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4 ways to guarantee Mt. Bachelor gets loads of snow


It’s time. November’s here and we’re watching the slopes, wondering if Mt. Bachelor will have the snow they need for a traditional day-after-Thanksgiving opening. 

While it’s true we’re at the whims of Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, let me share a secret: those shady characters are open to undue influence.

It’s a complex process involving karma and good deeds and a dash of superstition. But if you’re willing to do your part, I’m dropping said secrets like a load of fresh powder.

Let’s do this.

View of the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway before the gate closes for the season on November 21, 2023.

Keep in mind, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway gate closes for the season (just past Mt. Bachelor) on November 21, 2023.

Trick #1: Don’t prepare for winter driving

You know how washing your car is a guaranteed way to make it rain? It’s the same concept.

If you don’t get ready for driving in snow—either forgetting your chains or foregoing your traction tires—I swear we’ll get heaps of white stuff in the mountains.

Wintertime driving in Bend requires preparation and patience. Even if you come via plane and rent a car, all-wheel-drive can make a difference when roads turn icy. Is it vital? Nope (says the blogger who has lived here 26 years without 4wd). Does it help keep you safe in snow and ice? Yep (says the blogger who has snow tires mounted in October).

Traction devices aside, failing to plan falls in the realm of ways to guarantee you get stuck in a big ol’ snowdrift. Meeting friends on the mountain? Make sure you leave late so you’re forced to drive fast and voila! Here comes the blizzard.

Lucky for you, there’s a way to stay safe and still get gobs of great snow.


Your good deed workaround:
Go ahead and get those tire chains. Put snow tires on the Subie or rent that AWD wagon. Leave ample time to reach any mountain destination because you’ve got an ace in the hole! Appease Mother Nature and Old Man Winter by following Leave No Trace practices when you’re hiking, biking, or skiing in Bend. They’ll see your good karma and bless us with snow, but you’ll be prepared. It’s a win/win winter!


Skiier carries their gear at Mt. Bachelor.

It is time to dust off those skis! | Image courtesy of Mt. Bachelor

Trick #2: Fail to check your gear 

Have you waxed your snowboard, checked your coat for rips, and rooted around in the closet for matching gloves? No? Really

Congratulations! Snow’s gonna fly like a hyperactive eagle in a windstorm. 

See, not having winter gear gets Mother Nature gleefully clapping and shouting, “Let’s show that sucker what we’ve got!” Then Old Man Winter looks at your sneakers and laughs. “If only they’d brought snow boots,” he says, “we wouldn’t need to do this.”

Poof! Two feet of snow, right there. Weird, right? I don’t make the rules.

But once again, there’s a way to have your snowy cake and eat it, too…


Your good deed workaround:
Gain good karma points by repairing old gear in advance of the snowfall. Bust out your needle and thread or find someone who specializes in gear repair (for the record, I’m madly in love with Rugged Thread, and Gear Fix also does awesome work). 

Get zippers fixed, those gloves scotchguarded, and all your goodies gathered in a pile. By repairing old gear instead of tossing it, you’re helping save the planet. Know who loves the planet? Mother Nature. Old Man Winter. Yeah, them.

But if you really need new gear, don’t sweat it—but do look for locally-owned Bend shops and retailers who share your values around protecting the environment. Secondhand gear shops are another great way to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Crisis averted! We get our snow, and you get to look fly on the mountain.


Mt. Bachelor sign as you drive up the mountain.

Snow-way we need to make reservations early, right?! Wrong! | Image courtesy of Mt. Bachelor

Trick #3: Think you don’t need reservations

Hoping to hit Bend on a holiday weekend? Or any weekend filled with ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and other forms of winter fun. Get the kiddos excited, pack up the car, and head to Bend with no hotel plans. Guess what you’re getting?

That’s right, SNOW!!! Tons of it. Buckets of white stuff.

I mean, you might not find a hotel room, or you may end up paying way more, but don’t those snowdrifts look lovely?

Don’t fret, my procrastinating friend. Let’s fix this one, too.


Your good deed workaround:
Once upon a time, you could roll  into Bend on a holiday weekend with no trouble finding a last-minute spot to stay. But here’s something you might not know, which helps you build karma points with the powers-that-be. Whenever you stay in a Bend hotel or vacation rental, some of your room tax goes toward the Bend Sustainability Fund. It’s Visit Bend’s program putting tourism dollars toward projects protecting and preserving our natural resources. Things like trail maintenance, signage, river restoration, and more. 

When you book a Bend hotel room or vacation rental, you’re not only ensuring a spot to sleep, but leaving Bend better than you found it. 

Go ahead and plan well in advance. Rumor has it Mother Nature and Old Man Winter look kindly on that. 


Blogger Tawna is doing her part by performing a snow dance in the backyard.

Blogger Tawna is doing her part by performing a snow dance in the backyard.

Trick #4: Do a snow dance

It’s a silly tradition. Kids boogie down in the basement hoping for a snow day, while winter enthusiasts shake their stuff on the front lawn as Old Man Winter smiles and says, “Yes, my child. You’ve pleased me with your poor sense of rhythm and fondness for eighties hair bands.”

And don’t get me started on how much Mother Nature loooooves tapping her toes while you twerk your way to a winter wonderland.


Your good deed workaround:
So it turns out a snow dance is required to get the white stuff flying. Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger. 

But why not revel in the chance to let your winter freak flag fly? Put on your snow pants, do a wild snow dance, and embrace the pure joy of winter season in Bend.

Hear that? It’s Mother Nature and Old Man winter applauding. Congratulations. You’ve just saved winter in Bend.

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