Winter Uphill Travel Policy
Approved by the US Forest Service, Mt. Bachelor's Uphill Travel Policy allows access for uphill travelers along a designated route to Mt. Bachelor’s summit, while expanding access to the popular Cinder Cone area farther to the west to Ed’s Garden run.
The summit route will be open under conditions that do not adversely impact avalanche reduction, slope grooming, parking, snow removal, maintenance or other downhill ski area operations. Status of uphill travel routes will be communicated on the Snow Conditions page. Uphill routes may be realigned, removed or added as circumstances warrant.
Recently, Mt. Bachelor and other ski areas have seen an increase in uphill travelers within ski area boundaries. While uphill travel in the "frontcountry" within the ski area boundary may seem innocuous, it poses safety concerns for uphill and downhill recreationists, ski area operations and ski area staff when the area is open and after hours/pre-opening when the area is being maintained with heavy machinery, and at times, remotely delivered explosives. That's why uphill travel is not permitted in any fashion at many ski areas.
Mt. Bachelor's policy reflects our commitment to seek a balance between mitigating safety concerns of uphill travel as a recreational use within the downhill ski area/Special Use Permit area with the reasonable needs we have in operating a sustainable and successful alpine ski area, for which we have been granted a Special Use Permit from the Forest Service.
The Cinder Cone route. Originates at the bottom of Red chairlift and ascends the Leeway run to the saddle of the Cone. Travel is permitted 360 degrees around the Cone. Ascending from West Village, uphill travelers stay to the west side of the bamboo poles marked with lime green flagging running up Leeway. Ascending from the western base of the Cone, uphill travelers stay north of Ed’s Garden run, in the trees off the groomed run. Uphill travelers use caution at all times on the service trail that borders the north side of the Cone. The Cinder Cone area encompasses approximately 180 acres of terrain and offers 715 feet of vertical drop. The Cone area is open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week during the winter operating season with the exception of active grooming and avalanche control operations periods.
The Summit route. The uphill route to the Mt. Bachelor summit is open during sustainably safe conditions, i.e. when the Summit chairlift is open to the public, following avalanche reduction work and grooming operations. The route originates at the bottom of Rainbow chairlift, follows Flying Dutchman run to the top of Rainbow lift, then follows the climbing road, crossing East Healy and Healy Heights runs, and then ascends the ridge to the southeast of Beverly Hills run, terminating at the top of the Summit chairlift. Uphill travelers descend from the Summit on designated open trails and runs. When Sunrise Lodge and Parking are closed, please park at the east (Sunrise) end of the Skyliner Parking lot. From there, you can walk through the Sunrise Parking lot to the base of the Rainbow Chair before beginning your Summit ascent.
The Kwolh Butte backcountry gate. To accommodate backcountry access to Kwolh Butte from within the Mt. Bachelor ski area boundary, a backcountry access gate is maintained near the bottom of Larry Valley, on the south side of the catch line. Persons using this gate leave the maintained and patrolled ski area and exit the Mt. Bachelor Special Use Permit area. If returning to the Mt. Bachelor permit area/ski area, travelers re-enter through this same gate. Entering or exiting the ski area boundary outside the designated backcountry gate is prohibited. Please note that uphill travel is NOT PERMITTED on the catch line road. To access the Kwolh Butte gate, take the summit route to the top of the mountain and then ski down to the access gate.
Uphill Travel Protocol
1) Check uphill travel information and status online at www.mtbachelor.com, on the snow conditions page, before leaving for the mountain. Double check uphill travel status by reviewing base area and on-mountain signage before and during ascent.
2) Follow designated uphill routes.
3) Yield and steer clear of downhill users and ski area machinery, i.e. grooming machines and snowmobiles, until moving entities are clear of your position.
4) Adhere to trail and boundary closures on the descent as well as Your Responsibility Code to avoid conflict with downhill users and ski area personnel.
5) Dogs on leash are permitted only in parking areas at Mt. Bachelor. Practice Canine Courtesy by cleaning up and removing dog waste. Dogs are not permitted within the ski area boundary, i.e. on ski runs or slopeside in base areas.
6) If you pack it in, please pack it out. Help keep Mt. Bachelor and Deschutes National Forest clean.
Outreach and Education
Mt. Bachelor is working closely with Deschutes National Forest and other organizations and individuals to build awareness and provide public education regarding uphill travel and recreation issues. Our goal is to find a reasonable balance between and among user groups who share a common interest in recreating within the Mt. Bachelor Special Use Permit area in a safe, nonconfrontational and sustainable manner.