Klamath County is defined by its landscapes—from the forests and pastures around Klamath Falls to the dramatic blue hues of Crater Lake National Park. And at the far northwestern edge of our region, less than two hours from Klamath Falls, sits another beloved landscape: the dramatic slopes of Willamette Pass Resort at the summit of the Cascade Range.
The resort has been a regional mainstay since 1941 and today hosts 555 acres of trails boasting roughly 1,560 feet of lift-served vertical terrain. From its panoramic summit, 360-degree views include nearby Cascade peaks, Crescent Lake, and Odell Lake below.
With such scenic terrain and runs geared toward skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels, it’s no wonder the resort is one of the area’s most popular destinations for winter adventure around Klamath Falls. If you’re interested in getting some turns in on bluebird days, here’s everything you need to know about skiing and snowboarding at Willamette Pass Resort.
Where is Willamette Pass?
The resort sits at the northwestern edge of Klamath County and at the summit of the Cascades. It’s along Highway 58 and just west of Odell Lake. The drive takes just over 90 minutes from Klamath Falls—or just 15 minutes from the cozy Odell Lake Lodge & Resort, which sits on the eastern shore of its namesake lake and is open all winter long.
When Does Willamette Pass Resort Open for the Season?
Opening day at Willamette Pass varies from year to year, depending on early-season snowfall. Most years, the resort welcomes its first skiers and snowboarders in mid-December—though that might get pushed to January if it’s a warm or dry start to winter. Check the official Willamette Pass Resort website for updated information on opening day.
As soon as conditions allow, the resort is open daily for skiing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing—though the ski area may transition to weekend-only operations in April.
As for when the resort closes each spring: It all depends on snowpack and springtime precipitation—and whether that falls as snow or rain. Typically, Willamette Pass wraps up its season between mid-April and mid-May.
What’s New at Willamette Pass in 2024?
The owners of Willamette Pass have invested more than $1 million in upgrades around the resort—so plenty of new features and changes await skiers and snowboarders at Willamette Pass this year. Those include:
Learn more about the upgrades and improvements to Willamette Pass Resort.
What Should You Know About Skiing and Snowboarding at Willamette Pass?
Willamette Pass receives roughly 430 inches of snowfall each winter and spring—making it one of Oregon’s premier ski resorts. There, five chairlifts and one conveyor take skiers and snowboarders to 30 trails that rise up to 1,563 feet. (One run, the appropriately named Real Tough Stuff, is famous for its steepness.) Here’s what to know about the offerings at Willamette Pass:
Rentals: New ski and snowboard gear is available to rent for anyone 12 and older. Gear includes skis, snowboards, boots, poles, helmets, and Nordic skis—with a selection that includes cutting-edge rental and demo items.
Snow Sports School: Excited staffers offer a wide range of lessons at Willamette Pass. First-timers 13 and older can sign up for free two-hour lessons, while skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels can sign up for private lessons (open to anyone 4 and older) or group lessons (available to athletes of all ages). A kids-only camp helps youngsters between 4 and 12 improve their skills, as well.
Lift tickets: Willamette Pass has earned acclaim across Oregon for largely keeping lift ticket prices low. One-day lift tickets for adults generally range from $19 (for midweek trips) to $55 (on weekends)—and are always free for children 12 and younger.
What Else is There to Do at Willamette Pass?
For many, the ski and snowboard trails at Willamette Pass are just the beginning of an outdoor experience that embraces the best of winter. Here’s how to enjoy your time at the resort away from the slopes:
Cross-country skiing: Willamette Pass grooms 225 acres and hosts 20 km of forested Nordic skiing trails. Most traverse the base of the mountain, while one challenging path heads all the way to the summit.
Terrain Park: The resort’s By George Terrain Park offers two features for skiers and snowboarders looking to perfect their skills and try some fun tricks.
Lodge: The Willamette Pass lodge hosts a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch dishes (including soups, sandwiches, pizza, and burgers) and a lounge that affords a sweeping view of the mountain—a view that pairs well with regional craft beer, local wines, and a full slate of cocktails.
Sport Shop: Willamette Pass’ on-site shop sells all the gear you need for an exciting day on the slopes—including goggles, gloves, socks, layering apparel, and more—all from the industry’s top brands.
Lodging at Willamette Pass: There are no overnight options available at Willamette Pass, but the popular Odell Lake Lodge & Resort hosts cabins and lodge rooms a short drive away. Other overnight stays are available in the community of Crescent, roughly 15 minutes east of the resort along Highway 97.
Ready to hit the road? Learn all about winter adventures around Klamath’s lakes—including sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and ranger-led outings at Crater Lake National Park.
In Klamath, the arrival of winter doesn't signal a time for hibernation; instead, it heralds a season of exhilarating outdoor pursuits. The lakes, covered in ice and snow, become arenas for a myriad of activities that celebrate the frosty splendor of the region.