With a consistent annual snowfall of nearly 500 inches (that’s 42 feet—taller than a four-story building), Bachelor has one of the longest seasons in the country. Closing day is a glorious May 29—and a large portion of the mountain’s 4,323 skiable acres of terrain stay open until the very end. We broke down how to enjoy your visit to the fullest, whether you have travel coming up next week or in a few months.
Mt. Bachelor is a sight to behold in the winter, it stands alone along the “Cascades Lake Highway” with no other resorts around but no shortage of mountain views. Since you can be sure locals and visitors alike will be making the pilgrimage up from the nearby town of Bend on any given day, you’ll want to plan an early wake up. Get to the mountain before the lifts start running at 9am to score fresh corduroy or powder. Be first on the Cloudchaser lift (which opened in 2016 and rises 1,448 vertical feet up above the clouds) to access free flowing groomers and adventurous tree runs through the old-growth forest. Lift access pro tip: Buy lift tickets online in advance for the best savings, Mt. Bachelor is an Ikon Pass Resort.
For the friends of family members who might not have perfected their downhill skills yet, last year the resort expanded their Ski and Ride School private lesson programs, to offer up to five spots per instructor for one fixed price to work on whatever it is you’d like to get better at. Want to learn how to get air? Ski steeps? Carve instead of skid? Follow your kids into the terrain park? (To that end, Bachelor also boasts the only Woodward Mountain Park in the Pacific Northwest, with 15 zones ranging from first-time progression parks to a 22-foot superpipe.) No matter your goal, Mt. Bachelor’s Ski and Ride School private lesson program has you covered. And, because the cost is defrayed across five skiers, it’s one of the most affordable resort programs in all of skidom.
Once you’ve had your fill riding lifts (unlikely but we want to prepare you for any situation), walk across the West Village parking lot to the Nordic Center for a glide or snowshoe through the forest on the resorts 56km of groomed trails.
Call it Bachelor’s Secret Season—both because of the sneaky nighttime storms that stealthily dump a glittering bluebird bounty, and because there’s often no one there but you to revel in it. Come spring you can chase the sun off the 360-degree summit from first to last chair, and then hit the mountain bike trails, run the rapids on the Deschutes, or enjoy a brew pub tour in the nearby town of Bend—appropriately dubbed the “outdoor capital of the West.”
Bachelor skis like a giant natural terrain park—with scalloped plates, wavy lips, powdery cups, and big drifts—and springtime is when it’s at its best. The soft, sun-warmed snow transforms runs that could otherwise be intimidating into a friendly surfer’s playground of banked turns, slush bumps, jibs, and smooth rollers. Or if you prefer purring through fresh corduroy, you’re in luck: Spring conditions allow the resort’s grooming crew to buff out several runs and aspects off the 9,000-foot summit.
Part of Bachelor’s soulful charm is that it doesn’t have giant hotels with valet parking at its base. Instead, it carves out 50 RV and camper sites (20 with full power) in its parking lot, bringing a whole new meaning to “base camp.” And because spring temperatures make outdoor living so inviting, you can just get away with camping out of your VW bus, Sprinter Van, or your trusty Subaru. Which brings us to yet another reason spring is so special here—the tailgate and Sunchaser Spring on-mountain events are all-time. People fire up grills, play tunes, throw frisbees, quaff beers, and let the dogs out to party. You can check out the events calendar for the stacked spring line-up.
Whether you choose to apres overnight in the lot or take advantage of the many lodging, dining, and activity options a short 20 miles away in the idyllic town of Bend, a 48 hour action-packed getaway to Mt. Bachelor is one you won’t soon forget.