Chasing powder in Oregon? These ski resorts have more powder days than any other!
For avid skiers and snowboarders, Oregon might not be the first state that comes to mind for serious powder, but the numbers tell a different story.
Mike and I love to spend the winter in ski towns around the country, in fact we even met in the ski town of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We also lived in Bend, Oregon, for over a year and found the ski scene here is highly underrated.
The Cascade mountains, particularly near Mt. Hood and Deschutes National Forest, are home to a few impressive ski resorts that come alive each winter.
We’re going to cover the resorts that get the most powder days in Oregon so you can choose your next powder destination.
Oregon Ski Resorts With The Most Powder Days (Over The Past Decade)
Drawing the past decade of snowfall statistics and the year we lived in Bend, here are the most reliable places to go for powder days in Oregon!
1. Timberline Lodge – 761 days (76.1 days per year)
Nestled on the south slopes of Mt. Hood, Timberline Lodge Ski Resort is a snow enthusiast’s dream, with a remarkable 761 powder days over the last decade.
That averages out to 76.1 days annually!
In addition to being the snowiest resort in Oregon, this mountain is perfect for beginner and intermediate skiers.
There are 41 runs in total and a vertical drop of nearly 3,700 feet, but the terrain is pretty mellow, and even the blue squares and black diamonds don’t live up to the rating.
Timberline is also one of the most accessible resorts in Oregon, just 60 miles from Portland and 100 miles from Bend. However, this also means it can get swamped on the weekends (especially during the holidays).
Once you finish skiing, you can relax in the historic Timberline Lodge. The restaurant inside has excellent views of Mt. Hood and a relaxing lounge. You can also book a room at the Timberline Lodge if you plan to ski for a few days around Mt. Hood.
2. Mt. Bachelor – 716 days (71.6 days per year)
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort provides a perfect blend of adventure and accessibility, making it an ideal destination for both locals and those seeking a quintessential ski experience in Oregon.
It’s the largest ski resort in the Pacific Northwest and the 6th-largest in North America, with 101 runs, a 3,300-foot drop, and over 4,300 acres of skiable terrain.
The cone-mountain provides a unique ski experience where, from the summit, you can ski down the mountain in any direction (360º). There are plenty of easy and expert slopes, but it’s most well-known for having a huge selection of long intermediate runs winding through the Deschutes Forest below the volcano.
It’s also just 20 miles from Bend, one of the most charming towns in Oregon. So, you can spend the day skiing and still have an entire evening enjoying the town’s nightlife.
We lived in Bend for a year, and we loved it! The city is full of breweries, cozy cafes, vintage shops, restaurants, and events.
3. Mt. Hood Meadows – 647 days (64.7 days per year)
A mix of 85 runs caters to all skill levels, and the views of Mt. Hood are simply unbeatable.
This is a great place to come for a day trip from the city, but there are no hotels and hardly any facilities at the base of the mountains, so it’s not our top pick for a long weekend or extended ski vacation.
It’s also just 90 minutes from Portland, right next to Timberline Lodge.
Unfortunately, a massive canyon separates the resorts, making it very difficult to visit both in a single day.
Compared to Timberline, Mt. Hood has significantly more expert trails, better terrain parks, and more backcountry access. But it’s slightly more popular, so visiting Mt. Hood Meadows on a weekday or during shoulder season is best.
4. Mt. Hood Skibowl – 429 days (42.9 days per year)
Mt. Hood Skibowl is a smaller ski resort in the foothills of Mt. Hood. It gets much fewer powder days than the top three ski resorts in Oregon, but since it’s right in Government Camp town, it is well-known for the best après skiing in Oregon.
Despite being smaller, they have 69 runs and nearly 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, so it is by no means a ‘small’ resort. It also packs a punch with some of the most challenging runs in Oregon.
Mt. Hood Skibowl is also a hidden gem for night skiing.
The resort is just a short drive from Portland (55 miles) and offers a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere. It’s great for a spontaneous day trip in Oregon, and once you finish skiing, there are a few awesome restaurants, bars, and breweries in the charming old-west town.
5. Hoodoo Ski Area – 322 days (32.2 days per year)
The resort is frequented by families living in the Willamette Valley, and it’s one of the best places in Oregon to learn how to ski.
There are only 32 runs, which include a nice blend of short beginner and intermediate runs.
The ski area offers a laid-back, affordable option for ski resorts in Oregon but still gets enough powder days that you’ll likely get plenty of runs in, even in shoulder season!
While Hoodoo may not boast the extensive facilities of larger resorts, its authentic, no-frills charm reminds us of our hometown in Steamboat Springs.
Additional Oregon Powder Day Stats
While Timberline Lodge, Mt. Bachelor, and Mt. Hood Meadown lead the state with over 60 powder days per year, they’re not the only resorts we found fit for a ski trip in the winter.
Here’s a closer look at other popular resorts for skiers and snowboarders that locals love in Oregon despite having fewer powder days.
- Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort – 321 days (32.1 days per year)
- Mt. Ashland – 267 days (26.7 days per year)
- Willamette Pass – 244 days (24.4 days per year)
- Cooper Spur – 95 days (9.5 days per year)
These resorts are all small, and people rarely come from out of town to visit these ski resorts. They primarily serve local families, school trips, and others just learning to ski on green circles and the occasional blue square.
What are powder days skiing?
Powder days are when a fresh blanket of snow covers the slopes. Most consider 4-6 inches in one night a ‘powder day.’ A powder day is the holy grail for ski bums because it means soft, fluffy, and untouched slopes.
How long does powder last at a ski resort?
The lifespan of powder at a ski resort can vary greatly, but at busy resorts, it usually only lasts a few hours. The snow conditions can remain great for skiing and snowboarding for a few days.
The Wrap-Up: Oregon Ski Resorts With The Most Powder Days
Oregon might fly under the radar for some winter sports enthusiasts. However, after living here for an entire year, we found that the winter produced a ton of incredible powder days, especially at the three largest resorts in Oregon.
Mt. Bachelor is undoubtedly the best and one of the snowiest resorts in Oregon. It’s a massive resort with reliable snow, and the proximity to Bend means that there’s a great après ski scene despite lacking an official ski village.
But if you are staying in Portland, then Mt. Hood Meadows and Timberline are the best options!
Also, if you’re staying in Oregon for an extended period, check out these awesome things to do in Bend in the winter!