Mt. Hood Skibowl: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide
01/05/2012 05:06 pm ET
The Huffington Post
Mt. Hood Skibowl 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 Mt. Hood Skibowl, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
Located on a mountain ridge that skirts Oregon's Mount Hood, Mt. Hood Skibowl is the closest ski area to Portland, which is only 60 miles away. The resort claims to have the largest night-skiing area in the United States, with 34 lit trails. It gets its name from a bowl-shaped area lined with black-diamond runs near the peak of Mount Hood. Many beginner and intermediate runs are on the lower part of the mountain, but there is also an easy way down from the summit for novice skiers who want to head to the top of the mountain and take in the view.
Don't expect to ski off the top of gargantuan Mount Hood when visiting Mt. Hood Skibowl resort. Mount Hood's peak sits at a whopping, oxygen-depriving 11,249 feet, and the resort's highest point is Skibowl Peak at 5,027 feet. The base elevation is 3,500 feet, with a vertical drop of 1,500 feet on 960 acres of skiable terrain. No lodging exists on the mountain, but Collins Lake Resort is just across the street, as is the town of Government Camp with a handful of inns and lodges. For boarders, the Terrain Park features a half-pipe, hips, lips, rollers and spines.
Trails And Lifts
Eight lifts service 65 trails at Skibowl. Four lifts are double-chair rides, while the other four are surface-tow lifts. A ninth lift services a snow tubing-only run. The resort has an equal number of intermediate and advanced trails that make up 80 percent of its terrain, with the other 20 percent designated as novice slopes. Skibowl also has artificial snow blowers that cover some of its terrain, so winter-sports fun can still be had on the lower-elevation slopes when snow isn't falling.
In The News
Skibowl has teamed with nearby Timberline Lodge Ski Area to offer the Mt. Hood Fusion Pass, a season pass that allows unlimited skiing at both of these Mount Hood resorts. Timberline is situated high up on the face of Mount Hood and has a vertical drop of 3,690 feet. The resort also hosts a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society known as Hope on the Slopes that takes place at Skibowl. A highlight of the event is the torchlight parade, which involves team members skiing down the Lower Bowl on Friday night.
A regular adult lift ticket costs $49, and tickets are $29 for children and seniors. Beginning at 3 p.m., night-skiing passes cost $30 for adults and $26 for kids and seniors. Tuesdays are ladies' nights at Skibowl, when ticket prices for women are reduced to $17 after 3:30 p.m. Beginners can take a lesson at Olympic Ski School for $56. The lesson lasts 90 minutes, with rental equipment and a lift ticket included. Intermediate skiers looking to make tracks on more advanced runs can take a lesson on the upper slopes for $78; for those who already have their own gear and lift pass, it's $31.
The Mount Hood area isn't a place where tourists will find trendy nightlife. Bars and restaurants tend to be more traditional ski-lodge-type establishments. The Beer Stube at the base of Skibowl is a family-friendly pub with a heated outdoor deck for enjoying the view in the winter. The Multorpor Restaurant & Lounge offers fine dining with a European flair. Across the street from the resort in tiny Government Camp, the Ratskeller Alpine Bar & Pizzeria is frequented by vacationing families and locals. Charlie's Mountain View is a longtime restaurant and bar with music and a dining area, with picture windows facing the looming summit of Mount Hood. For something a bit more upscale in Government Camp, the Grand Lodges at Mount Hood offers luxury rentals and recreation options.
WATCH: Mt. Hood Skibowl
Mt. Hood Skibowl skiers and snowboarders hit the slopes on a spring morning.