The east side of the mountain has excellent cruising trails favored by intermediates and beginner skiers. The New Summit Express, Outback Express, and Northwest Express lifts access the most difficult terrain. Steep bowls in The Cirque, gladed tree trails, and deep chutes leading into tight trees are the benchmarks of these lifts. Mount Bachelor is also keenly building its reputation as a good location for snowboarders with 3 parks and a 400ft Superpipe. The parks are called the Slopestyle Arena, the Air Chamber and the Sunshine.
In the early 2000's eight Super Wizard Snowguns were installed in the Pine Marten Express lift area to assure good coverage for early-season runs. Cross-country skiers will find plenty of room to roam too with more than a dozen trails totaling 35 miles (56 km). All trails are well maintained and wind through the scenic Deschutes National Forest.
In fact, for three of the last four years, readers of SKI Magazine have rated the Mount Bachelor lifts No.1 in North America. Due to the cone-shaped peak of the mountain, the lifts are spread outward around the base and gather toward the center, and because seven of the lifts are high-speed quads, there is rarely a lift line anywhere. In addition to the quads there are three triple chairlifts and two surface lifts.
The most recent addition, the Northwest Express quad, gives access to the best powder and tree skiing. The trails are long and everyone will find something they like, whether it's bumps, groomed or ungroomed, trees or glades. The Pine Marten Express quad is the link to the entire mountain. From the top you can ski or ride to the expert area on the northwest of the mountain, or east to Skyliner Express or the Sunrise area. The lifts are open Monday to Friday 9:00 am-4:00 pm and Saturday to Sunday and holidays 8:00 am-4:00 pm.
However, green trails can be found at every chair except New Summit Express, Outback Express and Northwest Express. The greens are all well marked on trail maps, along with a special yellow area indicating the easiest descent. A good itinerary for a beginner is to ride the Sunrise Express quad and follow Marshmallow down the mountain, then take the Rainbow triple chair and the West Village Getback trail down to West Village Day Lodge. Then ride the Pine Marten Express quad to Pine Marten Lodge, and take the Skyliner route back down the mountain to the bottom of the quad. Then you should go up the lift again and this time take Leeway back down to West Village Day Lodge for a well-earned rest.
For a good day's intermediate skiing, park at the West Village Lodge, warm up on Old Skyliner, Coffee, and the Canyons. Then take a screamer down Ed's Garden to the Outback Express quad. Follow that with another screamer on Downunder. Then Downunder West. Then Bushwacker, and so on until you have skied each trail on the Outback Express. Then start over again with Ed's Garden.
The trails in The Cirque are considered the most challenging, are difficult to get to (hiking required), steep, difficult to get out of, and susceptible to the weather. The glades around the Outback Express quad and the black diamond trails on the new Northwest Express quad are best for advanced and expert skiers. The un-named chutes to the west of Northwest Express are tight and deep, and all lead into thick trees. If powder's your thing, the back of the mountain (accessed only from the Summit Express quad) keeps powder the longest, but is rarely open. The trees and glades around the Red Chair boast steep but short lines.
On a fresh powder day, park at the base of the Skyliner Express quad before Mount Bachelor opens, and get in line with the locals who will be waiting. Use the green Summit Crossover trail to warm up your legs, then ride the New Summit Express quad to the peak. Conditions vary so you must be on your game and alert. Shoulder your gear and hike 15 minutes to the peak above The Cirque. Dropping straight down Chute 1, snow flying into your mouth as you gasp for breath, avoid smashing into The Pinnacles on your left. Once clear of The Pinnacles, keep cutting to your left to join into Chutes 2, 3, and 4. Just below Pine Marten Lodge run the tight trees around Tippy Toe. Although by now many will be on the hill, Tippy Toe will be relatively untracked. End at the base of Pine Marten Express quad ready for more.
Skiing from the summit down to the base of Northwest Express quad also provides varied and changing conditions on a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) trail. There is no out of bounds skiing allowed at Mount Bachelor. Except for crowded areas, jumping and fast skiing is allowed if in control.
A new HPG R17 Superpipe cutter will groom and contour the walls and keep it in shape for all your best moves. Boarders can also enjoy the 6,300 feet (1,890 m) of sculpted trails in the Air Chamber Terrain Park, next to the Skyliner Express lift, with a variety of hits, spines, tabletops, jumps, and rails to complement the light, dry powder. Two new parks, the Slopestyle Arena and Sunshine have also been added. The layout of Mount Bachelor creates easy traverses between lifts for any type of snow rider.
Pine Marten Lodge features some of the highest restaurants in the Northwest, with spectacular views. Scapolo's for open-hearth pizzas; Pinnacles Espresso and Smoothie Bars for coffee, pastries, and smoothies; head to the Pine Marten Grill for a large family dining facility including burgers, fries and a wide range of deli and grill items; also on offer is The Skiers' Palate for a fine dining experience, although dress code is ski-boot friendly.
At West Village Lodge, the Cocoa's Café is good for breakfast, pizza, pasta, and traditional American fare, while Carver's has a menu of made-to-order sandwiches, soups and fresh desserts. The Clearing Rock Bar has a full-service bar and restaurant offering a lunch menu to those aged 21 years and over, while The Espresso Bar is good for coffee and pastries. Over at Sunrise Lodge the Sunrise Café offers Mexican and traditional American food.
There are plenty of accommodations in Bend, Sunrise, Sisters, and Redmond, and a shuttle service is on hand to take you to and from the mountain for the day's skiing.
Pitchers of beer and giant plates of nachos keep the party going until the mountain closes. Off-mountain, the Bend Brewing Company and Deschutes Brewing in Bend serve handcrafted ales in a raucous atmosphere. Both have the best pub food in town.
Bend has more restaurants than any other city in Oregon, with everything from drive-through fast foods and casual restaurants to elegant resort dining. Many ethnic restaurants are among the favorites. The minimum age in Oregon for consuming alcohol is 21. Children can only accompany parents in bars and other places serving alcohol in certain situations, usually only in bars serving food and if eating a meal. Most bars will close at 2:30 am.
The new handle-tow tubing lifts are built with the latest technology and will pull you up the slope comfortably and quickly. Once at the top there are eight sculpted lanes to choose from. It's easygoing fun for everyone, regardless of age and tubing ability. The park is open daily 10:00 am-4:00 pm.
Exploring Mount Bachelor in a pair of snowshoes is a whole new way to experience the beautiful Deschutes National Forest. Snowshoers can use the groomed trails with the purchase of a Trail Pass.
If you want to go on a guided snowshoe tour, meet outside the West Village Bachelor Ski & Sport Shop for a one-hour, one-mile snowshoe walk. Dress warmly, snow boots are recommended. Tours and walks are free, but donations to the Northwest Interpretive Association are gladly accepted.
Ride through the Deschutes National Forest on an Oregon "Trail of Dreams" dogsled ride. All rides start at the Sunrise Lodge lower parking lot. Learn about this unique sport and have the adventure of a lifetime. Standard rides last about an hour, maximum weight 450 lbs (202 kg).
For shoppers, there's the Mount Bachelor Ski & Sport in West Village, and Sunrise Lodges for clothing and equipment. Bend River Mall houses Macy's, The Bon Marché and Sears department stores, and there are charming boutiques in Redmond, Sisters, and Sunriver. And when you've had enough shop-ping there are art galleries, museums, performing arts, concerts, theaters, and all kinds of events taking place in the Bend, Sunriver, Redmond, and Sisters areas. Check www.visitcentraloregon.com for details.