Winter Is Far From Over | PNW Volcanoes Worth Skiing This Offseason

Winter Is Far From Over | PNW Volcanoes Worth Skiing This Offseason


Winter Is Far From Over | PNW Volcanoes Worth Skiing This Offseason


Chris Cardello making good use of volcanic terrain | Photo: Andre Charland

As the days get longer, the snow starts to melt, and the final pond is skimmed, many skiers are left with the same question: what now? If you’re not ready to call it quits just yet, we’ve got some good news: you don’t have to!

Related: All Skiers Could Learn From These PNW Hacks

Kick off this summer right with the ultimate Pacific Northwest road trip and ski some of the Cascade’s classic volcano lines. The deep maritime snowpack in the Cascades yields some epic skiing through the summer and we’ve created the perfect itinerary for you.

5 PNW Volcanoes Worth Skiing This Offseason

Mount St. Helens (8,365′)

Route: Worm Flows/Swift Glacier

Mount Saint Helens is a great place to start for first time volcano-skiers. The climb isn’t particularly technical so its a great place to hone your skills. Stand on the crater rim and enjoy views of Rainier, Adams and Hood before you reap your reward with corn turns right off the summit.

Elevation gain: 5,500 ft

Round trip distance: 12 miles

*During the summer season (May 15-October 31) permits are restricted to 100 people per day above 4,800 feet

Mount Adams (12,276′)

Route: South Rib

A classic, northwest ski, Mount Adams offers some of the best turns you’ll get all summer (and maybe even all year). Ascend the South Rib and enjoy a 4,000-foot sustained descent down the Southwest chutes off Piker’s Peak. This route is crevasse-free and in the right conditions you can walk right to the top.  This route is commonly done in one or two days.

Elevation gain: 6,700 feet

Round trip distance: 12 miles

*A $15 Cascade Volcano Pass is required above 7,000 ft June 1- September 30

Mount Hood (11,239′)

Route: Palmer Glacier

With lift-served skiing all year round, Mount Hood is a popular summertime destination for skiers from around the country. While most of them are sliding rails in the park, climb above the resort towards the legendary cone-shaped peak. If you don’t consider it cheating, you can start your ascent of Hood at 8,540 feet, by taking the Palmer lift up to the top of the resort.

Elevation gain: 5,300 feet

Round trip distance: 8 miles

*An adult day lift ticket for Timberline Lodge is $68

South Sister (10,358′)

Photo: H Dragon

Route: South Ridge

Of the famous trio, the South Sister is the highest, youngest and boasts the best skiable terrain. On a clear day, you’ll see half a dozen other skiable peaks from the summit, including Bachelor, Broken Top, and Jefferson. It’s the perfect spot to scout lines for your next summer mission.

Elevation gain: 5,000 feet

Round trip distance: 12 miles

*Really trying to get after it? Try your hand at what’s known as the Three Sisters Marathon, a burly traverse of all three peaks. Most commonly done north to south, the route is 19 miles with over 9,000 feet of climbing.

Mt. McLoughlin (9,495′)

Photo: David Wood

Route: East Ridge

A relatively hidden gem among the volcanoes, Mt McLoughlin boasts some killer terrain that often gets overlooked. With a sustained 45-degree pitch, the Northeast bowls are a seriously fun descent.

Elevation gain: 3,900 feet

Round trip distance: 11 miles

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