The two ski areas closest to Salem and Eugene announced openings this week following a series of storms that brought a few feet of new snow.
Hoodoo Ski Area, off Highway 20 on Santiam Pass between Sisters and Salem, announced that it would open for the season on Saturday.
Willamette Pass Resort, southeast of Eugene and Oakridge off Highway 58, will open Friday morning.
“Cold temperatures, newly-purchased snow guns and early season snow, including the 20 inches that fell this week, helped us open ahead of schedule,” Willamette Pass said on its website.
At this point, all of Northwest Oregon’s major ski areas have opened. Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood Meadows, Mount Bachelor and Mount Hood Skibowl are all open.
Hoodoo Ski Area officials decided to open after reaching a base of 42 inches of snow.
Lifts will run 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. After this weekend, Hoodoo will be open at the following times:
Dec. 8-11: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dec. 15-18: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Dec. 21-24: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Dec. 25: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Willamette Pass schedule
Willamette Pass, which listed a 24-inch snow base, will be open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Then, on Dec. 7, the resort will move to its regular five-day operating schedule, with lifts running Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Zach Urness has been an outdoors reporter in Oregon for 15 years and is host of the Explore Oregon Podcast. To support his work, subscribe to the Statesman Journal. Urness is the author of “Best Hikes with Kids: Oregon” and “Hiking Southern Oregon.” He can be reached at zurness@StatesmanJournal.com or 503-399-6801. Find him on Twitter at @ZachsORoutdoors.