Downhill skiing and snowboarding in Bend, Oregon


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Downhill skiing and snowboarding in Bend, Oregon

Carve out your snow-filled winter memories

Winter is pure magic in Central Oregon, and you owe yourself the breathless pleasure of snowboarding or skiing in Bend. You’ll find ample options for surfing down powder-coated slopes whether you prefer snow play with two sticks on your feet or one. Standing proud among the spectacular Cascade Range of Oregon, Mt. Bachelor is a premier destination for skiers and snowboarders in one of the snowiest regions on earth. Consistently excellent snow conditions, pristine alpine views, and accessibility to the bustling mountain town of Bend make this resort a true gem. A bit farther away is the family-owned Hoodoo Ski Area for laidback laps.

Skiing at Mt Bachelor in Bend, Oregon

Mt. Bachelor

Although it may not be the tallest mountain in the region, Mt. Bachelor has some serious bragging rights. It’s the 6th largest ski resort in North America by skiable acreage at 4,323 acres. Bachelor also boasts the highest lift-accessible skiing in the region at 9,065 feet and 360-degree access from the Summit Express chairlift. At the same time, the mountain’s superbly progressive pitches, great alpine amenities, and proximity to Bend make it an outstanding option for families and people of all skill levels. No matter what you’re looking for with a day of resort skiing/riding, you’ll find it at Mt. Bachelor.

Fresh corduroy at Mt Bachelor, near Bend, Oregon

Whether you’re in the mood for immaculately groomed corduroy, powderhounding in the tall trees, or an extensive network of top-tier terrain parks across the mountain, you’ll find plentiful options. One of the most unique features of Mt. Bachelor is the ski-in backcountry terrain. You can access it via the Northwest Express, Cloudchaser, or Summit Express lifts. The mountain’s vast wilderness areas allow more adventurous skiers and riders to explore untouched powder and experience a genuine sense of wilderness.

Mt. Bachelor’s average annual snowfall of 462” puts it among rare company with some of the snowiest resorts in the Northwest, among which the competition is no slouch. For reference, the record for the highest snowpack total for any resort across the entire globe is Mt. Baker, WA. Bachelor’s consistent, abundant snowfall makes for a reliably enjoyable winter destination. It also makes for a long season, with closing day usually falling at the end of May, but coverage often allows skiing via hiking/skinning through at least the first half of June.

Warming up with hot cocoa at Mt Bachelor near Bend, Oregon

For those with little ones, Bachelor offers a wonderful experience for the entire family. Daycare is available on the ground level of the West Village Lodge for ages six weeks to 10 years. The Daycare Center even offers an add-on package for those 30 months and above to get out in the snow with a supervised group of kids who aren’t quite ready for traditional lessons. Mt. Bachelor Mountain Rippers offers 2 ½ hour lessons as early as 3 ½ years. If the kids are joining you on the slopes, look to the Early Riser lift from Sunrise Lodge. It offers just 70 feet of vertical to cater to those who are just starting out. Or the Little Pine lift from the West Village Lodge, offering 257 feet for those who are a bit further along the progression curve. For those who are advanced enough to really start enjoying some well-tracked but playful terrain full of dips, bumps, and themed cut-outs, be sure to check out Dilly Dally Alley off of the Sunrise Express.

If your terrain hunt progresses to an interest in more built-up urban park features, there are plenty of options across the resort. In the past decade, Mt. Bachelor has significantly improved its terrain parks, now offering 13 distinct zones with diverse styles and difficulty levels. From top-level competition jumps and a competition superpipe to early-progression-focused rails and banked turns, there’s something here for all levels and styles.

Lunch at Mt Bachelor Ski Resort in Bend, Oregon

Everyone loves a good lodge for warming up with a hot beverage and fueling up between runs. Three lodges (West Village, Sunrise, and Pine Marten) provide shelter, restrooms, and dining options. Everything from white-tablecloth gourmet to food trucks in the snow bank is available. Don’t say we didn’t warn you about the chili cheese fries! They’re available at any of the three main cafeterias and will surely put a smile on even the grumpiest little (or big!) skier. Finish off a great day on the hill with the classic après scene at the Clearing Rock Bar at West Village Lodge. For a satisfying end to a great day on the slopes, head to the bar for handcrafted cocktails, a rotating selection of 15 regional beers, and a delicious menu featuring the signature Nacho Mountain.

Just make sure you have a designated driver in mind. Overnight stays at the mountain are limited to whatever you bring, with parking stalls available for nightly use. Check out one of Bend’s many fine hotels within a 25-35 minute drive of the mountain. And keep the party going when you get safely back to town. Mt. Bachelor holds a monthly après concert series at the Commons Cafe and Taproom, right on the Deschutes River in downtown Bend.

Parking at the Sunrise Lodge or West Village Lodge is plentiful, though either can fill up on the busiest days. Parking is free of charge and available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you arrive late on a busy weekend or holiday, expect to walk a good distance across the expansive lot before you reach the lodge or chairlifts. For those interested in taking advantage of public transit, Cascades East Transit runs buses from Bend, Sunriver, and La Pine from just $7.

Hoodoo Ski Area

Hoodoo is located in the stunning Cascade Mountain Range near Sisters, Oregon, about 44 miles northwest of Bend. It offers a unique and intimate winter experience, including Oregon’s only night skiing from 4-9 pm every Wednesday through Saturday. With a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere, Hoodoo is a beloved winter gem. The ski area features a variety of runs catering to all abilities, from gentle slopes for beginners taking their first ski lesson to challenging terrain for the more adventurous. Hoodoo’s laid-back vibe and budget-friendly prices make it an excellent option for a fun day on the slopes for the whole family. From fantastic deals like “kids ski free” (10 and under) to ski biking to the unique experience of night skiing with 23 illuminated runs, Hoodoo really stands out.

Hoodoo Ski Area opens and closes its season based on snowfall, usually welcoming skiers and snowboarders by December. Lift tickets and lessons can be purchased at the mountain. They also provide overnight RV parking for those seeking an extended mountain stay.

Skibiking at Hoodoo Ski Area near Bend, Oregon

Ski shops + ski rentals in Bend

Mt. Bachelor runs a full-service ski shop out of the West Village base area, complete with rentals, lockers, tuning services, and retail. The convenience factor here is hard to beat. But for additional flexibility on service and purchase options, Bend has a plethora of amazing shops that are worth consideration. A few of our picks are: