Skiers and snowboarders rejoice!
After a long-delayed ski season due to a lack of precipitation, La Niña has finally rolled in, dusting Oregon’s mountaintops with the first inches of snow. Weather forecasts predict one to three feet of snow by the weekend. Now, as ski resorts gear up for their first guests, here’s everything you need to know about the winter 2021/2022 snow season.
14040 OR-35, Mount Hood, Oregon, (503) 337-2222
Boasting 87 trails and a vertical of 1,178 feet, Mount Hood Meadows is hoping for a limited opening on December 12. The lodge has the new Sahale Lodge, completed just before the 2020 season, which will finally be open for indoor dining. The resort will also be open for Christmas and New Year celebrations, with drinks and a sit-down dinner.
Beer lovers will be pleased to know that Mount Hood Meadows is hosting a Spring Brew Fest on March 19, offering craft beers from all over the Pacific Northwest. Speedsters can start waxing their skis for the Banked Slalom race on April 2, while queer skiers can celebrate Pride Day on the slopes on April 16. And for the warm-blooded, the Suits and Boots fundraiser is back April 23 with a day of skiing in just your bikini.
Season passes start at $29 for ages 6 and under, $279 for ages 7 to 14, $379 for ages 15 to 24, $499 for ages 25 to 64, and $399 for ages 65 to 74, with the option to upgrade to an All Access pass
27500 E Timberline Road, Timberline, Oregon, (503) 272-3311
This Mount Hood ski resort of The Shining fame recently added Summit Pass (previously known as Summit Ski Area) to its roster of ski slopes. The Summit Pass Lodge offers affordable access to ski and snowboarding routes for beginners as well as lessons, rentals, a restaurant, and snow tubing. With this addition, Timberline’s vertical skiing terrain is now the longest in the US, stretching 4,540 feet.
Although Timberline hasn’t announced an opening date yet, season passes last until May 30, 2022. In addition to snowshoeing, snowcat rides, and tubing at the lodge—all set to open up sometime in 2022—you can unwind at the newly expanded Mt. Hood Brewing Co. taproom in Government Camp with a frosty pint.
Season passes start at $949 for adults, with discounts available for children, teens, and seniors, with weekday plus passes starting at $439.
27400 Big Lake Road, Sisters, Oregon, (541) 822-3799
Nestled in the Central Cascades on a volcanic cinder cone, Hoodoo Ski Area boasts a vertical of 1,035 feet and 32 runs. A mere 30 minutes from Sisters, Hoodoo has a jam-packed calendar of events at the lodge, from a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration with live music, dinner, and fireworks, to the sure-to-be lively Viking Fest on March 12, 2022, for the region’s most hirsute skiers.
The biggest event looks to be the Winter Carnival on February 26 offering everything from your more traditional carnival activities like pie eating contests and face painting to more adventurous options like axe throwing and archery. A season pass will give you unlimited skiing through April 2, 2022.
Season passes start at $699 for adults, with discounts available for children and seniors. A five-day pass costs $299, while a day pass for adults runs $65 on most days and $70 on holidays.
13000 SW Century Drive, Bend, Oregon, (541) 382-1709
Just 22 miles west of Bend, Mount Bachelor operates as a major hub for snow sports in central Oregon. With 101 downhill runs and a vertical drop of 3,365 feet, there are plenty of options for everyone from newbies to seasoned skiers. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, you can try out the Woodward Mountain Park or, if you want to slow down, you can catch a sled dog ride or a snowshoe tour.
Mount Bachelor’s most prominent event is the Dirksen Derby, a parallel banked slalom ski race with multiple divisions by age and style. Registration for the race is $50 for most and $100 for elite skiers. Oh, and if you’re on the mountain for Christmas Eve, you might catch Santa sliding down the slopes too.
Season passes start at $1,279 for adults, with discounts for children, teens, young adults, students, and seniors. A four-day pass costs $449, while a day pass for adults runs $65 to $143 on weekdays and $89 to $143 on weekends and peak days.
87000 E Highway 26, Government Camp, Oregon, (503) 272-3206
Although not open yet for skiing and snowboarding thanks to its lower elevation, Ski Bowl, beloved for its low-key vibe, is already open for snow tubing on weekends. Less than an hour away from Portland, these are the closest ski lifts to the city (or will be when they are open). Ski Bowl boasts 69 day runs and 36 night runs for nocturnal skiers plus a 1,500 feet vertical drop.
You can also try a guided snowshoe tour at $75 a pop or, if you’re feeling especially whimsical, a sleigh ride for $160. And, thanks to the Mount Hood Express bus, you can catch a ride to Sandy or up to Government Camp and the Timberline Lodge. Food options include several grills, cafes, a beer garden, and a pizzeria.
Season passes are no longer on sale. Pricing for 2021-2022 is TBD; check their website. Tubing tickets run from $25 to $35, depending on the time of day.
Milepost 62, Highway 58, Crescent, Oregon, (541) 345-7669
Nestled between Oakridge and La Pine, Willamette Pass is celebrating its 80th season this year. It has one of the steepest runs in the world, known as the “R.T.S.,” which at its steepest point is 52 degrees (hope you have good balance.) Operating Wednesday through Sunday, Willamette Pass has 29 alpine runs and a 1,560 feet vertical rise.
Officials at Willamette Pass have set a tentative start date for December 15, and the season will last through March 27.
Season passes start at $550 for adults with discounts for children, students, and seniors. A five-day pass costs $275 for adults, while a day pass for adults is $66.