If you have found this post, then you heard that there is epic, world-class skiing near Bend, Oregon. But what you may not know is that, as long as you aren’t trying to ski over the Christmas holiday, that same epic skiing near Bend is actually affordable.
Yes, I am talking about THE Mt. Bachelor (okay, I added the “THE” because it is that impressive). Mt. Bachelor may not be as well known, but it is definitely worth a trip.
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Mt. Bachelor: Ski Resort Statistics
Mt. Bachelor is the largest ski resort in the Pacific Northwest with 4,323 skiable acres, 12 lifts–7 of which are high speed–and trails for all types of skiers. Mt. Bachelor is also an excellent choice for a budget, family ski vacation.
Oh, and did I mention that when you ski Mt. Bachelor you are skiing a volcano? So there is that. But don’t worry, scientists estimate that it has been between 8 and 10,000 years since the volcano erupted.
And while it remains unclear if Mt. Bachelor is inactive or extinct, scientists have little concern that it will erupt in the immediate future.
Why Mt. Bachelor is Less Known
So, if it is so impressive, why is this ski resort near Bend seemingly so little known? In general, I think when people think of skiing in the United States, they think of the big two ski states: Colorado and Utah.
And while we have definitely spent our fair share of time skiing in both Colorado and Utah, most ski resorts in those two states are really expensive.
When skiers look outside of the big two, to a state like Oregon, there are so many more affordable options. We also think Idaho is a great choice and if you agree, you can read our post about budget Idaho ski resorts.
The other important factor is on-mountain lodging. Most affordable ski resorts–even the epic ones like Mt. Bachelor–do not have on-mountain lodging.
For some families that is a deal breaker. And listen, I get it. Loading all the people into the car with all the gear is a lot. And then, getting everyone back down the mountain after a day or multiple days of skiing when exhaustion has set in is well…a lot more.
And yet, if you can let go of that piece of an idealized ski vacation, then you will be rewarded by less expensive lift tickets, which means more time on the mountain together.
Also ski resorts, like Mt. Bachelor, that don’t have fancy ski-in and ski-out lodging also tend to have a much more local clientele. And ski resorts like to take care of their locals.
Again, there is savings in that for you. So let’s talk about that savings.
Cost of Lift Tickets at Mt. Bachelor
Like many resorts, the cost of a Mt. Bachelor’s lift ticket depends on the demand. Let’s take an adult lift ticket price. If you go at the height of demand, which is the Christmas holiday, a single-day adult lift ticket, bought in advance on the Mt. Bachelor website is going to cost you around $125 for the 2022-2023 season.
But if you can schedule your ski trip during a random weekend in December that same adult lift ticket price is less than $100.
And even better, if you can go to Mt. Bachelor during your kids’ spring break in let’s say, March, that ticket that was $125 is now $90 for mid-week skiing. A 30% savings.
Similar to the 4×4 package at Brundage Mountain Resort, Mt. Bachelor also has a great package if you are a beginner skier or rider on the mountain. Open only to first time skiers or snowboarders, Ski or Ride in 5, includes 5 lessons, lift tickets and rentals for all 5 days for $449.
And for those who don’t ski, the mountain has dog sled rides and a snowshoeing tour. We are a family of skiers, so we stick to the trails when we go to Mt. Bachelor. But both experiences seem like great fun.
Getting To That Great Skiing Near Bend
Mt. Bachelor is located just 20 miles outside of Bend, Oregon. The mountain is 100 miles from Portland.
If you don’t want to drive, Mt. Bachelor has partnered with Cascade East Transit (CET) to offer a public bus service. And who doesn’t love a shuttle service to drop you right near the slopes to avoid walking in those ski boots.
Mt. Bachelor will offer the service during the 2022-2023 season. For winter 2022/23, shuttle fares can be purchased electronically via the Umo Pass App. A roundtrip ticket is $10.
Bend In Its Own Right
While some may be detracted from Mt. Bachelor because it doesn’t offer on-mountain lodging, one of things we love about skiing Mt. Bachelor is staying in Bend. In its own right, Bend is a very cool little city.
But perhaps what drives us most to Bend is that our principal driver and ski trip planner, Matthew, is a big craft beer guy. And if Bend is serious about anything, it is serious about beer.
With over two dozen breweries, Bend is known for its beer. So much so that Bend has its own beer passport called the “Ale Trail”. Those that are up for the challenge, can pick up the passport in person and or grab the app.
We are such a fan of the city of Bend, with its compact downtown and historical charm, we even visit in the summer long after the snow has melted off Mt. Bachelor’s peak. Because in the summer, we trade our skis for, you guessed it….our bikes.
If you are looking for a truly epic place to ski, whose sheer size overshadows many of the major resorts in Colorado and Utah, then Mt. Bachelor is your place.
If you are looking for more affordable skiing in the Pacific Northwest, let’s us recommend the best budget ski resorts in Idaho and Montana. Or if you have your sights on the iconic Colorado, we have the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners.
Or if you just love winter and are looking for a great place to get have some great winter activities in the Pacific Northwest try McCall, Idaho.