The Oregon Trail Ski Safari
The Oregon Trail ski safari combines skiing on two dramatic volcanic peaks renowned for huge snowfall with a scenic road-trip through the Cascade Range and some of Americas most spectacular coastal scenery.
On a 10 night trip we recommend taking the first night in Seattle then 4 nights in Mt Hood and 5 in Mt Bachelor as a starting point. You can then add on additional nights depending on how much skiing, relaxing or exploring you want to do.
The starting point is Seattle which you can fly to direct from London. We recommend staying in Seattle for the first night and visiting one of Seattle's top attractions The Space Needle and continuing the journey in the morning. The drive to Mt Hood is straightforward and takes around 5 hours.
Mt Hood is home to three ski resorts, the ever impressive Mt Hood Meadows, the historical and cruisey Timberline Resort and Mt Hood Ski Bowl, famous for the largest night skiing in the US.
After an early start and a half hour break at the impressive Multnomah Falls, check into your hotel in Hood River or the fantastic Timberline Lodge.
Hood River offers a small but cool town, a great 3 plus* hotel and some excellent micro breweries, a common feature in Oregon! Hood River is a good 45 minute drive from Mt Hood Meadows.
The historical Timberline Lodge, nestled in the middle of Timberline ski resort, is one of the most amazing ski in ski out hotels in North America. Steeped in rich Pacific Northwest history, it offers some of the best views you will ever have the pleasure of waking up to. A classic mountain property, it was built in 1939 and made famous by appearing in The Shining! With its vast central fireplace, art deco touches and cosy rooms (not to mention being almost completely buried under a blanket of snow for most of the season) it has real atmosphere.
Take the day to enjoy the drive south to Bend. It is well worth taking your time to enjoy the scenery with the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range on your right and the flat plateau of high desert, in places beautifully carved by rivers, on the left. We highly recommend taking a short detour from the highway to visit Smith Rock State Park.
Stay either in the funky town of Bend or at the relaxing Sun River Resort, a few miles to the south. Mt Bachelor is a 20 minute drive from either spot. A lone peak surrounded by forest, Bachelor is a big ski resort - the fifth largest in the US - and you can ski all faces of the mountain.
Bend, the nearest town to the mighty Mt Bachelor is one of the coolest mountain towns in the US. It has a genuine feel that many ski towns fail to achieve. The locals are proud of their heritage and even more proud of their home grown beer. Bend offers several accommodation options from the good value to chic and boutique.
Bend is largely about beer! The town is home to a good number of micro-breweries so a certain amount of sampling is required. If you want to be close to the action we recommend you stay here.
Families looking to visit Mt Bachelor should stay in the nearby Sunriver Resort, 15 minutes from Bend. This all purpose resort has everything you need with home from home style accommodation big on the menu.
On your final day, drive across the Cascade Range from Bend to the coastal town of Seaside located 5km north of the stunning Cannon Beach. Enjoy a walk along some of the most breath-taking coastal scenery in the US before continuing onto Seattle and your flight home.
The ski safari above is very much a ski-focused option but one of the attractions of a trip to the Pacific Northwest is the huge potential to take a bit of time to explore. Just a few of the options are set out below, but feel free to make up your own. You could drive up the Oregon coast, drive down to California, or go back up to Seattle and ski at Mt Baker. Oregon is your Oyster!
Portland City Stay - Portland is all about quality of life and the environment - lots of parks and gardens, easy to get around by bike or light rail system, plenty of quality local food and wine... and tax free shopping!
Crater Lake - 2 hours south of Bend, this 6 mile-wide caldera is a truly remarkable sight. Formed by the eruption and collapse of Mt Mazama 7,700 years ago, it has deep, very blue water. Check access details before you travel from Bend as the park facilities are closed in winter, although the lake can be accessed on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
Oregon Coast - Oregon's share of the Pacific coastline owes its international reputation to the rugged beauty and natural wonders found all along its nearly 400-mile length. The entire Pacific Coast Highway is studded with picturesque coastal scenery, lush evergreen forests and quaint coastal towns, from dramatic rock formations to churning whirlpools to miles and miles of sandy beaches. The beauty and serenity of the Pacific strand on 3½ mile Cannon Beach is unprecedented and is regularly voted one of America’s Best Beaches.
Hood River - this small town 45 minutes drive north of Mt Hood in the Columbia River Gorge is the spiritual home of windsurfing and kitesurfing in the US. The main season is the summer, although it gets winds almost year-round if you fancy a blast. It is also a big centre for mountain biking and kayaking so you can easily turn your ski trip into a multi-activity holiday. Eating and drinking are also on the agenda here as the area has wineries, breweries and organic food producers galore.
Smith Rock State Park - If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons or hiking, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. Along your trip through the canyon, you might see golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otter and beaver.
Multnomah Falls - Visiting Multnomah Falls, a 611-foot-tall roaring, awe-inspiring cascade of icy water, lets you experience the power and beauty of nature up close and with ease. From the parking area off of I-84, a 5-minute walk is all that separates you from the exhilarating spray at the base of the falls. Definitely the perfect place to stretch your legs on the drive from Seattle to Mt Hood.