Skiing in Central Oregon

There are excellent choices for skiing in Central Oregon.

Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor has almost everything you could want in winter sports. Deep powder, expert runs, terrain parks, Nordic trails, snowshoeing, dog sledding, tubing and plenty of runs for intermediates and beginners. All this and lots of sunshine too. I do have to say though that when the weather is bad, it can be very, very bad.

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For Alpine skiers and snowboarders there are 71 runs. Fifteen percent of the runs are for beginners, twenty-five percent are for intermediates, thirty-five percent for advanced, and twenty-five percent for experts. The longest run is 1.5 miles. There are seven express quad lifts, three triple chairlifts, one wonder carpet, and one tubing lift.

For cross-country skiers there are 56 kilometers of trails all machine groomed nightly. Five percent of these trails are for beginners, sixty-nine percent are for intermediates, and twenty-six percent are for experts.

There are five terrain parks ranging from beginner level to expert. The Superpipe park is touted as the best in the west and was home to the 2006 Olypmic Qualifier. These parks are groomed nightly.

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The tubing park has an 800 foot run with rollers. If you plan to take the family for a day's tubing on the weekend, get there early. Lift tickets are cut off after they reach a certain number. This insures that the lift and run will not be too crowded and spoil the fun.

You can take a trip into the snow-covered Central Oregon wilderness on an Iditarod dog

sled. You have the choice of a one-hour trip or a 26-mile all day trip to Elk Lake. Trail of Dreams is owned by an Iditarod racer. This is one of those things that makes Mt. Bachelor a unique place for skiing in Central Oregon.

The U.S. Forest Service gives free snowshoe tours and lectures on the winter ecology and geology of Central Oregon. Free snow shoes are provided. For more information on this program call the Bend Fort Rock Ranger District at (541) 383-4771.

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There are three lodges at Mt. Bachelor plus a Nordic Center and a Ski Shop. The ususal services are provided like ski rental, ski repair, lessons, and food service (lots of it). There is a certified childcare center for children from six weeks old to ten years.

There is no lodging but there is plenty to be found in Bend. It is really too far to drive from Portland for a day's skiing but I have known people to do it. When we had our cabin in Government Camp we used to drive over for the day but it always seemed like a very long drive back in the dark after a hard day of skiing. Many times we were driving back with heavy snow coming down.

There is another way to get to Mt. Bachelor from Portland. You can take the Deschutes Brew Bus. Deschutes Brew Bus. It leaves the Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub at 6:00 am and arrives back at 10:00 pm. It includes lift ticket, $5.00 food voucher to use at the ski area, dinner and beers at the Deschutes Brewery in Bend, and of course the bus ride.

There is a shuttle bus to the ski area from Bend. You can catch the bus at the Bend Park-N-Ride on the corner of Simpson and Colorado on the west side of Bend. It costs $5.00 each way. The schedule is subject to change so it is best to phone for times. Phone: (800) 829-2442.

For more information call (800) 829-2442 or (541) 382-2442

Bend Hotel Deals

Skiing in Central Oregon--Hoodoo

Hoodoo is a small ski area with a devoted following. Some families have been skiing here for generations. It is located on Santiam Pass 20 miles from Sisters and 40 miles from Bend on Highway 20.

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Hoodoo is closed on Wednesdays except during school vacation times. It is open for night skiing Friday and Saturday after mid December. There are three quad lifts, one triple chair, one double chair, two rope tows, and one carousel. There are 30 groomed trails with 30 percent beginner, 30 percent intermediate, and 40 percent advanced.

There are over 15 kilometers of Nordic trails. The lower trails are groomed daily. The Skyline trails are only open on weekends and are for intermediate to advanced skiers only.

There are two day lodges that offer food service, restrooms, ski repair, ski rental, lockers, showers, and overnight parking for cars and RV's.

Skiing in Central Oregon--Willamette Pass

Willamette Pass Ski Resort is located on the Willamette Pass 70 miles from Eugene and a little over 60 miles from Bend on Highway 58. There are actually two peaks for you to enjoy. I suppose you could say this isn't exactly skiing in Central Oregon but it is closer to Bend than it is to Eugene so I chose to put it here.

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There are four triple lifts, one six pack, one tubing lift, and one magic carpet with 29 alpine trails. Twenty percent of the runs are for beginners, 45 percent are for intermediate, and 35 percent are for advanced. The longest run is 2.1 miles.

There are 20 kilometers of expert Nordic trails which are groomed and trackset.

Nordic Center is open on weekends. The trails can also be used for snowshoeing.

If you want to rent equipment including snowshoes and you are starting out from Eugene, you can make arrangements the day before your ski trip by dropping by the sales office at 2641 W. Fifth Ave. in Eugene. You can also arrange for lessons and transportation to and from the ski area. After your first visit, you can do all of this by phone.

There is no lodging at the ski area itself. A few minutes away is Willamette Pass Inn & Chalets with both rooms and cabins.

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