The Top 5 Small Ski Areas in Oregon:

Jack Lafeman | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Anthony Lakes only needs one chair.
Anthony Lakes only needs one chair.

Skiing wise, Oregon still remains under the radar.  Most skiers and snowboarders from out of state have heard about Mt. Bachelor and Mt. Hood. While most people just call it Mt. Hood, the mountain is actually home to five different ski areas. Most people have heard of it because of the summer skiing offered on the Palmer Snowfield. Oregon has a total of 13 ski areas.

Yet, only three (Mt. Bachelor, Timberline Lodge, and Mt. Hood Meadows) get any real attention. So here’s a shout out to the small community-based ski areas in Oregon.

#5 = Hoodoo Ski Area, Sisters:

Hoodoo Ski Area base area
Hoodoo Ski Area base area
  • Base: 4,668
  • Vertical: 1,035
  • Acres: 800
  • Average Snowfall: 450”
  • Terrain: 30-30-40
  • Runs: 34
  • Lifts: 5

A good small ski area in Central Oregon. Backside terrain with no lifts or development, easy way down from the summit for beginners, some steep terrain also on the mountain. They sometimes get going earlier than other ski areas in Oregon, despite having a low base elevation for Oregon.

#4 = Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Government Camp:

Mt. Hood Ski Bowls famous night skiing
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl has great night skiing.
  • Lifts: 4
  • Runs: 65
  • Base: 3,600
  • Top: 5,100
  • Acres: 960
  • Average Snowfall: 300”

Mt. Hood Ski Bowl is probably best known for its night skiing. Locals come up after work and ski, as night skiing is offered every night. Monday-Thursday the ski area is open 3:00 pm-10:00 pm. Only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays will the mountain open at 9:00 am. The ski area is located right in Government Camp. Walking distance from downtown Govy.

#3 = Mt. Ashland, Ashland 

Mt. Ashland Ski Area
Mt. Ashland Ski Area
  • Base: 6,383
  • Top: 7,533
  • Average Snowfall: 265”
  • Lifts: 5
  • Runs: 23
  • Acres: 220

Mt. Ashland is a local nonprofit ski area in Southern Oregon. Mt. Ashland only runs Thursday-Monday, as many smaller ski areas are doing these days. The town of Ashland is also well-known for hosting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. If watching Romeo and Juliet is really your idea of killer ski town nightlife, you’ll love it in Ashland.

#2 = Willamette Pass Resort, Eugene:

Willamette Pass Resort
Willamette Pass Resort
  • Base: 5,120
  • Top: 6,683
  • Acres: 555
  • Average Snowfall: 430”
  • Runs: 29
  • Lifts: 6

Great ski area under 90 minutes from Eugene. The ski area has Oregon’s only six-pack lift, the steepest man-made in the Pacific Northwest, and tree skiing that is to die for. Even at times when the ski area isn’t having a very good season, you can still have lots of fun up at the pass.

The north-facing backside gets very little sun, especially in the early season. Willamette Pass has a lot of aspects that don’t get much sun in the winter that will stay soft and powder-like when other nearby ski areas are nothing but icy moguls.

#1 = Anthony Lakes, North Powder

View from the top of Anthony Lakes
View from the top of Anthony Lakes. Worth it to hike out there for some backcountry action?
  • Base: 7,100
  • Top: 8,000
  • Average Snowfall: 300”
  • Lifts: 1 triple, 2 surface lifts
  • Runs: 21
  • Acres: 1,100

Anthony Lakes is an incredible one lift, non-profit ski area. While it is located in “Redneck Oregon”, everyone seems happy and friendly. The Rock Garden Lift takes you to the top of the ridge. The in-bounds terrain is nothing to be ashamed of, with a variety of black diamonds, cliffs, and some great tree skiing. Just outside of the ski area is some of the best ‘sidecountry’ terrain in Oregon.

With the Couloir’s, chutes, and bowls right next to the ski area, it almost looks like an Oregon version of the Tetons. One of the most amazing things about Anthony Lakes is how cheap the tickets are. Adult lift tickets are $40/day. If that wasn’t enough, lift tickets on Thursdays are 1/2 price. That means on Thursdays you can ski for $20 at Anthony Lakes. With the highest base elevation in Oregon, Anthony Lakes had a great season last year. While 7,100 is like going to the Ocean for people in some states, here in Oregon that is a very high elevation for the base of a ski area.

Lodging options are also quite affordable for skiing there. In nearby North Powder, the only motel in town has rooms for $55/night hotel rooms and the rooms include half-priced ticket coupons for Anthony Lakes.

“I drive the snow-cat at night, ski during the day, and sleep in the spring.”-Just one of many interesting things I heard from the locals I met at Anthony Lakes. Shows just what kind of ski area this is.

Please Note: The ski area stats are coming directly from the ski area’s websites. While we would hope that these stats are honest and accurate, some ski areas may exaggerate their snowfall totals and ski area acreage, just like how some guys lie about their…uh…shoe size. 

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18 thoughts on “The Top 5 Small Ski Areas in Oregon:

  1. This is GW from Richland, WA… with a question of an Oregon area I skied a number of times about 70 years ago, in the Cascades and well off the beaten path — south of Mt. Hood… I can’t remember the name. The “lodge,” as I recall was an abandoned lumber mill modified to provide lift power to maybe two runs and a loading area. There were no “creature” comforts or parking places other than aside the road,,, and as I remember, the buildings were a rustic, weathered green. A short distance away, a small side road with a restaurant and a few local mountain grocery and mountain-living necessities stores — and possibly a motel — paralleled the main country road passing by. There was never much ski activity, as I can remember — that’s why I/we went there occasionally.

    Does anyone of about my 90 + years remember what and where this place might have been and what it’s name might have been?

    Just curious…

    GW Riedeman
    of the Desert Ski Club,
    Richland, WA – 99354

  2. This was fun to read about all these Oregon areas I was lucky enough to get to ski growing up in Eugene . I remember skiing at Bachelor the day they first opened, and to see how they have changed, wow. Time for a road trip…….

  3. I have been working at Anthony lakes now for several seasons. We are an amazing little mountain. I’m not sure what makes this “redneck Oregon” or why that would make it a surprise that we are friendly and happy people?

    1. And Anthony Lakes serves some of the best beer in the world brewed by the most successful brewery in Oregon, Barley Brown’s located in Baker City. The “Redneck Oregon” comment just typifies the urban-rural divide and further underscores that even ‘worldly’ urbanites jump to rash conclusions without knowing.

      1. It’s Eastern Oregon. It’s in the middle of ranches, farms and lots of small rural communities. Redneck is not a bad word or anything. It’s just how people think of that section of Oregon, as Eastern Oregon is very different from the Eugene/Bend/Portland/Salem area.

        1. The term Redneck was intended to be rude. Anthony is a beautiful place with wonderful snow and it’s gorgeous in the summer as well. I grew up in the area and skied at Anthony many times, also Spout Springs. My parents had PhDs and worked at the college in LaGrande. They were NOT rednecks nor was the area…geez.

  4. Mt Ashland was closed midseason when I was there. Mt Bachelor & Timberline were the only ones with a decent season and they both closed earlier than usual.

    1. i had such bad luck last winter on my oregon trip. I did wilamette pass for 2 storm days and it was ok, real steep then a long run out to the lift. I fire up the rig at 3am on day 3 to catch more powder at bachelor and snow had melted on the hood and refroze on the serpentine belt and derailed it. Trying to fix a v10 in the middle of the night in sub freezing temperatures bare handed priceless. A day later bachelor was ok for clean up but heavy. So i consult the weather and Ashland is about to get pummeled . Then on sunday ” Mt Ashland will not open today as there is too much snow” ,closed m-f,ugh. Shasta snow bowl was a consolation prize but not really

    2. Bachelor only closed 2 weeks early. Timberline made it go for a very long time considering the bad year. No complaints.

  5. I’m a Oregonian, lived in the Willamette valley for nearly my entire life. My pops was on the mt. hood volunteer ski patrol for my entire growing up which meant that he patrolled at all the Mt. Hood areas except Cooper Spur. I have some of my best memories at Ski Bowl both skiing with my friend’s who’s dads were also on the patrol but also my race team pals. Often skipping out running gates and jumping over into the sidecountry stuff. Moved to Corvallis for College opened up my eyes to Willamette Pass and Hoodoo, man those places are awesome when the season is going well.

      1. Hoodoo got open for 11 days, Willamette Pass for 2. Ski Bowl was open for a little bit in the early season, Ashland got open for a little while anyways, even got the Bowl open. Anthony Lakes was open for a full season with good skiing conditions.

      2. Actually Hoodoo was open for 12 days(of which I skied 5) with the lifts spinning. We also skied another 6-8 days up there hiking for turns and sledding. Looking forward to this season and stoked for the snow and cold air we already have. Hoodoo and Anthony Lakes are the best area’s in Oregon for families so we love those places!

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