Hit the Slopes in the Spring
Don’t put away your skis and snowboards just yet. With Oregon’s varied climates, you can enjoy spring corn on the morning slopes and then bike, hike or paddle in the afternoon. Spring snowfall is a reminder from Old Man Winter that ski season ain’t over ’til it’s over. You just need to know where to go.
Head up to Mt. Bachelor for one of the longest seasons in North America, plus 3,700 acres of terrain and a 9,065-foot summit — the highest resort peak elevation in the Pacific Northwest. Eleven lifts, including seven high-speed quads, zip snowboarders and skiers up for a total vertical drop of 3,365 feet. Best of all, Bachelor offers spring season passes at significantly reduced rates. Winter season closing day isn’t until the end of May — which is basically summer.
Keep an eye on Bachelor’s events calendar for “springtacular” happenings, which includes snow golf, spring speed series, a fat bike freeride rally and the North American Pond Skimming Championships. (If you don’t know what pond skimming is, imagine costumed skiers and snowboarders trying to cross a slushy 100-foot-long pond — and, most of the time, failing.)
Mt. Bachelor also hosts the first legs of Bend’s popular Pole Pedal Paddle, a relay race that includes alpine skiing/snowboarding, cross-country skiing, cycling, canoeing/kayaking/stand-up paddle boarding and running. Nothing says spring in Oregon like having snow, gravel and water in one race!
At Mt. Hood, you can hit the slopes at Timberline Lodge Ski Area from the classic WPA-era lodge and national historic landmark. With 41 runs and 1,000 acres of terrain, there’s plenty of vertical inspiration here. The resort sells discounted spring passes, as well as a low-priced spring skiing-lodging specials. If you stay late, Timberline arranges moonlight snowshoe tours and live music concerts.
Nearby, Mount Hood Meadows features 2,150 acres of terrain, including a 4,600-foot long Cascade Spring Park which has a variety of jumps and rails at the resort’s highest elevation. The spring passes are extra cheap if you’re renewing, plus with Meadows’ busy events calendar, you can demo the newest gear, ride fat bikes meant for snow and taste locals beers at the Spring Brew Fest. If you’re looking for some kid-friendly activities, Meadows offers spring break camps.
You’ll want to visit Mt. Hood Skibowl for some fun events in the spring. At the annual Snow Beach Festival, pond skimmers win awards for best costume and best crash, while the rail competition gives out goofy prizes for things like goggle tans. The hilarity continues at the Red Bull Schlittentag, when daredevils make bold jumps on the colorful sleds they built themselves.
At the highest point in the Siskiyou Mountain Range, Mt. Ashland has 220 acres of terrain and 23 runs. The resorts typically operates through early April, and you can always take a peek at the slopes online if you’re curious about snowfall.
Winter-lovers can also venture to Crater Lake, which usually gets snow until June. Park rangers lead snowshoe walks every weekend. See the United States’ deepest lake from a unique point of view — surrounded by snow.
Bring it on, spring!
about author Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.
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