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Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Mt. Ashland Ski Area opened Dec. 8, with lifts running daily through Jan. 6. The ski area will then operate Thursdays through Mondays.

It’s almost the end of 2019, but 2020 looks good for the Mt. Ashland Ski Area.

The Southern Oregon ski-snowboard area, which opened Dec. 8, nearly a week ahead of schedule, will remain open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Monday, Jan. 6. The area will then operate at its normal Thursday through Monday schedule with the same hours. Beginning Jan. 9, Mt. Ashland will add twilight skiing Thursdays and Fridays through mid-March.

Although Pacific Northwest ski-snowboard areas have faced challenges because of light snowfall, as of late last week Mt. Ashland had the deepest natural snow base in Oregon – tied with Timberline at 34 inches, and was Oregon’s only ski area that is 100% open and operating all lifts and all of its 220 acres of terrain, including the “Bowl” that offers lift-serviced steep chute skiing.

“The snow is far better than people imagine, and we are hearing great things from our guests who have been coming in droves as is typical for the holiday season,” said Hiram Towle, Mt. Ashland’s General Manager, in a news release. “Guests are traveling from near and far to enjoy the unique and enjoyable experience offered by Mt. Ashland and the Rogue Valley.”

Towle notes the ski are benefits the Rogue Valley cities of Medford and Ashland and said the region has many gourmet restaurants along with award-winning wineries and a variety of accommodations.

“Mt. Ashland offers affordable skiing and snowboarding at just $52 for an adult weekend/holiday lift ticket,” Towle said, noting the charge is less than half the national average of $130 — based on the Kottke report, a comprehensive guide to the entire ski industry. Lesson packages are also offered at what he said are “some of the lowest prices in the region.”

Recent improvements include a $2 million renovation to the ski lodge, improved slopes, and grooming, as well as a free shuttle from Ashland that runs hourly on weekends and holidays.

“We are hearing from guests who have traveled from up and down the West Coast that Mt. Ashland offers a high-quality experience with a friendly, local vibe,” Towle said. “I often hear that people have come to prefer Mt. Ashland over larger ski areas. We rarely see the typical crowding you would expect across the industry. We’re known for our friendly staff, diverse terrain, and great value.”