The options for skiing and riding in Oregon range from the one-lift town hill to the only year-round mountain in the United States – with all kinds of variety in between.
Most of the dozen ski and snowboard areas in Oregon are holding their own, but there are changes at a few. Here’s what SnoCountry found.
Five separate skiing and riding areas spread around 11,250-foot Mt. Hood in northern Oregon. Big news for the future is Timberline Lodge’s purchase of nearby Summit Ski Area, a one-lift, three-run novice hill first opened in 1927. Timberline officials say the deal will help create a tighter public transport link between the ski lifts and the town of Government Camp – especially more parking. For now, they’ve tweaked shuttle routes and undertaken base lodge renovations at Summit.
Down the road at Mt. Hood Skibowl – known by locals as “steep and cheap" -- management has installed the latest snowmaking systems that produce snow despite above-freezing temps. A new winch cat allows grooming in the Upper Bowl, and snowmaking pipes now reach Lower Bowl. Terrain park has nine new rails.
Hard on the southeast shoulder of the volcano sits Mt. Hood Meadows, the most terrain in the region with 2,100 acres. A new trail/grooming system called “The Vista Experience” permits beginners and novices a manageable route from the top of the Vista Express high-speed chair to green runs and learning areas near the bottom. Plus, a steamlined ticket-reading system will help move weekend crowds along.
Farther north on Hwy. 35, Copper Spur takes skiers and riders back to the old days of one fixed-grip chair, a rope tow and all the easy terrain you could want. For distractions, tubing is a big deal at Copper Spur, and some six miles of X-C trails run from the single base hotel into the forest.