discover a winter wonderland
Discover Ashland’s wintertime adventures! Ashland’s winter season presents average snow levels that can fall as low as 3,000’ with an average total snowfall 250”. Snow rarely falls on the valley floor. With Ashland’s proximity to the mountains, there are many ways to enjoy the snow. For families check out the Ashland Centennial Ice Rink.
From snowshoeing to Nordic skiing, alpine skiing to snowboarding, sledding, telemarking and backcountry adventures, there are clubs and outfitters ready to serve your needs. In many sno-play areas, a sno-park permit is required by state law from November through April. For sno-park information you can contact the Ashland DMV for permits. Mt. Ashland also sells sno-park permits. Day passes and season long passes are available.
One of Southern Oregon’s assets is Mt. Ashland Ski Area that sits at 7500’ welcoming skiers and riders with an average annual snowfall of 265 inches. In the winter, the ski area offers 240 skiable acres, 1200 vertical feet, 5 chairlifts, 44 trails, snow sports school, race programs, snow board parks and chute skiing in the “Bowl”. In the summertime, it is a majestic wedding venue, a starting point for downhill, mountain biking on Bull Gap trail and provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail, with views of both the Rogue Valley and Shasta Valley in California, sitting 18 miles from downtown at the top of the Ashland Watershed
In addition to what Mt. Ashland Ski Area offers, there are miles of trails throughout Ashland’s outdoors that provide great terrain for back country enthusiasts, cross country skiers, snowshoers and snow hikers located both from Mt. Ashland summit and to the north, see below.
November through May Located at the summit of the Dead Indian Memorial Highway approximately 13 miles east of Ashland is the Buck Prairie Cross Country Ski Trail parking area. The trail system consists of approximately 17 miles of interconnected trails on public and private lands on the ridges just west of Howard Prairie and Hyatt Reservoirs. The trail system provides views of the Rogue Valley and Siskiyou Mountains to the west, and the Cascade Mountains and Dead Indian Plateau to the east. All trails share the same route for the first 1.25 miles from the parking area. Trails are marked with the traditional blue diamonds and signs show trail names, length, and difficulty levels. All trails return to the parking area by the same route. One additional loop trail which does not originate from the Dead Indian parking area is located just south of Camper's Cove Resort on Hyatt Prairie Road on the west shore of Hyatt Lake. The trail is a 2.5 mile loop and is rated most difficult due to steep terrain. Dogs are not allowed on the Buck Prairie Trail system but dog owners can use Buck Prairie II, a dog friendly area located approximately 3 miles northeast of Buck Prairie on Dead Indian Memorial Highway. Snow Park Permits are required at the Dead Indian Summit parking area, but not at Camper's Cove.
The Southern Oregon Nordic Club serves the greater Rogue Valley with lessons, group skis and outings. For information go to their club website, Buck Prairie and Hyatt Lake Trails go to: ONC.org/sonc
Their normal ski season starts by early December and sometimes as early as the first of November depending upon snowfall. Snow cover at their usual venues starts getting thin by mid-March but skiers will travel to nearby Crater Lake, Mt. Shasta, or Telemark skiers interested in climbing Mt. McLoughlin and Mt. Scott can extend their ski season into April, May and beyond.
For those venturing into the winter wonderland, there is information provided by Southern Oregon Nordic Club regarding grooming. SONC Volunteers groom the Hyatt Lake BLM Campground and Buck Prairie Nordic trails. Timing and extent of grooming depend on conditions. Check latest grooming report and be aware that snow conditions are dynamic.
SONC Grooming Report
Buck Prairie/Hyatt Lake Area grooming is funded by donations to the Southern Oregon Nordic Club and supported by the BLM.
Caution: Winter condition are dynamic and snow conditions can change by the hour. What was recently groomed can be drastically transformed by new snow, warming temperature, solar heat, etc.