Last month we featured Smith Rock at the first on the list for amazing year-round adventures. This month we're talking about the butte that became a mountain because that was better for business. Because who would book a vacation to ski on a butte? The stunning views are available year-round but the activities you can do on the mountain change throughout the year. We love it for snowshoeing, catching some of the best mountain views, and searching for wildlife in the area. In the summer, we gaze upon it from the once frozen lakes like Hosmer and Sparks just a few miles away. Others take advantage of the downhill biking available during the hot months when the snow has *mostly* melted. It's also a great place to go for a hike or take the lift to the top of Pine Marten for dinner during and unbeatable sunset views on a warm summer night.
A brief history of Mt. Bachelor requires that we start over 100 years ago. In 1928, winter sports were introduced on the butte but it wasn't until the second World War that people became introduced to more sophisticated mountaineering and exploring. When people returned from Europe after the war, they were inspired to begin adventuring in the mountains back home. Bill Healy was one such person who moved his business from Portland to Bend in the 1950s. He helped to form Mt. Bachelor Inc. in 1957 and in 1958, Bachelor Butte Ski area opened. Tickets were $3 and 29,000 people visit. Twenty-five years later, over half a million people visit the mountain over the winter and the Summit Lift opens for the first time. It's also officially voted that the name should be Mt. Bachelor and it was probably a good move. A record amount of snow fell in 1998 (606") and in the winter of 2010-2011 that record was beaten with a record snowfall of 665". For reference, this year we've had 561" so far.
Today at the mountain lift tickets are a little more than $3 but we can now ride 11 lifts that cover 360 degrees of the mountain. And there are still hidden pockets where we love to snowshoe and learn about the beautiful volcano so many creatures call home. Tell us, what's your favorite thing about Mt. Bachelor?! And when would you most want to visit?