Anthony Lakes Ski Resort

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort is a charming ski area with a reputation for pristine powder. While for the most part, most people would have little reason to visit the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon in the middle of winter, for winter sports enthusiasts this resort in the Elkhorn Range is a wonderland, with miles of trails for snowmobiling, snoeshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort is isolated: Portland Oregon is over 300 miles away; the nearest major city is Boise Idaho, 140 miles away. In snowy conditions, the road to Anthony Lakes Ski Resort is best tackled in a four-wheel drive vehicle. Anthony Lakes Oregon lodging is hard to come by. The resort is small, with just one chairlift and two surface lifts. But despite these drawbacks, Anthony Lakes Ski Resort attracts skiers and snowboarders from across the Pacific Northwest. They come for the snow.

Anthony Lakes ski slopes get covered by 300 inches of snow in an average year. And because Anthony Lakes ski base is located at 7,100 feet above sea level, hundreds of miles from the coast, the snow that falls here is dry and powdery, reminiscent of the best in Utah and Colorado.

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort boasts 21 designated trails, but some of the best snowriding on the mountains 300 skiable acres is found in the woods between the runs. Avalanche glades, to the far skiers' right off the chairlift, and Chicken Out glades, just to the left, yield some great fresh tracks on powder days. For longer, more open steeps, try Schuss Alley or Tumble Off. Mogul lovers should ski down Rock Garden run, directly under the chairlift.

For more extreme powder terrain, take a snowcat tour into the neighboring backcountry from the Anthony Lakes ski base.

Holiday trail is the favored trail for intermediates at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, a long blue with varied pitches. Vista Drive is another gentle blue. For manageable tree skiing, head down the blue-rated Trouble Creek and nip in and out of the glades to either side.

Anthony Lakes Ski Resort is known as an experts and intermediate mountain, but there are also some good areas for beginning skiers and snowboarders. A magic carpet near the Anthony Lakes ski lodge is a perfect introductory area for young riders. A neighboring handle tow services a good bunny slope for practicing turns. Broadway and Variety, two green runs that begin on either side of the main chairlift, are nice gentle cruisers covering Anthony Lakes Ski Area's entire 900-foot vertical drop.

Anthony Lakes' isolated location has kept its lift tickets cheap (about $35 for a day pass, and less than $30 for an afternoon ticket), and the atmosphere laid-back and friendly, but it means that there are limited lodging options in the area. The closest place for Anthony Lakes Oregon lodging is North Powder OR, about 20 miles from the ski resort. This sleepy town has just one restaurant and a single motel. There are also some rental houses in the town (consult the Anthony Lakes Ski Resort website). For more up-market Anthony Lakes Oregon lodging, book into the Geiser Grand Hotel or Baer House B&B in Baker City OR or the Historic Union Hotel in Union OR; both towns are about 45 miles from the slopes. Baker City also has some reliable chain motels and hotels.

You will not find any slopeside condos at Anthony Lakes Ski Resort, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. This ski area is all about powder and what you can do on it: ski or snowboard.

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