Editor’s note: Call destinations before you visit to make sure they’re open. Stay posted on what Oregon’s new COVID-19 guidelines mean for you, and follow these steps for social distancing outdoors. Also, remember to bring your face covering, required for all of Oregon’s public indoor spaces and outdoors when keeping 6 feet of distance isn’t possible. Here’s what to know about Oregon’s outdoors right now.
Winter: The days are short and the nights are long — so it makes sense that Oregon ski areas keep the lifts running well after sunset. Across Oregon there are six different ski areas offering nighttime skiing and snowboarding. Hours usually start before nightfall at 3:00 p.m. and extend through 9:00 p.m., meaning it’s actually a combination of sunset riding that continues into dusk and the evening hours.
The experience is similar to daytime skiing and snowboarding, except instead of daylight, you’re relying on overhead lights to guide you down the slopes. The available terrain is primarily wide-open groomers, but you’ll also find that you can dip off the groomers to ride fresh powder or explore the natural terrain features across the mountain. Resorts keep the lodges open to warm up between runs, and since night skiing is often only offered on weekends, you’re also likely to find a boisterous atmosphere in the lodge. Some resorts also host special events —Hoodoo Ski Resort frequently hosts live bands, Mt. Hood Skibowl has a rail jam series and Tuesday Night Ladies Night, and Mt. Hood Meadows offers professional ski school lessons during their night skiing sessions. (NOTE: Many annual events have been postponed due to COVID-19, likewise indoor lodge access is limited this season. Please check with the resort in advance.)
Visitors love night skiing for a variety of reasons. It’s a great opportunity to ski and snowboard after work, it’s less crowded and lift tickets are more affordable. Count yourself among the fortunate few if you ever have the opportunity to ski under the lights while it’s snowing — a truly magical experience. Give it a try this winter. Clear or yellow lenses for goggles are recommended.
Where to Ski at Night
Mt. Hood Skibowl sets the gold standard for night skiing with the largest night skiing terrain in the country. When the sun sets, all four of the resort’s chairlifts are lit up, resulting in 34 nighttime runs. The terrain varies from open groomers to challenging black diamond runs that really shine when there’s fresh powder. Night riding is offered 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm seven nights a week.
The resort maximizes a bounty of lit terrain with events throughout the winter, including Tuesday Night Ladies Night, Saturday Night Lights Fireworks shows on select Saturday nights and a re-occurring Rail Jam series throughout the winter. (NOTE: Many annual events have been postponed due to COVID-19, please check with the resort in advance.)
The resort also offers nighttime Cosmic Tubing, with the tubing lanes lit up under 600,000 LED lights, lasers and music. It is an awesome nighttime party for all ages.
Night lift ticket prices range from $41 to $52 and hours are from 3:00 p.m. to close. (NOTE: Many activities require advance reservations due to COVID-19, please check with the resort in advance.)
Hoodoo Ski Area recently expanded its night skiing with new lights near Ed’s Chair, increasing the terrain access to 23 different runs across 500 acres. The ski area also hosts several parties through the winter that extend into the night including Backcountry Fest in January and Winter Carnival in February. (NOTE: Many annual events have been postponed due to COVID-19, please check with the resort in advance.) Hoodoo also offers slopeside winter RV camping, which goes great with night skiing.
The resort now offers night skiing four nights a week, Wednesday through Saturday. Night skiing typically begins in mid-December and runs through March. Night lift ticket prices range from $19 for juniors and seniors to $29 for adults, and hours are from 3:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Mt. Ashland in Southern Oregon offers twilight skiing across the mountain with lights on the Sonnet, Comer and Windsor ski lifts on Thursday and Friday (NOTE: Twilight skiing is not offered this season due to COVID-19). Lift tickets are $25 for adults and $19 for youth. Mt. Ashland also allows visitors to upgrade a day lift ticket to include night skiing for $7 for adults and $5 for youth, and Twilight hours are from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Twilight skiing is also available on other nights for private rental.
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area has night skiing with incredible alpine views on full moon nights. Night skiing is a great activity for overnight lodge guests as well as visitors looking for uncrowded slopes. Night skiing is offered Fridays through Sundays, December 18, 2020 – March 7, 2021 plus nightly Dec. 25 – Jan. 3; Monday, January 18, 2021 (MLK) and Monday, February 15, 2021 (President’s Day).
The terrain includes all the runs off of Bruno’s lift just below the lodge, and a network of trails off Pucci lift, which offer easy access back to the lodge to warm up between runs. Lift tickets are $43 for all ages and hours are from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Mt. Hood Meadows offers 140 acres of night-lit terrain served by the Mt. Hood Express high-speed quad and other lifts. Visitors can ride under the lights on Wednesday through Sunday evenings, plus extra nights during the holiday season (mid-December through early January) with the exception of Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve Day.
Meadows Learning Center offers evening ski and snowboard lessons, specializing in beginner lessons for kids and adults. The lodge and restaurants are open as well as the equipment rental center, which means visitors can rent skis or snowboards and boots if needed.
On New Year’s Eve the lifts at Mt. Hood Meadows run until after midnight to ring in the New Year!
Night tickets are $39 for adults and $29 for juniors to ride from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
If You Go:
Be sure to check road and weather conditions before heading out and carry snow chains or traction tires when advised.
Whenever you’re adventuring in the winter, wear waterproof layers, appropriate snow boots and don’t forget your sunglasses. Learn how to come prepared by brushing up on tips at How to Winter Like an Oregonian. Always follow Leave No Trace principals, including packing in and out, leaving what you find where it’s at, and respecting wildlife and other visitors.