Guide to Skiing Bend, Sunriver & Beyond
Skiing in Bend and Central Oregon
Visiting Bend, Oregon is a treat, especially if you’re a skier. Bend sits near the base of the Cascade Range, making it the perfect home base for all Central Oregon winter adventures. The city is blessed with light and dry high desert snow, the perfect type of snow for fun, powdery days on the mountain. Central Oregon is also known for its long ski seasons, which can stretch from November to May. With two ski resorts nearby and plenty of backcountry terrain to explore, there’s no shortage of opportunity for winter adventure. Ready to hit the slopes? Read on for a complete guide on skiing around Bend, Sunriver and beyond.
Ski Resorts Near Bend, Oregon
Two main resorts are close enough to Bend to be considered for a day trip: Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort and Hoodoo Ski Area. Mt. Bachelor is about half an hour from Bend down the Cascade Lakes Highway, while driving to Hoodoo will take a little less than an hour on Highway 20. Both resorts receive plenty of snow, on average more than 450 inches each year. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels are welcome, both resorts offer lessons for all ages and a variety of terrain.
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort
Visit Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, and discover a new love for skiing. As the sixth largest ski resort in the United States, Mt. Bachelor has over 4,300 acres of lift accessible terrain with 12 lifts, magic carpets, terrain parks, rental shops and plenty of food options for a day away. With over 100 runs to explore, this mountain is full of surprises, even for seasoned veterans. What if not all your family members ski? Not a problem! Enjoy the warm indoors and a warm or cold beverage and some nibbles at one of the two base lodges.
The resort also offers classic and skate-style cross country skiing, across the West Village parking lot at the nordic center, with 56 kilometers of groomed trails. Enjoy the stillness of nature as you glide across meadows and through a winter wonderland. For additional thrills, head to Snowblast Tubing Park, Central Oregon’s largest tubing park. For an adventure more outside-the-box, consider dog sledding, led by professional mushers along snowy, tree-lined trails near the resort.
Hoodoo Ski Area
Hoodoo is Oregon’s most centrally located ski resort, and draws skiers from around the state and beyond into the heart of Oregon. Founded in 1938, Hoodoo is also the oldest ski area operating in Central Oregon. When visiting Sisters, Oregon, a day trip to Hoodoo is only 26 minutes away. Sitting at the summit of Santiam Pass, Hoodoo has more than 800 acres of skiable terrain, divided into 34 runs with five lifts to access it all. The ski area also offers the Autobahn Tubing Park, a huge tubing hill with several groomed 800-foot runs. While many skiers enjoy taking morning turns, Hoodoo offers another option. Head to Hoodoo after dark for the chance to enjoy night skiing in Central Oregon; nowhere else in the region can you glide under the cover of night with twinkling stars in the sky. Night skiing runs are illuminated to help skiers find their way.
Central Oregon Backcountry Skiing
For those that dream of avoiding the lift lines and shredding untouched powder, Central Oregon’s backcountry is calling. Backcountry skiing can be a liberating experience and enthusiasts claim that once you ski in the backcountry, you’ll have a hard time ever wanting to go back to a resort. For those new to the experience, Oregon Ski Guides provides guided backcountry adventures to help get skiers and split boarders get better acquainted with the backcountry. They help relieve the added stress of navigating, and accessing terrain and give you the freedom to learn and enjoy the powdery turns. Local organizations such as the Central Oregon Avalanche Center, or COAC, and Three Sisters Backcountry Access offer avalanche awareness courses that are designed to increase awareness and help navigate more safety in the backcountry. COAC also offers forecasting info for those experienced ski tourers or split boarders looking to get out into the backcountry unguided. But always remember, experienced or not, it’s important to have the knowledge, the tools and understanding of the dangers of backcountry skiing before venturing out.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Winter Tours You Have to Try in Bend and Central Oregon
Twinkling lights, fresh snow and fire pits bringing people together; it’s winter in Central Oregon! Bend and the surrounding towns within Central Oregon are great places to cozy up when the snow falls, and even better places to take part in winter recreation. Locals love to explore the nearby Cascade Mountains, with Mount Bachelor and plenty of sno parks located just a 30 minute drive away. Back in town, there are several breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries waiting to be sampled. With so much to do, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, tours in Central Oregon that showcase the best outdoor and indoor recreation are available to help visitors make the most of their winter vacations.
Central Oregon Sled Dog Rides: Four-Legged Friends Power All Day Smiles
You can hear them before you see them. About 30 four-legged endurance athletes chomping at the bit for another chance to prove their worth and provide you with an ear-to-ear grin that will last an entire day.
Curl Up and Get Warm – Central Oregon’s Cozy Romantic Getaways
With the weather making a quick turn toward winter, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about creative ways to get cozy with your significant other.
Ice Skating Rinks You Have to Try in Bend and Sunriver
Bend and Sunriver are two excellent winter destinations. The offering of winter activities in Central Oregon are immense. Snow typically falls fast and heavy and visitors get to experience a winter wonderland filled with snow capped Ponderosa pines and fresh powder. In such a winter wonderland, it makes sense that Bend and Sunriver would have a selection of ice skating spots. Whether guests choose to twirl on the ice, casually glide or just kick back with a hot cocoa while the kids play, a trip to the ice skating rink can help cap off any Central Oregon winter getaway.
Finding the Best Lunch Spots in Bend, Oregon
As Bend grows, so do the tasty options for a great lunch at a great price. With so many restaurants new and established to choose from, the only question is where to begin. Lucky for you, we’ve made finding the best lunch in Bend a breeze.
Notable Chefs at the Best Restaurants in and around Bend, Oregon
A little known fact that visitors are picking up on, Bend is a foodie paradise. There’s something about our creative, non-traditional attitude and emphasis on local ingredients that just makes great food. Luckily for visitors and locals alike, there are several chefs running Bend kitchens that constantly push boundaries, experiment, and create delicious and innovative dishes across a diverse array of cuisines.
Best Shopping in Bend and Redmond, Oregon
Shopping in Central Oregon has evolved over time, thanks to an influx of outdoor enthusiasts, organic farmers, antique purveyors and entrepreneurs of all kinds moving in, and subsequently sharing their products with the community. This mixed bag of motivated individuals creates a marketplace full of locally sourced, handcrafted items that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition to small, local businesses, Central Oregon’s growth in population in recent years has garnered the attention of some larger retailers, who have opened up shop in Bend and Redmond. Shopping in Bend, Oregon and likewise, shopping in Redmond, Oregon, provides visitors with a look inside our local industries, while simultaneously providing opportunities to purchase from well known retailers. It’s also worth mentioning that shopping in Central Oregon and throughout the state is tax-free, offering shoppers a built-in excuse to buy whatever catches their eye.
Hiking Black Butte – Central Oregon’s Iconic & Majestic Cinder Cone
From a distance, Black Butte looks like it doesn’t quite match the picturesque alpine mountains that surround it. The volcanic rock that emerges above the tree line gives the impression of a hill constructed with loose stones that was carelessly dropped in the middle of the woods. Unlike the Cascades that puncture the horizon to the west and north, Black Butte can be hiked and enjoyed in under four hours.
Free Guided Snowshoe Tours: Educational Exercise at Mt. Bachelor
One of the unheralded aspects of Mt. Bachelor is the ski area is full of activities for everyone – not just thrill seekers on skis and snowboards. To add a little education to your exercise, the Deschutes National Forest and Discover Your Forest is offering FREE guided snowshoe tours at Mt. Bachelor through March.
Mt. Bachelor is a True Family Ski Experience in Central Oregon
Three-hundred and sixty degree views of snow-covered peaks don’t come easy. Unless you’re in Central Oregon, in that case, they do! Mt. Bachelor is just a 30-minute drive from Bend or Sunriver.