Located in the heart of Central Oregon, Mt Bachelor offers big skiing – and by big we mean over 4000 skiable acres, 3,365 feet of vertical drop and over 101 runs to explore. Despite holding the title of the 6th largest resort in North America, Mt Bachelor is unique and wholesome, with a laid-back local’s vibe, stunning scenery, and one of the best adventure towns nearby to match.
- The resort’s commitment to long-term viability and environmental protection
- Endless non-snow activities on offer for the family
- Over 30 craft breweries (and growing!) in nearby Bend and surrounding communities
- Mammoth amounts of light and dry snowfall (over 12m annually)
- Downtown Bend is THE place to make home base for your ski trip
- The resort is perfectly catered for intermediate skiers and those who love freestyle skiing on fun natural terrain
- Ideal for those seeking a multi-resort roadtrip through Oregon
- Mt Bachelor is not on the IKON or EPIC passes, therefore not as crowded as some of the other more popular resorts in the USA.
Mt Bachelor is deep with history. In the 1920s, winter sports began in the area when Scandinavian lumber workers came to Central Oregon to work the lumber mills and upon discovering the fantastic terrain, formed a local mountaineering club. It wasn’t until 1958 when the local community banded together and raised the much needed funds for a single lift and rope tow to create the Bachelor Butte ski area. Now, Mt Bachelor is the 6th largest ski resort in North America, yet it still maintains a truly authentic local’s mountain – warm and welcoming and still boasting that fantastic terrain.
Head off the beaten path, away from the large consolidated ski resorts and you can discover that there is so much to love about Mt Bachelor. It is a breath of fresh pine air (and a rarity these days) for a ski resort to remain so independent. Its location in the Central Cascades brings fantastic snowfall, long seasons, and breathtaking views of the Three Sisters and surrounding pines of the Deschutes National Forest.
When you look at the stats, Mt Bachelor is definitely one of the bigger players in the ski resort game; over 4,318 acres of terrain, 101 named runs (and plenty of off-piste ready for you to explore), and an incredible vertical drop of 3,365 feet.
What makes this resort so unique is the ability to ski 360 degrees around the conical volcano that makes up the resort itself. Due to this, the resort is divided in four distinctively different zones, making it super easy to navigate. The main part of the ski area (and where the two main resort base areas are located) boasts nice and mellow flowing terrain for beginners, with plenty of green runs that snake off the Sunshine, Sunrise and Carousel chairs. To the South-East side of the resort, intermediates will find their 7th heaven with a great mix of blue runs and reasonably easy black runs and the place to be on those low-visibility days. In fact over 65% of the skiable terrain at Mt Bachelor is for intermediate level skiers and snowboarders.
For advanced skiers, the North-West and South-West sides present skiers with fun gullies and natural hits, thanks to the lava flow terrain that makes up Mt Bachelor. Skiers seeking a little more ‘side-country’ adventures should head to the backside of the resort for plenty of ridges, cornices, open bowls, and tree skiing, which all remain in-bounds and funnel skiers along the perimeter back to the lift. Roughly 20% off the terrain is rated ‘extreme’, although it is more suitable for upper-intermediate to advanced skiers, or those wanting a little challenge and to develop their skills on a few cornices and technical rocky features.
In terms of snowfall, Mt Bachelor boasts an average of 11.7 metres (462 inches) annually, and thanks to the resort's high elevation and northeast/northwest facing main slopes, the snow quality is decent compared to other resorts in the Pacific Northwest (especially those closer to the ocean). Snow conditions can be variable on the backside and somewhat windy, however, these do create super fun wind lips and pockets of deep snow.
Scout loves the lack of crowds at Mt Bachelor. Like most larger resort areas, weekends can be very busy, but lift lines are generally contained to the lower chairs and skiers disperse quickly (one of the perks of having so much terrain on offer!). Being one of the last unconsolidated ski resorts in the USA, Mt Bachelor doesn’t boast all the bells and whistles of an IKON or EPIC resort, however, the resort has managed to maintain a good lift infrastructure – don’t expect any cosy gondola rides or heated hooded chairs –the majority of the chairlifts are high-speed quads, ferrying skiers with no issues at all.
With so much terrain on offer at Mt Bachelor, the hardest part will be finding enough time to ski it all.
The mountain itself is very well established for families, particularly those with beginners. The Gravity School offers a huge range of lessons for children, teens and adults – from first-timers to expert skiers, who want to hone their skills with experienced instructors. Choose from all day or two hours and priority lift access is also included in all lessons ensuring more time on snow (and less time in those pesky chairlift lines). Lessons are available for kids aged from 3.5 years. Mt Bachelor also offers an award-winning learn-to-ski program, which includes 5 full days of lessons, rentals and lift tickets, perfect for those starting out.
The resort offers a fully equipped childcare centre for those aged 6 weeks to 9 years. There are full and half day program options as well as ski and snowboard packages (The Snow Explorers) for ages 3.5 to 5 years, providing a mix of in-room and on-snow care and designed specifically for the younger ones that are not quite ready for a traditional ski lesson.
In terms of facilities for families at the resort, Bachelor offers basically everything you need and nothing you don’t. There are a variety of dining options to satisfy even the most choosy family member – whether you are looking for a quick grab and go option before hitting the slopes, full-service dining, or simple pizza or Mexican for the kids, the resort has a good value selection (and spectacular views of the Oregon Cascades to match).Search Hotels
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If you have an RV, you will be right at home at Mt Bachelor. In fact, this is the only lodging at the resort itself. There is no on-mountain accommodation, with the most popular choice for skier being the nearby mountain town of Bend. A bustling adventure hub, Bend has a cool local’s vibe and a fantastic spot for families who like to have a number of shops (hello tax-free shopping!) and dining options to explore. It is also a top spot for beer lovers, with over 30 breweries in and around the town surroundings, and plenty of fabulous restaurants. It is a hot spot for outdoor activities and recreation, so perfect for those seeking a little more adventure on their Oregon ski vacation.
The Sunriver Resort (It is about 13 miles southeast of the resort) is also a good spot to make home base, especially for families. It is a full service resort, with golf course, dining options, swimming pools and a day spa, and offers deluxe hotel rooms and suites.Search Hotels and Deals Get your
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Mt Bachelor and Central Oregon – no other Northwest destination offers such a vast array of activities and adventures for the whole family. Mt Bachelor's Snowblast Tubing Park is the biggest snow tubing experience in Oregon, and conveniently located at the resort’s West Village base area. Open most Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, it is a great way to spend a sunny afternoon on the slopes. In winter, Central Oregon turns into a snowy playground, with dog sledding, ice-skating, moonlight and starlight snowshoeing and scenic helicopter tours. The resort is also a cross country skiing heaven, with over 56km of Nordic trails.
As well as being widely known as the premier outdoor destination, Bend is also renowned for its incredible abundance of craft beer. Take a walking tour along the Bend Ale Trail and learn the ins and outs of the regions breweries, or join a cycling tour. Not to be missed are the unique boutiques and shops, offering tax-free shopping for all.
Mt Bachelor is located in the Central Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon, approx. 22 miles from Bend or 159 miles southeast of Portland.
Redmond Airport is the most convenient for those wanting to solely visit Mt Bachelor; in fact, the resort is close enough to the airport that you can fly and ski in the same day! It is approx 20 miles from Bend, and there are usually non-stop flights from major cities including Portland, Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City and San Francisco.
Many visitors to Mt Bachelor are on a multi-resort roadtrip through Oregon, teaming the resort up with others nearby such as Mt Hood. Having a car definitely provides the best in terms of flexibility and ease of access to the resort. Rental cars can be picked up from Redmond Airport, or you can make the scenic drive from the larger city of Portland (about 3 hours). Scout recommends adding a stopover in Portland before or after Mt Bachelor.
From Bend, there is a Mt Bachelor shuttle that runs daily from the Bend Park-N-Ride lot, however, we’ve found it much easier to have our own vehicle to access the resort each day, and the drive is super easy (no windy or steep routes required!).
Mt Bachelor has a long operating season (one of the longest in the Northwest) usually from Thanksgiving to mid-May. Mid-December into early February offers cooler temperatures and stormy days, bringing decent amount of snowfall. March is renowned for great skiing, with both powder and spring days in the one month. Fair-weather skiers will enjoy April.
Holiday periods that are busy are:
- Christmas and New Year.
- Martin Luther King long weekend
- President’s Day long weekend
|5,700ft / 1,737m
|9,065ft / 2,763m
|3,365ft / 1,025m
|4,323ac / 1,750ha
|462in / 16.3m
|4.0 miles / 6.4km
|9.00am – 4.00pm
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