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:
- 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:
- 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
- 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:
- 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
- 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.