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Where in the world can you go skating, skiing (on volcanoes!) and Whale Watching, all on the same trip? That’s easy: Oregon!
The Pacific North West State is a true winter wonderland and an undiscovered gem. After a long wait, its ski season has finally arrived. It is now time to go a-shredding on the mountain! Resorts like the historic Timberline Lodge (which turns 75 this year) on Mt. Hood, with the most vertical feet in the U.S. Pacific Northwest — 3,690 vertical feet from the top of Palmer Glacier to the bottom of Still Creek Basin — or Mt. Bachelor, where you’ll be looking down the barrel of more than 3,000 skiable acres, 71 runs and the highest ski terrain in Oregon, are ready to host thousands of ski-addicted. So is Sisters, where you can take on the Nordic skiing at nearby trails, or the alpine terrain at the fun and accessible Hoodoo Ski Area, or ski from the lofty summit of the Mt. Ashland Ski Area, which has varied terrain for skiers of all levels and twilight skiing on select evenings.
This season you can indulge in the youthful spirit of winter at ice skating rinks around the state. In Enterprise, visitors can enjoy the crisp winter air and stunning views of the northern Wallowas (a.k.a. Oregon’s Alps). Other outside skating rinks can be found in Pendleton, Bend, Sun River and Klamath Falls. For indoor excitement there’s ice rinks in Portland, Medford, Eugene and Beaverton.
Winter in Oregon is not for ice and snow lovers, thoough. During migration season some 19,000 gray whales cruise along the Oregon coast to reach their winter fields down along he coasts of Mexico. Thanks to towering coastal bluffs and a string of beaches set aside as state parks, Oregon offers visitors front-row seats for whale watching.
Whale watching takes place almost year-round on the Oregon Coast, and there are 28 designated sites. You can watch whales in the winter from mid-December through January. Spring watching begins in March with a peak in numbers the last week and finishes in June with mothers and babies being the last whales traveling north. Summer brings whales that feed along the coast from July to mid-November.