Oregon’s Mt. Hood hosts North America’s ski season that never ends. Winter melds into spring, which shifts into summer — all with skiing on the slopes of Mt. Hood.
Take infinite turns at Timberline Lodge
Timberline Lodge runs the longest ski and snowboard season in North America. The resort runs lifts daily through Labor Day and for weekend fall skiing in September and October when the conditions permit. During spring, operations transition off the lower mountain and up to Magic Mile and Palmer chairlifts. Palmer Chairlift tops out at 8,540 feet on Mt. Hood, far above the treeline. Usually, by Memorial Day, only those two lifts remain open to access the slopes.
Starting June 1, skiers and snowboarders can normally get access to two chairlifts every day. Snow conditions and weather dictate which chairs operate. On most days, skiers can lap the Magic Mile and Palmer Chairlifts. Terrain park features are usually installed on Magic Mile. As summer progresses, the Palmer Snowfield offers the place to ski and ride with a thin ribbon of snow descending to the parking lots.
Palmer Snowfield is recommended for skiers and riders with upper-intermediate or advanced skills. Summer skiing and riding on Palmer usually runs through August. The terrain available for the public in summer is limited due to the number of national ski teams and ski camps that train in lanes groomed onto the slope. Still, at least one lane is reserved for the public.
Timberline also runs skiing camps during the summer season
The three- to six-day camps target performance, masters, families and freestyle. Most are scheduled from June through September. Some, such as the family camps, are designed to include kids. Lodging has been moved to a new campus and lodge (AKA Boy Scouts Lodge), off Highway 35, 11 miles from Timberline Lodge Ski Area, as of 2022.
Timberline, as you can imagine, has a long and storied history as the summer training site for the U.S. Ski Team. Names such as Toni Sailer, Billy Kidd, Phil and Steve Mahre, Cindy Nelson, Picabo Street, Julia Mancuso, Michela Shifffrin and many more have graced the training runs here. They also are the host site for the U.S. Snowboard and U.S. Freeskiing summer training. site.
Mt. Hood Meadows and Skibowl mean springtime skiing
Mt. Hood Meadows, 67 miles east of Portland, runs the second-longest season on Mt. Hood. The resort plans to operate daily through April 16 and then weekends only through closing day, April 29, 2023. The number and selection of lifts vary depending on weather and visitation. After the first week of April, the number of lifts often reduces midweek. The ski area added 8 miles of new trails several years ago, connecting the ski area base with the existing trails and adding more hiking experiences.
“We’re blessed with a cornucopia of nature and these new trails provide a more personal connection with the mountain environment,” says Meadows’ Dave Tragethon.
During April, Mt. Hood Meadows hosts several events, including the Sno-Kona Pond Skim on April 29 with prizes for the top competitors, best splash and best costume.
Mt. Hood Skibowl generally closes in mid-April and when the resort reopens for summer, there’s no shortage of activities at the Mt. Hood Adventure Park featuring scenic chair rides, mountain biking, Northwest’s only one-half mile dual alpine slide, ziplines, horseback riding and countless other fun options.