Mount Bachelor, OR

The Most Challenging Ski Areas in the Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest region of the US has some amazing ski slopes. Everyone focuses on the slopes in Utah or the Rocky Mountains, but the mountains in the PNW are also some of the best in the country.

Explaining our Criteria

Here at Parks & Trips, we created a proprietary Difficulty Score thats generated by combining a number of metrics for each resort. Primarily, we look at the count of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.

Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.

Mount Bachelor: The Most Difficult Ski Resort in the Pacific Northwest

Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor is one of the hardest ski areas in the country. It ranks in the top 10% of most-difficult ski resorts in all of North America, mostly due to the fact that it has 60% of its trails rated as expert-level, and a vertical drop of 2,765 feet.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  9,065′
Vertical:  2,765′
Base:  6,300′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  101
Lifts:  14
Acres:  4,318

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  15%
Intermediate:  25%
Expert:  60%

More Information…

Mount Bachelor in Bend, Oregon falls just outside our national list of difficult ski slopes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging in its own right. With over 4,300 acres of lift-accessible terrain, Mt. Bachelor is the 6th largest ski resort in the US. Located on the eastern flanks of Oregon’s Central Cascades, Mt. Bachelor is known for its light, dry snow, diverse terrain, family-friendliness, and long seasons.

200 miles away, Mount Ashland (Ashland, OR) comes in at second place on our list of difficult PNW ski slopes. This is due to it having an insane amount of expert-level trails.

Third place goes to Schweitzer Mountain in Idaho. With a 2,400 ft vertical drop and 50% of its slopes rated as “expert”, this mountain in northern Idaho is only 65 miles from the Canadian border.

Top 25 Challenging Pacific Northwest Ski Resorts

RankResortSummit Elev.Vertical DropExpert TrailsDifficulty ScoreTM
#1Mt. Bachelor (OR)9,065 ft2,765 ft60%73.4%
#2Schweitzer Mountain (ID)6,400 ft2,400 ft50%67.0%
#3Pebble Creek (ID)8,560 ft2,260 ft53%66.3%
#4Timberline Lodge (OR)8,540 ft3,690 ft25%66.2%
#5Tamarack (ID)7,700 ft2,800 ft44%65.8%
#6Mt. Hood Meadows (OR)7,300 ft2,777 ft35%63.6%
#7Crystal Mountain (WA)7,012 ft2,612 ft35%63.0%
#8Sun Valley (ID)9,150 ft3,400 ft22%59.2%
#9Silver Mountain (ID)6,300 ft2,200 ft40%58.4%
#10Bogus Basin (ID)7,590 ft1,800 ft43%58.2%
#11Mission Ridge (WA)6,820 ft2,250 ft30%57.6%
#12Stevens Pass (WA)5,845 ft1,784 ft35%54.6%
#13Mount Ashland (OR)7,500 ft1,150 ft48%53.3%
#14Loup Loup Ski Bowl (WA)5,280 ft1,260 ft50%52.9%
#15Mt. Hood Skibowl (OR)5,100 ft1,500 ft40%51.3%
#16The Summit at Snoqualmie (WA)3,865 ft1,025 ft45%49.8%
#17Willamette Pass (OR)6,683 ft1,563 ft34%49.4%
#18Mt. Spokane (WA)5,889 ft1,689 ft32%49.3%
#19White Pass (WA)6,550 ft2,050 ft20%49.0%
#2049 Degrees North (WA)5,774 ft1,851 ft31%49.0%
#21Echo Valley (WA)3,900 ft900 ft40%47.9%
#22Hoodoo Ski Area (OR)5,703 ft1,035 ft41%47.3%
#23Mt. Baker (WA)5,000 ft1,500 ft31%46.7%
#24Anthony Lakes (OR)8,000 ft900 ft42%46.1%
#25Hurricane Ridge (WA)5,500 ft700 ft50%45.9%