There is a mantra in Central Oregon: pray for snow. The conditions of the high desert make for incredible winters in Central Oregon. The dry air and sunshine make it easy for us to play all day on the slopes and trails.
MT. BACHELOR SKI RESORT
A sled dog ride on Mt. Bachelor might be more your jam if skiing and snowboarding are not. Mt. Bachelor ski resort is the largest ski area in the entire Pacific Northwest and has the longest runs. Skiers can get in more runs and skip the lines with a Fast Pass. For nordic skiing fans, both classic and skate skiers can glide out on 56 kilometers of perfectly groomed trails. Snowshoers can also access 10 kilometers of forested trails from the nordic center. Free guided snowshoe tours (including free snowshoe rental) with a forest ranger are led from Mt. Bachelor on weekends from January through March. Donations are appreciated and benefit Discover Your Forest.
HOODOO SKI AREA
We feel pure joy in and around HooDoo Ski Resort. There are 800 acres of terrain and more than 30 runs to explore. Later in the season, HooDoo offers night skiing if the conditions are right. With Ray Benson Sno-park next door, we can camp out all weekend enjoying the mix of trails.
Redmond’s outdoor ice skating rink is open from December through February (weather depending). The rink is in downtown Redmond near Centennial Park and is open daily. Check the ice rink hours of operation here. Find more ice skating rinks in Central Oregon.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
For the best groomed XC and skating skiing trails, head to Virginia Meisner Sno-Park. If you prefer to ‘rough it’, head up to the Upper Three Creeks Sno-Park in Sisters for cross country ski trails that take you to a warming hut with a panoramic view of South Sister to Mt. Jefferson. Dogs are welcome on this XC trail, too. When the snow flies in Bend, the road to Tumalo Falls (closed during the winter months) is a fun ski to the top of Bend’s tallest waterfall and back down again.
SNOWSHOEING TRAILS & SNOWMOBILING
Redmond is surrounded by national forests. We gear up and head out to Deschutes, Ochoco or Willamette forests for Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. We recommend a midnight snowshoe adventure on a clear night. The snow-covered evergreens are pretty magical in the moonlight. You’ll find us at a warming hut along the way enjoying a hot beverage by the fire.
Some of our favorite snowshoeing trails include Tumalo Falls, Tumalo Mountain, Upper Three Creeks Sno-Park, Whychus Creek Trails, and the Metolius River Recreation area. Crater Lake National Park is also a magical area to ‘shoe’ along the canyon rim overlooking the sapphire blue lake. It’s an easy day trip from Redmond.
WINTER HIKING TRAILS
When the snow accumulation is light, we love a hike around snow-dusted Smith Rock or the Tam-a-lau Trail at Cove Palisades State Park. Tam-a-lau takes you up a canyon for awesome desert vistas above Lake Billy Chinook. Redmond sits at a lower elevation than Bend which allows us to hike year-round at Smith Rock State Park, Cline Butte, Crooked River Grasslands, Grey Butte, the Metolius River, and many more trails near Redmond.
GUIDED WINTER TOURS
We’ve got plenty of friendly wintertime tour options too to help you plan a good winter romp. Wanderlust Tours has a variety of guided tours during the winter months ranging from moonlight snowshoe tours to their Shoes, Brews & Views tour that pairs craft beer with some of Central Oregon’s best snowshoeing adventures. Mush your way through Central Oregon’s spectacular snowy landscapes on a sled a dog tour with Mt. Bachelor.
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