With a light dusting of snow on Mount Hood within the last week, and more predicted soon, it’s time—yes, already—to start thinking about the ski season.
Snow is essential for the success of a good ski season (obviously), and luckily this winter is expected to bring some. Forecasting is an inexact science, but this year is shaping up to be a “La Niña” year, which is an atmospheric phenomenon that brings cold and wet weather to the Pacific Northwest and can bring extra snow to the Cascades and beyond.
“Once we get a little bit of snowpack established, it just becomes a matter of, you know, if we get the right combination of wet weather and temperatures cold enough… for decent ski conditions,” says Andy Bryant, a hydrologist at the National Weather Service in Portland. “It’s just not a guarantee that every winter we’re getting to see the healthy and kind of continuous winter snowpack. We definitely see a trend in Northwest Oregon with overall warmer temperatures in the wintertime.”
Ready to take your chances—and secure some of that sweet early bird pricing? Here are season ticket prices for some of Oregon’s top ski areas.
Government Camp, Oregon
Price: $75-97 for a day pass, $740-1,049 for season passes
Timberline ski resort is located on Mount Hood and prides itself on having the longest vertical terrain in the United States, at 4,540 feet. This season, Timberline is teaming up with nearby Skibowl to offer a "Fusion Pass" that lets you into both resorts with the same ticket, along with bonus days at 15 other Fusion Pass resorts.
Early-bird pricing kicks in here: Snap up a Fusion Pass before Halloween and you'll pay $849; wait until November and you'll have to pony up $1,049 for it. Or, if you plan to ski at Timberline only, adult unlimited passes there will run you $740 until Halloween and $949 after that. For single-day passes, guests pay $97 to ski from open to close, or $75 from 12 pm to 4 pm.
14040 OR-35, Mt Hood, OR.
Price: $479 for a five-day pass, $479 "value" pass, $989 for an all-access pass, ages 25-64.
Mount Hood Meadows, a fixture for Portland-area skiers and boarders since 1968, sprawls over 2,000 acres, including 15 kilometers of Nordic skiing trails. The value season pass for adults (that gives guests every day access to the area, except for on peak days, when you have to wait until 2 pm) is $479, with the option to upgrade to all access for an additional $510, which allows you to ski any time on any day. Single-day lift ticket prices aren't posted yet, but a five-day pass also costs $479 and a 10 day pass costs $799.
27400 Big Lake Road, Sisters, OR.
Price: $35-65 for a day pass, $549 for a season pass
Hoodoo opened in 1938 at Santiam Pass near Sisters in Central Oregon. It boasts a total of 34 runs, five lifts, and a popular tubing park throughout its 800 acres. An individual season pass for adults is $549. For single-day tickets, adult skiers pay $65 to ski from 9 am to 9 pm, $60 for between 1 and 9 pm, or $35 for 4 to 9 pm.
7501 HWY 58, Mile Marker 62, Crescent Lake, OR.
Price: $60 for a day pass, $500 for a season pass
Willamette Pass has been operating for over 80 seasons and offers 29 runs, eight of which are rated as expert level, across its 550 acres. Adult season tickets cost $500, and a single-day pass costs $60.
13000 SW Century Dr., Bend, OR
Price: $119-169 for a day pass, $1,279 for a season pass.
Bend's Mount Bachelor is the sixth-largest ski resort in the United States and a destination for skiers from across the West. The adult "Alpine" season pass, which gives guests unrestricted access to the slopes, costs $1,279. For single-day tickets, guests can ski from 9 am to 4 pm on weekdays for $119, on Friday for $139, on weekends for $159, and on holidays for $169. You automatically can save $10 by purchasing tickets online.