Hit The Slopes At This Fun West Coast Winter Ski Destination

Skiers in the U.S. have only a select few months every year to get their fill of the winter sport. Enthusiasts will want to make the most of the season and plan the perfect ski vacation. For an unforgettable option on the West Coast, check out Mount Hood, Oregon. About 40 miles southeast of the international airport in Portland, this ski destination is easily accessible for travelers worldwide. A popular choice for city dwellers, Mount Hood, houses the highest summit in all of Oregon and one of the tallest in the Cascade Range.

Reaching 11,239 feet above sea level, Mount Hood serves as the namesake peak of Mt. Hood National Forest. While modern skiers enjoy cruising along its endless snowfields, Mount Hood was once an active volcano. However, its last eruption occurred in 1865, and it is considered dormant today. Since then, it has become a fantastic getaway for anyone looking to shred some powder.

Where to ski in Mount Hood, Oregon

Mount Hood, Oregon, offers five ski areas to choose from: Skibowl, Summit, Timberline, Meadows, and Cooper Spur. Whether you're just learning to ski or can do so with your eyes closed (not recommended), Mount Hood has something for everyone. If you consider yourself a beginner or on the cusp of becoming intermediate, there is no better place to learn the ropes of skiing than at Cooper Spur Mountain Resort or Summit. And, if the slopes become a little too strenuous while you're at the latter, you can even take up some carefree tubing at the Snow Bunny Sledding Area/Sno-Park.

If you're looking for challenging runs, check out Skibowl or Meadows. You'll find steep verticals at these two ski areas that will get your heart pumping. In addition, if you don't want to cut the day short at sunset, Skibowl lights up its runs for night skiing. Expect difficult terrain and a fair share of black diamonds at both destinations. For the most popular mountain and a moderate challenge, visit Timberline Ski Area.

Planning your stay in Mount Hood, Oregon

Between the various hotels, inns, rentals, and lodges around Mount Hood, you'll be sure to find accommodations catering to your budget, interests, and preferred ski area. Luckily, all of the ski areas are within a 30-minute drive of one another. Mount Hood's day ski passes are relatively affordable, with the most inexpensive adult day pass costing $39 at Cooper Spur and the most expensive costing $114 at Timberline Lodge.

You'll find the alpine village of Government Camp at the foot of Mount Hood. A small but charming neighborhood, Government Camp offers dining, shopping, and hotels near the local ski resorts. If you don't mind a half-hour drive to the slopes, consider the Old Parkdale Inn Bed and Breakfast or Mt. Hood Bed and Breakfast for top-rated, cozy cabin stays in the wintery countryside.

If you want a ski-in, ski-out option, head to the Timberline Lodge. Not only does it offer a wonderful stay, but it is also a must-visit for history buffs and film buffs alike. Built in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project, the massive lumber and iron-crafted building is a famous attraction of Mount Hood. And, for movie lovers, Timberline Lodge also happens to be the filming location of one of the most famous horror movies to date — "The Shining."