Willamette Pass Ski Resort

Willamette Pass Ski Resort is the third largest ski area in Oregon, a large mountain with a small mountain attitude. With 29 runs spread across 555 acres of skiable terrain (including 225 groomed acres), Willamette Pass Oregon has runs for all levels of skier and snowboarder. The five surface lifts and magic carpet leave from one of the highest bases in Oregon, at 5,120.

Willamette Pass Ski Area has two separate mountains connected by a short traverse: Eagle Peak and a back mountain simply known as Peak 2. Eagle Peak’s summit is 6,683 feet above sea level, for a total vertical drop of 1,563 feet. Peak 2 is slightly smaller, but the 360-degree vista from its summit, including views of the towering Diamond Peak, is one of the best in Oregon. Its high elevation ensures that Willamette Pass Ski Resort gets a healthy 300-plus inches of snow a year. State-of-the-art snowmaking capabilities bolster the natural base.

Beginners should stick to Eagle Peak and ride the Midway and Twilight lifts, from which several green runs - Duck Soup, Chaser, and some side trails - meander down to the Willamette Pass ski base. On the right above the base a magic carpet lift serves a small introductory area, Sleepy Hollow.

Advanced and intermediate skiers and snowboarders should ride the Summit lift all the way to the top of Eagle Peak. The central run beneath the main lifts is a nice wide-open straight shot to the bottom of Willamette Pass Ski Resort. To either side of this run are some good cruising blues and blacks, including the 2.1-mile blue Kaleidoscope and challenging blacks High Leap and Good Time Charlie. Between all these trails lies some of the best tree skiing in the Northwest.

Over on Peak 2 of Willamette Pass Ski Area, a single lift services seven groomed trails, five black and two blue. The blacks are closest to the lift; the longest and best is Northern Exposure. At the edges Waldo and Boundary Pass provide gentler descents.

The steep and well-maintained runs at Willamette Pass Oregon regularly attract racers from the United States ski team. Everyday skiers and snowboarders will also enjoy the same slopes, although perhaps at a slower speed. Tickets to Willamette Pass Ski Area are still relatively expensive: less than $40 for a full day and night (until 9 pm) of skiing. Uniquely, Willamette Pass Ski Area also offers hourly passes for just $10. Just an hour from Eugene OR and the westernmost ski area in the state, Willamette Pass Ski Resort is a great place to come after work or for a morning or night on the weekends.

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