The Ski Mountain
Mt. Bachelor Oregon has a whopping 3,700 skiable acres in the middle of two million acres of national forest. The mountain’s 88 runs and 10 lifts cover multiple sides of an active volcano, and its storm-prone location in Oregon’s Central Cascades means an average annual snowfall of 462 inches. From the treeless 9,000-foot summit, skiers can access the resort’s 3,365-feet of vertical from any direction.
Known for long, sustained runs (think 30-40 minutes to descend) and wide-open bowls, the mountain will work your legs. While half of the terrain is above treeline, Bachelor is dotted with hundred-year old mountain hemlocks with wide spacing, so skiers can enjoy dodging trees without having to get too technical. From the steeps to stellar tree-skiing to easy groomers, skiers of all levels can find terrain here to fit and challenge their needs.
The Mountain Experience
The unofficial motto for Mt. Bachelor’s operation matches that of most of Oregon: “no commercialism, no crowds, no condos.” Located about four hours from Portland, too far from major cities to draw huge crowds, Bachelor is both a local’s hill and a destination mountain. Due to its elevation, Bachelor gets a lighter, drier snow than other ski areas in the state and is great for families (there’s a free lift for newbies), but also attracts locals from the nearby resort towns of Sunriver and outdoor haven, Bend. More than half the mountain is expert terrain, so powder hounds and lovers of steep natural terrain have plenty to explore here. Visitors will get a well-rounded experience interacting with the locals on the mountain and staying in the nearby resort towns (especially if they like craft beer).
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Mt. Bachelor Oregon Ski Terrain
• Advanced: From east to west, the mountain’s terrain becomes more challenging. Sixty percent of the hill is classified as difficult. From the Northwest lift, take a lap on Snapshot Alley as it transitions to Atkeson’s Zoom and enjoy two winding miles of steep groomed snow. Or hit the sweeping open face of the West Bowls on the backside that funnels into Hemlock trees. From the true summit, a 5- to 10-minute hike from the Summit chair, you’ll find Bachelor’s most extreme terrain. Drop into the Cirque, or what’s simply known as “the bowl,” for steep chutes that feed into an open bowl of untamed mountain.
Current Snow Conditions
• Intermediate: One quarter of the mountain features intermediate terrain, and is mostly located on the lower, front side of the hill. On the skier’s left from the Summit chair nearly every trail off the Pine Marten Express are blue. Pine and Skyliner are nice long cruising boulevards that are steep, but manageable groomers. Try tree-lined Cliff Hanger from the top of Skyliner for a roller coaster-esque run with plenty of natural dips and drops.
• Beginner: About fifteen percent of the mountain is beginner terrain, and a great place to learn how to ski for the first time. From mid-December through March, a satellite base area called Sunrise Lodge, open Thursday-Sunday, operates on the east side of the hill. From there, first timers can take laps on Carrousel free of charge. Once beginners get their ski legs, Marshmallow is the next step. The run is wide and always groomed, perfect for developing confidence before heading to the west side.
Around the Mountain
APRES SKIING NEAREST SKI TOWN LODGING
• Terrain Park: Bachelor has five parks and a 22-foot in-ground halfpipe – the only one between Tahoe and Canada. The largest park zone, off Skyliner, hosts four distinct parks with a wide variety of features. The halfpipe is off Pine Marten and there’s a park on the eastside for beginners to hone their skills.
COST SKIING WITH KIDS TRAIL MAP GETTING THERE
by Anna Callaghan
The snow gods often bequeath Bachelor the gift of powder dumps, but those storms often bring unruly winds that can close the summit chair. The steeper side of the mountain has the best powder and plenty of bowls to play in, but shelter from storm conditions can be found on the east side. On a storm day, stick to runs off Outback and Northwest where you can find great tree skiing. There are also good fun runs off Rainbow that aren’t that steep but offer more protection from inclement weather.
Pro tip: if you already have a pass or lift ticket, park in the Skyliner lot (there’s no ticket office there), which is essentially a ski-in/ski-out lot with lift access about 30 steps away.
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Bachelor is a day-use mountain so head to Bend and Sunriver for apres options, though you can find some on-mountain food and drink options at the Pine Marten Lodge. If you take apres seriously, hit The Row at the new Tetherow Lodge. As many know, Oregon is a craft beer haven, so there’s no shortage of places to grab a locally-brewed beer (especially in Bend).
Nearest Ski Town
25 minutes from Bachelor, Bend (and Sunriver) is well known for its outdoor sports culture, as well as majestic high-desert and snow-capped mountains.
There is no on-mountain lodging, but plenty of options in Bend and Sunriver, from hotels to condos to cabins. There’s overnight RV parking in the West Village lot.
Use the “Explore Mt. Bachelor’s Best Ski Lodging Deals” box above and right to find the Bachelor lodging choices that best fit you.
SKI TERRAIN SNOW CONDITIONS TERRAIN PARK
Skiing With Kids
There are group and private lessons daily, and kids under 12 ski free if their parent buys a three-or-more day pass in advance.
See LIFT TICKET PRICES HERE.
Bachelor is about four hours from Portland and 20-25 minutes from both Bend and Sunriver. A shuttle service is available from Bend.
By Anna Callaghan