You may know Oregon for tax free shopping, the home of craft beer and ‘hipsters of Portlandia’ but those in the snow (see what I did there) know it as guaranteed skiing in the USA year round.
The Pacific north west state has Washington State to the north, California to the south and borders Idaho to the east. It’s the west coast that gives it a classic maritime climate which means deep snowfall in the Cascade and Siskiyou mountains. While others are finding their thrills in more ‘known’ resorts in other states, those in Oregon are secretly having the powder to themselves with an average of 10 metres of snowfall each season.
All up Oregon has 12 ski areas serving up a gazillion acres of skiing. That roughly translates into 16 000 acres and the longest ski season in North America from November to May. It doesn’t stop there either as Timberline’s Palmer Snowfield runs year round.
You’ll find Timberline Lodge near the park of the Mt Hood volcano, the tallest mountain in Oregon. You’ll also find 1124 metres of vertical rise and 1415 skiable acres divided between 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced. Then there’s the Palmer Snowcat, a snowcat that transports skiers and boarders to some wicked snowcat skiing at Timberline Lodge. The Palmer Snowcat runs on weekends and is free for lift pass holders.
Mt Hood Meadows
This is where Portland skis and with good reason. Mt Hood Meadows is ninety minutes from the state’s largest city and is found in the Mt Hood National Forest. Known for having the best cruising intermediate terrain in the state, Mt Hood Meadows offers 2150 acres of terrain. There’s fun stuff for the advanced to expert too within Heather Canyon. Here you’ll find steep powder pitches and hike to double black bowls. Plus there’s backcountry gate access for serious powder hounds.
Head towards Oregon’s Cascade Mountains just past the town of Bend and you’ll discover Mt Bachelor’s 4318 acres of skiable terrain. Mt Bachelor has the highest skiable elevation in Oregon and Washington states and was first found in 1958 with a rope tow and a single lift. The best part of Mt Bachelor is the access, skiers and boarders can ski or ride 360 degrees off the summit. 88 runs are divided into 15% beginner, 25% intermediate, 35% advanced and 25% expert.
Head to Anthony Lakes Ski Area for expert terrain, Cooper Spur for family fun, Hoodoo for night skiing and Mt Ashland for chutes in their bowl.
The city of Portland
Did you hear us say ‘tax free shopping’? Rarely has the closest city to a ski resort been so cool. Portland sits in the shadow of Mount Hood and burns bright with creativity from a thriving food scene, coffee galore, artists, craft breweries, tiny house hotels, start ups, innovators and disruptors. It is hard to know where to start with all this goodness. Travel Portland have some cool video zines and guides to the hippest city in the USA.
Ski Max Holidays have a 7 night twin share at Timberline Lodge from AU$2065 per person including six day lift pass and daily breakfast.
Ski Max Holidays also have 7 nights at Mt Bachelor from $1525 per person twin share including a six day ski pass.
Check out the Ski Max Oregon page for more.