Summer Resorts 2002-Far West: Mt. Bachelor


Mt. Bachelor, Ore.

When Mt. Bachelor founder Bill Healy arrived in Central Oregon in the mid-Fifties, he knew he'd hit it big. Today, his dream of transforming the "bachelor brother" of the Three Sisters mountains into a full-fledged ski paradise has exceeded even his expectations, delighting skiers with great skiing eight months out of 12. Healy would be proud.

Churn through corn snow all morning and then name your afternoon pleasure. Water lovers should head to the Deschutes: Boaters can float while flyfishers cast for rainbows in one of the Northwest's premier flyfishing rivers. Landlubbers can trade their skis for hiking boots and head back up Mt. Bachelor on the Express Lift for spectacular mountaintop trekking and views. Follow the locals from what they call the "top of the world" down Bachelor's West Ridge (where the snow melts first) to the Skiers Palate Restaurant for a lunch of fine Northwest cuisine.

Swing the rest of the day away on one of Bend's eight golf courses¿just a few miles from Bachelor¿or pedal the Deschutes River Trail. If you're up to the challenge, join one of Cog Wild's mountain bike tours and feel the burn.

Any way you do it, a day spent in the shadow of Mt. Bachelor will be a long one. As local guides put it, "we're not in the hotel business, but we guarantee a good night's sleep." ¿Darren King

DON'T MISS The Bend Summer Festival in downtown Bend, July 13-14. A weekend loaded with fun, food, music and art. 541-382-8048;

best deal Stay two nights, midweek, and get a third night free at the Black Butte Resort. 541-545-6514;