Mount Bachelor, located just west of Bend, Oregon, is the second largest single mountain ski resort in the US. Located on its namesake, Mount Bachelor ski resort is in the central Cascade Mountains. The ski resort spreads out over 3683 acres on all sides of the mountain. There are two base locations, Northwest and Pine Marten. Pine has an elevation of 6350 feet, while Northwest has an elevation of 5700 feet. The summit elevation is 9065 feet, which means there is a blistering elevation of 3365 feet available. Annual snowfall is equally impressive, with the average reaching 462 inches (11.8 meters). Because of its location and elevation, Mount Bachelor has an extra-long snow season, often stretching into late May.
On the Trails and Mountain
Bachelor has 88 named runs spread out over the park. Of these, 15 percent are novice, 25 percent are rated intermediate, 35 percent are rated advanced, and 25 percent are rated expert. There are 11 lifts in the system for the ski park and two tow bars for the tubing hill. The lift system has seven high-speed quad chairs, three triple chairs, and one magic carpet surface lift. Between these eleven lifts, 21,010 skiers are ferried up the mountain per hour.
There is so much terrain on this mountain that skiers of all ability levels will find loads to do. Beginner skiers will find a plethora of novice rated trails on the northeast side of the mountain. The Sunrise Express quad chair leads to six great groomers. The Sunshine Accelerator near the West Village Lodge has some learning trails that will get skiers ready for the intermediate runs.
Intermediates start at mid-mountain above the tree line. There’s nothing greater than starting out on open terrain and finding your line through a tree-lined steep. For an amazing run that combines the best of open bowl skiing while not being too gnarly, take the Summit Express quad and hit Wanoga Way or East Healy.
The first place experts should head is directly to the summit. From there, all 360 degrees of the mountain are open. It may happen that high winds can cause the summit lift to shut down the lift temporarily, but it will open eventually. From the Summit Express, take a short hike to the Pinnacles. Three chutes lead to the Cirque Bowl, which is amazing for making laps. Last, but certainly not least, every expert skier should make the trek to the cinder cone at least once during their trip to Mount Bachelor. There are no lifts up the slope, but there’s no place else on the mountain quite like it.
For freestylers, there are five parks to explore. Start at Sunshine to warm up with low boxes and nearly flush jibs. Then head up to Bachelor Parks, which is nearly a mile long with a fun series of jumps, boxes and rails. Don’t forget to hit the 400-foot super pipe, where the 2006 US Olympic quals were held.
Mount Bachelor still remains mostly quiet and certainly a lot less crowded than other single mountain resorts. There’s enough terrain and trails for everyone, no matter their level of experience. For skiers willing to take a small hike, there’s even more slope to explore. The snow that Bachelor gets is high quality, and with the resort’s location, plentiful. While high winds and low visibility can sometimes close the upper third of the mountain, the Summit Chair is never closed for long. As a weekend stop or a weeklong destination, Bachelor is a great place to ski.