lifts accessing  2,000+ acres of terrain, with a top elevation of just over 7,000 feet. Of course, anyone from a beginner on up will find runs to try. There is also 15 km of cross country trails for your enjoyment.

Check out their trail map for all the details!

For  beginners, there are lessons available and gentle slopes to get you started. For experts and adrenaline junkies, Heather Canyon offers steep pitches of powder; there is also 1,700 vertical feet for hikers who want to drop into the double blacks of Super Bowl above Heather, bringing the total vertical available in just one run to almost 4,500 feet. You can also try for gate access into the Private Reserve and S&R Cliffs. These feature exciting and challenging gladed trails with cliff outcroppings.

Mt. Hood Meadows has everything you need for your next winter excusion. It’s a full-service resort with two cozy lodges and all the amenities such as shops, dining, and more. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely one for the bucket list.

Willamette Pass

Small and personal.

  • 2 hours 30 minutes from Bend
  • 2 hours 20 minutes from Sunriver

Willamette Pass ski resort

Willamette Pass Resort is located 66 miles from Eugene, Oregon, in the Cascade Mountain range. The views here are amazing — you can see mountains and lakes for miles.

It’s the perfect ski resort if you have something small and personal in mind. With 555 acres of skiable area and 29 downhill runs, five lifts, and a vertical drop of about 1,500 feet, it is sure to satisfy a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts. There is also 20 km of Nordic trails for skiing or snowshoeing, along with activities for kids. Willamette Pass also has Oregon’s only high-speed six pack.

Check out their trail map for all the details!

Featured blog image by SkiHoodoo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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