Spend a few days curled up in winter wonderland lodging, warming up with a steamy drink and a crackling fire. The Cascade Mountains offer a snowy playground perfect for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and snowmobiling. Even when there isn't snow yet, or if you choose lodging below the current snow line, the wintery feel of the upper elevations is enticing.

Visit maintained Sno-Parks with sledding hills, trek to icy waterfalls or enjoy skiing and snowboarding at a mountain ski resort. Here are some favorite wintertime destinations you'll want to explore this season.

Office Covered Bridge in the Snow by Westfir Lodge

Office Covered Bridge in the Snow

Photo: Westfir Lodge


The communities of Oakridge and Westfir are often (but not always) just below the snowline. This makes overnight logistics easy, with the Willamette National Forest just a short drive away. Salt Creek Falls Sno-Park is just twenty miles south, with Gold Lake Sno-Park just five miles further. Also in the same vicinity is Waldo Lake Sno-Park, known for its snowmobiling trails. Willamette Pass is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding and cross country skiing.

After a day in the snow, stop and soak at McCredie Hot Springs, an all-natural hot springs. Then drop by the 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse for satisfying comfort food and a craft beer.

Great Basecamps

McKenzie River

There is a special magic about the McKenzie River area. A collection of small communities are carved out along the majestic McKenzie River. Snowshoe the McKenzie River Trail, which stretches for more than 20 miles alongside the river. Along the trail, you'll discover waterfalls and the hot springs-fed swimming pool at Belknap Hot Springs' rustic lodge. From here you are also close to the Hoodoo Ski area.

Classic Mountain Lodges

Cozy Cabins

Downtown Eugene in the snow

Photo: Melanie Griffin

Willamette Valley Metro

Sometimes it snows in the Eugene area. If your visit is during winter weather, stay in lodging perfect for snowy days. Hike or take the bus around downtown or stay indoors admiring the dazzling sparkle from warm, comfortable rooms. There are plenty of coffee shops serving up hot drinks, restaurants dishing up soups and stews, and distilleries pouring spirits. Poke around in a used book store, record store or antique shop. Show off your skill in an arcade or billiards parlor.

If the flakes aren't falling in town, you can still enjoy snowy day trips to Oakridge or the McKenzie River.

Perfect Places To Be Snow-Bound

A kayaker on the Willamette River in summer time
: Melanie Ryan Griffin

Willamette Valley

Eugene and Springfield, sister cities in the south end of Oregon's Willamette Valley are easily accessible…

And as always, the weather from the coast to the mountains can change quickly, so no matter where you roam dress with warm layers and be prepared for unexpected rain, ice and snow. Before heading out, check for any new travel alerts.