Backcountry skiing at Vista Butte

Tumalo Mountain, just across Century Drive from Mount Bachelor, is the best-known Central Oregon destination for backcountry snowriders. But Vista Butte is a decent option when Bachelor and Tumalo Mountain are getting pounded with wind and snow. Backcountry enthusiasts can skin or snowshoe to the top of 6,619-foot Vista Butte and ski or snowboard back down toward the sno-park. From the sno-park, reaching the summit of the butte to the northeast is a 2.5-mile trek with a 700-foot elevation gain. Most of the snowriding on Vista Butte is among the trees, so skiers and snowboarders should watch out for tree wells, areas around the bases of trees where unconsolidated snow collects and creates potential hazards for an unsuspecting snowrider.

Directions: From Bend, travel southwest along Century Drive toward Mount Bachelor. A few miles before Bachelor, Vista Butte Sno-park is located on the right side of the road.

— Mark Morical, The Bulletin

Reporter: 541-383-0318, mmorical@bendbulletin.com

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