If your vision of the perfect winter day involves shooting down a ski hill or snowshoeing through a wintry forest, Albany is a great place to make your home base for winter adventures. Located in the center of the Willamette Valley with the Cascades to the east and the Coast Range to the west, it’s an easy drive in either direction to reach the mountains.
Skiing & Snowboarding
Hoodoo Mountain Resort is the closest ski hill to Albany. Located about an hour and forty minutes east of Albany, Hoodoo offers 800 acres of terrain, 32 runs, night skiing and a tubing park.
Mt. Bachelor, in Central Oregon, is another popular ski resort within a few hours’ drive of Albany. In addition to skiing, snowboarding and tubing, they offer sled dog rides and snowmobile tours.
Willamette Pass is located southeast of Albany on Highway 58. This ski resort, in addition to the usual amenities, offers two terrain parks for snowboarders wanting to test their skills.
Sledding & Tubing
Whether you have kids in your family or you’re just a kid at heart, sometimes there’s nothing better than a day of sledding. In addition to sledding and tubing hills at the ski resorts listed above, Oregon maintains a network of Sno-Parks that are open to the public for sledding and winter play. The best sledding location is at Santiam Pass Sno-Park. Parking permits ($4/day, $9/3 days, or $25 annual pass) are the only fee to use these winter attractions.
Marys Peak, the highest mountain in the Coast Range, is another popular sledding location in the mid-valley. It’s located west of Albany on Highway 34.
The same Sno-Parks that offer sledding also feature miles of trails open to snowmobiling. The Willamette National Forest winter recreation site offers a full list of trails open to snowmobiles. The Marys Peak area in the Siuslaw National Forest is closed to snowmobile traffic.
Cross Country Skiiing & Snowshoeing
Both the Willamette and Siuslaw National Forest are full of trails that are perfect to explore on a pair of skis or snowshoes. Trails in the Willamette National Forest are listed here; trails in the Siuslaw National Forest are here.
In addition to exploring on your own, you can also join a guided snowshoe expedition led by rangers from the Sweet Home Ranger District. The district’s snowshoe tour schedule varies each season; contact the Sweet Home Ranger district to find out when their latest tours are: 541-367-5168.