Mount Bachelor in Oregon is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Mount Bachelor, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsLocated 20 miles west of Bend in central Oregon, Mount Bachelor hosts alpine, Telemark, backcountry and cross-country skiers, as well as snowboarders of all levels. The mountain has the highest skiable terrain in Oregon and Washington and is one of the largest ski resorts in the country. Weather permitting, skiers and snowboarders can hit the summit and head down in any direction. With breathtaking views of the Oregon Cascades, easy access from Bend or Sunriver via car or shuttle, and runs for every age and ability, Mount Bachelor truly has something for everyone.
The MountainThis dormant volcano tops out at 9,065 feet, with a vertical drop of 3,365 feet. The area enjoys an average annual snowfall of 350 inches, building a rich snow base of up to 200 inches. Conditions can vary widely day to day, but the slopes are often coated in fluffy powder. The resort has limited snowmaking abilities, with the capacity to cover about 17 acres. Though the official season runs from November through late May, skiing is practically a year-round event at Mount Bachelor, since July skiing is not uncommon. Bachelor has trails as long as 1.5 miles, and though some experts bemoan the lack of super steep runs, they can still make their own excitement by heading into the trees, hiking up the adjacent cinder cone or hitting the terrain parks for some shredding action.
Trails And LiftsOf Mount Bachelor's 71 trails, 15 percent are for beginners, 25 percent are for intermediates and 60 percent are for advanced (black) or expert (double black) skiers. Runs are fed by seven express quad lifts, three triples and two magic carpets; the Snowblast tubing area has an additional two lifts. Bachelor's six freestyle terrain parks offer a mix of small, medium and large rails, jibs and pipes. Hiking up and plunging down The Cirque, one of Mount Bachelor's signature features, provides adventurers with a high-speed, hair-raising challenge. For flatter terrain, cross-country skiers can hit more than a dozen groomed trails.
In The NewsMount Bachelor sponsors several professional freestyle athletes, including snowboarder Josh Dirksen. The mountain is also home turf for U.S. Ski Team member Laurenne Ross. Numerous competitions grace the slopes every year, including USASA Central Oregon Series (competitive grassroots snowboarding), the homegrown Dirksen Derby, the Oregon Special Olympics and the Gatorade Free Flow Tour (snowboarding and freestyle skiing). Visitors can participate in several special events throughout the winter, including the Telemark Evolution series of lessons, gear demos, video viewings and socializing.
CostBachelor adjusts lift ticket prices for days with sub-optimal weather conditions. If all lifts are open, a one-day lift ticket will cost $73 for adults or $46 for youth, with discounts for half-day use, multi-day and season passes, and multi-day tickets for kids skiing with an adult. The rental shop offers Salomon skis and Burton boards, starting at $36 for the full package (including helmets if needed), with demo deals to try out higher-end performance equipment. Numerous lesson options are available, including private lessons, lessons for kids as young as 3 and multi-day snow camps; prices start at $65 for adults and $80 for kids.
Apres-SkiOff-slope, Mount Bachelor visitors can go on a dog sled ride or take a free snowshoe tour guided by a knowledgeable naturalist. After a busy day on the slopes, head to Sunriver for shopping, relaxed dining or a turn around the ice skating rink. Alternatively, hit downtown Bend for the multitude of shops and restaurants (try Toomie’s Thai for spicy Asian fare), or brewpubs such as the Deschutes Brewery. Wrap up the evening with a moonlit walk along the Mirror Pond, where the Deschutes River flows through Bend.
WATCH: Mount Bachelor
Pro skier Sammy Carlson shows off some of his moves at Mount Bachelor.
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