Mt. Bachelor: Oregon’s Premier Ski Destination
Despite the fact it’s a volcano, Mt. Bachelor has managed to stay somewhat of a secret, but this mountain retreat should definitely be on your radar.
Mt. Bachelor Videos
Slope to Slope
Located on the eastern side of the Central Cascades, Mt. Bachelor is one of the largest single-mountain resorts in the country. The mountain will be expanding its acreage from 3,500 to over 4,000, making for even more diverse terrain to enjoy. The mountain gets an average snowfall of 462 inches, offers 88 trails, has a vertical of 3,365 feet, and has the highest skiable elevation in all of Oregon and Washington.
Since it’s a volcano—which most people don’t know—Mt. Bachelor allows for guests to ski and ride 360 degrees off the summit. The mountain boasts a variety of terrain levels, with about 15% easy, 25% intermediate, 35% expert and 25% extreme. So whether you’re a seasoned veteran or just starting out, Mt. Bachelor has something for everyone.
Beginners can head to Carrousel, the free beginners lift that ascends a gentle slope where they can master their turns. Experts can venture to the southwest side of the mountain, which features some of the best tree skiing around. You’ll feel like you’re in the backcountry.
Apart from its great skiing and boarding, Mt. Bachelor also offers a number of other activities. Visitors can slide down the slopes in rubber tubes at Snowblast Tubing Park; take a snowshoe tour through the wild areas of Mt. Bachelor and the Deschutes National Forest with Wanderlust Snowshoe Tours; or take an exciting ride behind a real sled dog team with Oregon Trail of Dreams.
Since Mt. Bachelor is surrounded by two million acres of national forest, which means there is no lodging on the mountain, making it a truly pristine skiing experience. While there might not be any slope side accommodations, there are a number of great places to stay in nearby Bend and Sunriver.
Sunriver is set in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and is known for its luxurious accommodations and myriad of outdoor activities. Village Properties is 20 minutes from Mt. Bachelor and offers a range of vacation homes and condos that can comfortably fit families, couples and large groups. You can also secure lodging with Mountain Resort Properties or Sunset Lodging in Sunriver, both of which provide a variety of accommodation options.
Bend is more of a city, with lots of shopping, dining and nightlife. There are also some wonderful places to stay, including the DoubleTree by Hilton, which offers spacious guest rooms, a heated pool and hot tub, and easy access to nearby attractions. The Riverhouse Hotel is located in the heart of Bend. It features guest rooms with fireplaces and kitchen units, and even some with a spa. You can enjoy a swim in the heated pool or a meal at the award-winning Crossings restaurant.
Activities & Entertainment
When you want to take a break from skiing or boarding, Mt. Bachelor offers plenty of other activities to enjoy. In warmer months, thrill-seekers can enjoy zoom down the new Downhill Bike Park, an intense course reserved for the most skilled riders.
For something a bit more relaxing, why not enjoy some après-ski refreshments at Clearing Rock Bar or warm up mid-day with an drink from The Espresso Bar, both located on the mountain.
In Bend, take a stroll along the Bend Ale Trail, which gives you a glimpse of the craft beer culture and lets you sample from each of the 13 breweries in the city. Get your passport stamped at each location, and when it’s completely full, send it in for a commemorative Bend Silipint.
If shopping is more your thing, wander through the streets of downtown Bend with hundreds of independent businesses and boutique shops; or check out The Old Mill District, with more than 55 local, regional and national retail chains.
Getting Here & Getting Around
Mt. Bachelor is easily accessible from most areas of the Western U.S. The Redmond Airport is 20 miles north of Bend, and Alaska Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines all offer direct flights there. The other option is flying into Portland, and taking the beautiful three-hour drive over Mount Hood and through the Cascade Mountains.
Once you arrive, you can purchase Mt. Bachelor Shuttle tickets and take the bus from Bend up to the mountain. There is also inexpensive parking near the mountain if you choose to drive.
So if you’re planning to take a ski trip this winter, Mt. Bachelor should definitely be on your list. If everything above doesn’t win you over, perhaps its acclaimed Ambassador Program will do the trick. The mountain has roughly 80 volunteers cruising around to help visitors. And for arriving groups, an ambassador will meet you on your first day and act as a personal guide. With that kind of hospitality, it’s sure to be a memorable trip.
So make a journey to the West Coast to this hidden gem and see what you’ve been missing.
By Vanessa Day