Anthony Lakes Ski Area typically cranks it up in November and stays open into April (see calendar) and is arguably the best kept powder secret in the country, with an average annual snowfall of 300 inches, and first tracks of the week come with half price lift tickets every Thursday.
The Rock Garden chair lift serves twenty-one runs that drop over 1000 vertical feet. The dry climate in eastern Oregon, coupled with the 9,000-foot peaks of the Elkhorn Range result in a powder so dry the Anthony Lakes crew has to occasionally water it down around the lifts.
Nestled between Baker City and La Grande, this little-known mountain riders’ hideaway is located just 19 miles west of I-84. Locals know it as the place without lift lines,
If you like to take in the scenic views at a slower pace, you can cross-country ski or snowshoe on more than 30 km of groomed trails through the Anthony Lakes Basin and Elkhorn Range of the Blue Mountains. The world class Anthony Lakes Nordic Center was one of five nordic ski areas featured in the November 2010 issue of National Geographic Traveler.
Want a little something different? A Cat-ski operator and full guide service leads adventure seekers into the backcountry bowls and chutes within sight of lift-accessed groomers. At $39 for a day pass, even a post-golf afternoon in the spring is worth the easy 35-mile drive from Baker City.
Grab a snack at the Nordic Center or head back to the main lodge for lunch in the cafeteria. Or, after a half-dozen runs you may find yourself having a beer and burger at the Starbottle’s Bar watching spring training baseball on the big screen or listening to live music.
On October 1st, 2010 Baker and Union County Citizens became the new owners of the Anthony Lakes when the previous owners of the resort gifted the operation to Baker County. Baker County has since formed the Baker County Development Corporation (a 501C3 non profit) that operates and oversees management of the Ski area.
All-mountain season passes are just $475 for adults and a Nordic pass is just $189. Daily lift tickets for adults are $35. For more information on passes and lift ticket prices visit www.anthonylakes.com.
Anthony Lakes operates under a special-use permit from the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and is an Equal Opportunity Provider and Employer