This U.S. Ski Resort Gets More Than 400 Inches of Snow a Year — and Sits on an Active Volcano

Snowflakes swirled around our car as we started the drive up the flank of Mt. Hood, an active volcano in Oregon that’s crowned with 12 glaciers. It was not unexpected that it was snowing– Mt. Hood boasts the only nearly year-round lift-served skiing in The United States and Canada, with resorts reporting in between 430 and 550 inches of snow a year.

All I could believe was, I question how much snow will be at the resort? I question if it will be skied off?

We pulled into the car park at Mt. Hood Meadows, the volcano’s largest ski location, pulled on our gear, slung our skis over our shoulders, and made the long walk to the base– our distant parking area penalty for sleeping in on a powder day.

Mt. Hood Meadows delivered, as did the “sly powder day” I was lucky adequate to experience throughout my see in March 2023. And I’m prepared to share all the secrets to taking advantage of your journey to Mt. Hood, too. Here’s how to prepare a journey to the resort, including where to stay, what to anticipate, and when to go, although the important thing is that you go– as Greg Pack, the ski location’s president and GM, stated during our interview, “How often do you get to ski on an active volcano?”
When to Go
The best time to ski and board Meadows is in January and February when there’s an excellent base and plenty of fresh snow. That said, traditionally, December and February see the most snowfall.

If you wish to prevent lift lines and crowded runs, skip the days leading up to Christmas and through New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King weekend, and President’s Day weekend. The crowds tend to distribute in mid-March.

Normally, the mountain opens in late November and closes in late April. They often resume for “reward weekends” after daily operations end for the year. For the 2023-2024 ski season, the resort plans to end daily operations on April 21, 2024, and resume the weekends of April 26-28 and May 3-4, 2024.

There is likewise night snowboarding at Mt. Hood Meadows 5 days a week– typically Wednesdays through Sundays– although the night ski schedule varies over holiday weekends, so you’ll wish to examine the operating schedule before you make the drive.

Where to Stay
It is situated 20 minutes from the base of Mt. Hood Meadows, between the resort and the city of Hood River. As an included perk, visitors remaining at Cooper Spur Hotel midweek get discounted lift tickets to Mt. Hood Meadows.

The Society Hotel: If you don’t mind a slightly longer drive (50 minutes instead of 45), you’ll want to remain at The Society Hotel throughout the Oregon-Washington border in Bingen, Washington. The gorgeous home is built around an old schoolhouse and has an amazing health spa and bathhouse with an indoor saltwater swimming pool, an outside hot pool, a cold plunge, and a cedar sauna.

Hood River Hotel: If you wish to stroll to everything when you’re off the mountain, book a space at the Hood River Hotel, the only hotel in downtown Hood River. From your off-mountain base camp, you can stroll to everything– coffee, dinner, shopping– and the skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows is less than 45 minutes away.

The Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa: The Columbia Gorge Hotel & Spa is ideal for people who want to lean into the escape component of a ski journey and remain at a property that ignores the Columbia Gorge and is surrounded by gardens. Rooms have an Art Deco feel, and some have fireplaces. It is 45 minutes by vehicle to Mt. Hood Meadows.

Where to Eat
Alpenstube: This full-service dining establishment and bar is nestled in the South Lodge at the base of Mt. Hood Meadows. It’s the resort’s more elevated offering in regard to food, with a menu that consists of poutine, hamburgers, homemade soups, Swedish meatballs, and a stack of nachos that can feed your entire ski group. They likewise have plenty of vegan and gluten-free choices.

Celilo Restaurant & Bar: If you’re staying in Hood River, spend an evening at Celilo. The dining establishment is a nearly 20-year veteran to the Hood River food scene but remains a local favorite, with pappardelle, house-made meatballs, and butternut squash ravioli.

Where to Après Ski
The Mazot: For a fast on-mountain beer, head to The Mazot, which has beers on tap, canned cocktails, and red wine. The best part? You can enjoy your bevvy outside, at 6,000 feet above sea level, and with a view.

” Meadows uses a mix of relaxing dining and drinking choices, live home entertainment, outside fire pits, and relaxing lounges. It’s a place where friends and families collect to delight in the mountain views and loosen up after a day on the slopes,” Katie Kadlub, the CEO of Visit Hood River, shared through email.

Riverside Lounge at the Hood River Inn: It may appear odd to consist of a hotel dining establishment on this list, but Kadlub included that “A favorite for visitors and residents alike is après in local hotel lobbies and restaurants like the Hood River Inn or Hood River Hotel [see more on the latter, above] … This makes for a one-stop for apres ski, comfortable accommodations, and a quick go back to the slopes the next early morning, boosting the overall mountain adventure.”

Mt. Hood Brewing Co.: Mt. Hood Brewing Co. lies in the town of Government Camp, the closest neighborhood to Mt. Hood Meadows. Not only does the brewery rest on the flanks of a volcano, but its brews are so beloved that they’ve broadened into Portland and Maupin.

Off-mountain Activities
Kadlub called the area “a mountain beach location” due to the fact that it sits in between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River. If you’re not up for snowboarding and snowboarding, she advises spending the day along the water in Hood River.
Forest covered in snow
” Wander down Oak Street, lit with twinkling trees, and discover tasting rooms, artisan shops, and restaurants. Taste regional white wines in one of the many tasting spaces, take pleasure in a lower elevation picturesque waterfall walking, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the paved waterfront course to soak in the attractive views,” Kadlub shared.

Sledding and winter season hiking: Near the turn-off for Mt. Hood Meadows is Little John Sno-Park, a snow tubing hill with a warming hut. On the other side of the road is Tamanawas Falls. In the winter season, the 100-foot-high falls are frozen over but can be reached on the Tamanawas Falls Trail # 650 A.

Wineries and breweries: Great in-town wineries and breweries include Evoke Winery, which just recently won accolades at the 2023 Seattle Wine Awards, and Pfriem Family Brewers, which is set along the Columbia River.

Shopping: Our favorite Hood River shops are Doug’s Hood River for mountain-meet-sea losers (think Olukai, Patagonia, Brixton, and Roxy), and Twiggs for delicate precious jewelry, pottery, and home goods. G. Willikers Toy Shoppe is a must-visit if you have kids in tow, and Waucoma Bookstore, which has been selling books given that 1976, is an excellent place to invest a cold morning.

How to Ride
Tickets: Mt. Hood Meadows is one of the couple of ski areas not connected to the Ikon or Epic pass. If you wish to ski the Meadows, you can either purchase an Indy Pass, which provides access to over 180 independent resorts or buy a single-day lift ticket ahead of time online. For the latter, Meadows uses dynamic pricing, indicating the rate goes up as more individuals reserve a day. For a full-day adult lift ticket, rates begin at $40 and can rise to $164 during peak times. They also sell partial mountain tickets for beginner riders.

Rentals: There are ski and board rentals (including outerwear leasings) through the ski location, however throughout my visit, I rented my skis from Doug’s. If you’re remaining in or near Hood River, you can conserve a buck by picking up your skis from a Hood River rental shop, like Dougs, and carrying your equipment to the mountain.

Parking: The parking policy at Oregon ski areas differs from what you’ll discover in other states. In between November 1 and April 30, you’ll require a Sno-Park Parking Permit to park in any car park maintained by the state (consisting of Mt. Hood Meadows car park). You can nab a permit online, here, or visit the HRM Lodge at Meadows to get one. You can likewise find the licenses at other authorized permit representatives around the state. The expense for a single day is $4 or $9 for three consecutive days.

Skiing and Snowboarding Info
Mountain statistics: Mt. Hood Meads has 11 lifts and over 85 encounter its 2,150 skiable acres. There is something for everybody at Meadows, however a bulk of the surface is fit to intermediate and skilled riders, with 15 percent of the runs designed for beginners (green score), 40 percent for intermediate riders (blue), and 45 percent that should only be ridden by innovative or skilled skiers and boarders (black diamond).

“There is something for everybody on this mountain, as the beginner location has some excellent progression-type surface, and you can also ski above the tree line in some expansive bowls,” said Pack. Mt. Hood Meadows also has a number of surface parks, consisting of a superpipe and a banked slalom.

Programming: If it’s your very first time skiing or snowboarding, or you want a regional to reveal you around the mountain and deal pointers, you can schedule a lesson with a trainer through the PSIA-certified Meadows Learning. Mt. Hood Meadows has lessons for all ages– from age 3 to grownups– with full and partial-day alternatives.

“We provide a plethora of chances for lessons for both kids and adults. Whether you want to do a multi-day center, personal or group lesson, or a multi-week program, Meadows has you covered,” said Pack. There’s also a certified day care center for children ages 6 weeks to 11 years of ages.

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