You could argue (as many locals do) that there are actually five seasons in Central Oregon—the fifth, of course, being ski and snowboard season.
As temperatures plummet each fall, our collective attention turns toward seven-day forecasts, snow reports, and the growing white jacket covering Cascade peaks to the west. We plan weekends around ski season, buy passes months in advance, wax our boards, and even skip work when conditions are right—just don’t tell our boss.
Snowy season can run between Thanksgiving and Memorial Day around Central Oregon, with a trio of resorts affording downhill and cross-country trails for skiers and boarders of all abilities and skill levels. So if you’re looking to hit the slopes this winter, we’ve put together a guide.
Mt. Bachelor Resort Near Bend
It’s impossible to discuss the ski resorts and ski areas in Central Oregon without acknowledging the region’s most famous destination: Mt. Bachelor Resort.
Mt. Bachelor receives 462 inches of snow per season and is acclaimed for fresh powder, frequent sunny days, and a season that can stretch from November to May. The area boasts more than a half-mile of vertical drop, along with 56 km of cross-country trails and guided snowshoe tours with U.S. Forest Service rangers. Eight high-speed quads and a terrain park challenges skiers of all skill levels, as well. Snowboarders, meanwhile, can also test their mettle on the 22-foot Woodward Superpipe—usually open February through May each season.
As if that weren’t enough, everything you need for a day on the slopes can be found at the resort. Need gear? Mt. Bachelor boasts the largest selection of rental equipment in the Pacific Northwest—with a wide range of skis, snowboards, boots, and helmets for beginners and seasoned skiers alike. (Multi-day packages are also available if you’re sticking around town for a while.) If you forgot a glove or your gear needs a tune-up, the resort’s Gravity Sports Shop sells a wide range of equipment and apparel from the industry’s top brands—and offers boot-fitting services if your footwear doesn’t feel quite right. And if you get hungry after a day on the slopes, Mt. Bachelor hosts three après-ski dining options (in addition to coffee stands and local food trucks) throughout the resort.
And if you’d rather not drive up the mountain, the Mt. Bachelor Shuttle runs daily between December and April; skiers and snowboarders can leave their vehicle at a park-and-ride in Bend and catch a ride to the resort’s bustling West Village area.
Want to learn more about Central Oregon’s most famous ski resort? Discover Mt. Bachelor for the skinny on what you’ll enjoy—on and off the slopes. And if you’re spending the night or making a weekend of it, get the skinny on visiting Bend, Oregon, or plan your visit to Sunriver, Oregon; both communities sit nearby and offer easy access to Mt. Bachelor.
Hoodoo Ski Resort Near Sisters
Since opening in 1938, Hoodoo Ski Area has been a local’s favorite—and it’s easy to see why.
The popular resort sits just less than an hour from Bend (and only a half-hour from Sisters) and boasts a little of everything for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities—not to mention friendly service. Situated on a rounded butte with plenty of wide-open terrain, Hoodoo features more than 800 skiable acres, 34 runs (with roughly 25 trails geared toward intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders), and the family-friendly Autobahn Tubing Park. Hoodoo is also the only resort in Central Oregon to offer night skiing, with 23 night runs remaining open until 9 p.m. throughout the season.
The ski area’s on-site lodge also features a restaurant that dishes burgers, chili, soup, and other cold-weather fare—along with a bar that pours local beer, wine, mixed drinks, and casual bar food.
Discover the Hoodoo Ski Area for more on conditions, lessons, tubing, and everything you need for a memorable day on the slopes. And be sure to visit Sisters, Oregon, if you’re looking for an après-ski meal or overnight accommodations.
Willamette Ski Area Near Sunriver
Searching for some of the best ski trails in Central Oregon? With north-facing and south-facing runs, along with myriad cross-country and snowshoe routes, Willamette Pass Ski Area has become a popular destination in the heart of the Cascade Range.
Just over an hour from Bend, the family-owned-and-operated ski and snowboard area boasts more than 1,500 feet of vertical drop, with 555 acres of skiable terrain and 20 km of groomed cross-country trails for backcountry skiing. The resort hosts 29 trails in all, with a handful of runs for beginners and 24 for intermediate and advanced skiers; of those, a whopping eight black-diamond runs are geared toward experts. From the Willamette Pass summit, 360-degree views spotlight nearby Cascade peaks, as well as Waldo Lake, Crescent Lake, and Odell Lake.
Off the slopes, the resort’s many services include lessons for skiers 10 and older, gear rentals, repairs, tune-ups, and more. The resort’s day lodge hosts a dine-in restaurant and lounge, with full food and beverage service for hungry skiers and snowboarders.
Ski & Snowboard Rentals in Central Oregon
If you need gear before hitting the slopes, you’re in luck: Numerous shops throughout Central Oregon offer high-quality rentals and helpful services to ensure you hop onto the lift as quickly as possible.
In Bend, a few shops are situated along Century Drive, the road that leads to Mt. Bachelor. Since 1976, the family-owned Powder House has earned acclaim for its expansive rental fleet that includes more than 100 demo skis, as well as snowboards, cross-country skis, poles, snowshoes, and helmets. Nearby Pine Mountain Sports is likewise renowned among Bendites for its extensive rental and demo fleet, which includes alpine and touring skis, cross-country equipment, poles, snowshoes, and even avalanche beacons. Want to know where else to go? Learn more about other snow shops in Bend.
In Sisters, meanwhile, Eurosports is known for a wide range of gear that’s suited for skiers and snowboarders of all ages and abilities—from children 3 and older to plus-size adults. Downhill, cross-country, backcountry, and snowboard packages are all available for rent—and, for a small fee, take advantage of hot wax, tune-up, and binding adjustment services. For more, visit our page with snow shops in Sisters.
Visitors in Sunriver can stop by Village Bike & Ski, which in winter offers skis and snowboards from established brands, cross-country skis and snowshoes, and even fat bikes for backcountry outings. Skis and boots can be rented separately or as part of a larger package, and the shop’s downhill selection (comprising alpine, performance, and demo ski packages) is among the newest and most extensive in Central Oregon. Learn more about other snow shops in Sunriver.
Looking for overnight accommodations, wherever you may wind up this winter? Check out our page on places to stay in Central Oregon for the low-down on hotels, boutiques, vacation rentals, and other memorable lodgings.
Explore Nature’s Beauty
From the sagebrush-covered plains of the high desert to the towering pines and majestic mountain peaks, discover the diverse landscape Central Oregon has to offer.