The Perfect Winter Getaway: Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory
As Oregon's grandest peak, Mt. Hood is home to three incredible and diverse ski resorts. Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is the only ski-in, ski-out lodge in the state, Mt. Hood Meadows offers more than 2,150 acres of skiing and Mt. Hood Skibowl has the largest night skiing terrain in the United States.
Conveniently located 90 minutes from Portland International Airport, on Mt. Hood you can ski with locals, enjoy a beer at a craft brewery, spend the night in a mountain resort, follow snowshoe trails through old growth forests and experience what makes Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory a truly special place.
Each ski season, resorts on Mt. Hood upgrade and improve their visitor experience. Here's what's new this winter:
America's largest night ski area gets even bigger
Mt. Hood Skibowl has been busy this offseason with a number of improvements. They expanded their night ski terrain with the addition of two new lit runs, bringing the total to 36. The new lights allow visitors to now ski from the top of Upper Bowl all the way to the bottom of the hill.
It wasn't just the lights that expanded at Skibowl; they also increased their snowmaking ability with a new system that allows the resort to make snow even when temperatures are above freezing. They have also expanded snowmaking capacity farther up the mountain on Lower Bowl, helping the resort build a base of snow in two locations now.
Skibowl also purchased a new winch snow grooming machine, which will allow workers to groom even the steeps of Upper Bowl for the first time. And thanks to a parking lot enlargement, they increased capacity by 150 spots.
Mt. Hood's largest resort introduces new ticket pricing system
In an effort to improve the experience and better manage crowds during peak ski season, Mt. Hood Meadows has implemented a new ticket pricing system. Similar to how airline ticket pricing works, the demand for lift tickets will dictate the prices. During off-peak days, Meadows will drop ticket prices with the goal of enticing people to ski during those times, helping alleviate congestion and crowds.
To make sure the runs are in perfect condition, Mt. Hood Meadows purchased a pair of new snow grooming machines. These are added to an already impressive fleet of grooming equipment and will be used for general grooming, as well as for designing and maintaining features in the terrain parks.
Timberline Lodge & Ski Area adds to the history of Mt. Hood
As a National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge & Ski Area is still being used for its original intent – a magnificent ski lodge and mountain retreat for everyone to enjoy. The resort's operator recently expanded that history with the purchase of Summit Ski Area, the second-oldest continually operating ski area in the United States. Summit is located below Timberline in the town of Government Camp, and workers are remodeling Summit's interior while holding on to the single-chairlift operation's family-friendly, affordable vibe. Summit is an ideal location to get the basics of skiing or snowboarding down before heading up to more challenging runs at Timberline.
To help with the peak season traffic, the Timberline Resort Shuttle will be operating on weekends and holidays through mid-March with service between two locations in Government Camp and Timberline.
Things to do and see
There are plenty of snowy adventures for non-skiers and boarders, too.
Mt. Hood Outfitters is the leading recreational outfitter and guide service for Mt. Hood. All tours are interpretive, as guests learn about the area's history, geology, cultures and animals. Accomplished and friendly guides lead unforgettable adventures for visitors of all experience levels. In addition to snowmobile, snowshoe and cross-country ski tours, Mt. Hood Outfitters offers gear rentals for adventurers who prefer to head out on their own.
For those who want to hit the slopes in a different fashion, Cosmic Tubing at Mt. Hood Skibowl is the best party on the mountain. Enjoy more than 600,000 LED lights, laser light shows, black lights, colored lights and rocking music all while tubing. And don't bother walking up the hill with that big tube; just jump on Mt. Hood's only conveyor lifts dedicated to tubing and relax all the way to the top. This is great fun for the whole family, including kids.
Where to stay
Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory has every type of lodging imaginable, including a historic lodge, a full service resort, charming bed and breakfasts, beautiful vacation rentals, traditional hotels and peaceful campsites. Visit mthoodterritory.com/places-to-stay for more lodging options.