MT. BACHELOR, OTHER VENUES ATTRACT SKIERS AND BOARDERS
PLACES TO ENJOY THE SNOW
Because local ski areas are established under permit on national forest land, they do not provide lodging accommodations on site. Day use facilities include a variety of lodges, restaurants and shops. Lodging, dining and leisure accommodations abound in Bend and the surrounding territory, not far away from the mountain.
Outfitters and guide services and many winter sports apparel and equipment retailers serve the recreation market in Bend and Central Oregon. Guided daytime and moonlight snowshoe excursions by Wanderlust Tours have become very popular.
Following is a sampling of winter recreation areas in Central Oregon. Many are interconnected by summer and winter trail systems. Some trails are reserved for cross-country skiers while others are shared by skiers and snowmobiles. Many of the areas close to Bend, Mt. Bachelor and Sisters may be crowded on holidays.
MT. BACHELOR RESORT
13000 SW CENTURY DR., BEND (22 MI. SW OF BEND)
Famous among skiers and snowboarders, 9,065-ft Mt. Bachelor is one of the nation’s premier winter activity resorts. With a 3,365-ft vertical drop, nearly 3,700 acres are accessible by lift and 1,600 acres are groomed daily during the normal November-May season. Ten lifts serve 88 runs. Maximum run length is four miles.
Also available are 56 km (35 mi) of groomed cross-country trails, four terrain parks (including the only in-ground, 22-ft halfpipe on the West Coast between Lake Tahoe and Canada) and a tubing park.
A 10-year, $3.5 million improvement project was undertaken in 2013. Elements include a new east side express lift and associated trails, replacement of two existing lifts, construction of a new Sunrise area lodge and changes in the West Village area. The resort is adding summer facilities including a 13-mile downhill bike park, disc golf course and zip line.
Annual snowfall averages 462 in. with a base of 150 to 200 in. (Winter 2014-15 produced an abnormally light snowfall throughout the West, shortening the season.) Cascades East Transit, the local transit agency, provides seasonal bus service between Bend and the resort with an intermediate stop at Meissner SnoPark.
HOODOO SKI AREA
Hoodoo is located in the Cascade range near Santiam Pass, offering a 1,035-ft vertical rise to a 5,703-ft summit. There are five lifts and 34 runs on 800 ski-able acres, of which 120 acres are maintained and groomed. Facilities also include 14.6 km (9 mi) of Nordic trails and one of the largest tubing parks in the West. Hoodoo was especially hard hit by the lack of winter snowfall in winter 2014-15.
WILLAMETTE PASS RESORT
Lying just outside the tri-county Central Oregon area, this winter sports site enjoys popularity among local and Willamette Valley snow aficionados. With two peaks, there is a vertical drop 1,563 ft. from a 6,683-ft summit. Six lifts serve 29 runs on 555 acres of ski-able terrain. Also: 20 km of Nordic trails, tubing, snowshoeing. This resort also suffered from an unusually light winter snowfall in 2014-15.
BACK COUNTRY ACTIVITIES
There are miles of snowmobile and Nordic skiing trails on national forest land in Central Oregon. The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests share a web site that is a browser’s paradise, rich with detail including downloadable maps.
Winter recreation areas on the Deschutes National Forest lie predominantly on the mountain slopes of the Cascade Range. The Ochoco National Forest, east of Prineville, offers numerous recreation sites as well. Some areas are closed to motorized vehicles but others provide access to extensive snowmobile trail networks. All are well marked.
WANOGA SNOW PLAY AREA
CASCADE LAKES HIGHWAY, 15 MI. WEST OF BEND
Sledding/tubing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, mountain biking. Access to over 180 mi of groomed snowmobile trails between Crescent Lake and Santiam Pass. The Wanoga play area is the first of its kind with gentle slopes demarcated for young sledders and tubers. The area has been cleared for several years but a parking lot and paved road were added in late 2007. A groomed ski trail is planned, as is a shelter.
CASCADE LAKES HIGHWAY, 19 MI. SOUTHWEST OF BEND
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, day hiking, mountain biking, 19 mi Nordic ski trails, 150 mi. groomed snowmobile trails. Very popular winter recreation area extends to larger Dutchman/Tumalo Winter Use Area.
SKYLINER RD., 10 MI. W OF BEND
8 mi. Nordic ski trails. Popular family snow play area because of its proximity to Bend although sledding and tubing are discouraged by the Forest Service for safety reasons. No snowmobile trails.
CASCADE LAKES HIGHWAY, 15 MI. WEST OF BEND
Cascade Lakes Highway, 15 mi. west of Bend
Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, 14 mi. Nordic ski trails; connections to other trail systems. No snowmobile trails.
NEWBERRY NATIONAL VOLCANIC MONUMENT
PAULINA LAKE RD., 30 MILES FROM BEND
Six Mile and Ten Mile Sno-Parks, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, 10 mi. cross-country ski trails, over 100 mi. snowmobile trails from Ten Mile. Roads closed to motor vehicles except snowmobiles in winter.
NEAR SANTIAM PASS, WEST OF SISTERS
70 mi. trail system shared by snowmobilers and Nordic skiers. weekends and holidays.
INTERESTED IN NORTHWEST BEND?
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