Where to ski in Oregon: Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Bachelor

With a chain of mountains ranging from northern to southern Oregon, you have your choice of ski destinations in three regions of Oregon: north, central, and south. Mountains with great skiing include Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Bachelor, and there area great ski resorts in all of these areas. In eastern Oregon, there are a couple of ski resorts in the Blue Mountains. If you're lucky enough to live close to one of these ski areas, you can ski almost as often as you'd like. If you aren't so lucky, here's information you can use to plan a great ski vacation, including information on many of the ski resorts in Oregon, how to get there, lodging and dining choices, and other activities you can enjoy while not on the ski slopes. Some of the world's best skiing can be found right here in Oregon, and we'll give you a head start on planning your ski trip, including places to go online for more information or to book your trip and transportation. As always, we can't begin to provide all the information you'll need.

Mt. Hood Skiing

Mount Hood is found in the north central part of Oregon, and is home to four ski areas: Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Timberline, and Cooper Spur. These ski areas are easily accessed from Portland to the west, or from the northeastern part of the state, by travelling down I-84 and turning south at Hood River. Timberline is world-famous, and is home to the historic Timberline Lodge. Relax here after a day of skiing, and you can spend the night if you'd like. There's more than 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, with 31 runs, 30% devoted to beginners, 50% are for intermediates, and the remaining 20% to the expert skiers among us. Timberline receives an average of 400 inches of snow annually. Mt. Hood Meadows is this region's largest ski area, with 2,150 acres of skiable terrain. Beginners and experts alike will find ski runs to their skill level. There are 12 chairlifts and snocat access to the greatest variety of ski terrain in Oregon. Mt. Hood Skibowl is the closest ski area to Portland, with 960 acres of skiable terrain. It's also America's largest night ski area with 34 lighted runs. Beginners and experts alike will enjoy skiing here. Cooper Spur specializes in affordable family skiing, and has classes available for the novice skier. There are only 50 acres of skiable terrain here, making it perfect for the new skier. Snowboarding and snow tubing are also available here.

Central Oregon Skiing

Mt. Bachelor is one of Oregon's largest ski areas, with 3,683 acres of skiable terrain and a network of 10 lifts. Only 20 minutes from Bend and Sun River, families and expert skiers alike find a good time here. In addition to the downhill skiing and snowboarding, you can also enjoy Nordic skiing, snowshoeing tours and dog sled rides here. Hoodoo Ski Area is the closest one to Salem, state capital of Oregon. It's more affordable than most other ski areas, and you can enjoy night skiing here, as well as snow tubing. There are 800 acres of ski terrain here. And over in the Willamette Valley, enjoy your ski adventure at Willamette Pass. There's 555 acres of ski terrain and 29 runs, beginner and expert skiers will find something for their skill level here. This is a family-oriented ski resort, and there's an activity center for children of skiers.

Eastern Oregon Skiing

Anthony Lakes boasts the highest base elevation in the state of Oregon, at 7,100 feet. Being somewhat off the beaten path of the rest of the ski areas in Oregon (45 miles from La Grande, 35 from Baker City), you'll find shorter lift lines and better ski conditions here than most any other ski area in Oregon. And Anthony Lakes ski area also boasts the driest snow in Oregon, too. Enjoy 1,100 acres of ski terrain, a great lodge to relax in after skiing or start your day here with a hot breakfast, break up your skiing day with lunch in between. Spout Springs is the other eastern Oregon ski area, located in the general vacinity of Milton-Freewater, La Grande, Baker City, etc. There's 250 acres of skiable terrain, evenly divided between beginner, intermediate and expert ski runs.

Southern Oregon Skiing

Mt. Ashland Ski Area is located about 30 minutes from Ashland, and has a at least two ski runs (Ado and Balcony) which have the reputation of being challenging, even for expert skiers. With 200 acres of ski terrain, 23 trails, and open bowl skiing, about half the trails are considered "expert" runs. Easily accessed from Interstate 5, either north or south, if you live in southern Oregon or northern California, you won't have far to go for great skiing. Mt. Bailey, located 5 miles north of Crater Lake, isn't your ski area for beginners. It's Oregon's longest running backcountry snowcat skiing area, offering 6,000 acres of ungroomed ski terrain. Limit is 12 skiers/snowboarders, and you are led by expert guides as you ski this terrain. You must be an expert skier in excellent physical shape to ski here. Warner Canyon, just outside Lakeview, Oregon, is home to 300 acres of ski terrain and great powder snowfall, making for great skiing conditions. Beginners to experts will enjoy skiing here, as will snowboarders.

Final Thoughts

Most all of the ski resorts we covered had their own web site, so you can get even more information about skiing and snowboarding there. We pretty much used as a source for skiing information, as well as the individual ski area's web sites. Lodging and dining options were not as easily accessed for Oregon ski areas, probably due to their close proximity to nearby towns. While there were many ski resorts offering many lodging and dining options in both Colorado and Wyoming, most of the ski areas in Oregon do not have lodging options onsite, although they do operate ski lodges and some dining facilities in these lodges. And virtually all of the ski areas we cover here also have snow tubing areas for fun if you're not a skier, or if you want something else to do besides skiing. While you won't find the fancy lodging and dining facilities that are available in other area ski resorts, you will find excellent ski conditions. And that's what's important, right? Good skiing!

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