Hoodoo Ski Area sits on the summit of Oregon’s Santiam Pass and is Oregon’s most centrally located destination for winter sports enthusiasts. Just 44 miles west of Bend, 85 miles east of Eugene and 130 miles southeast of Portland, Hoodoo Ski Area offers more than 800 acres of terrain, 34 runs, five lifts and one of the largest tubing parks in the West. Founded in 1938, Hoodoo is Central Oregon’s original ski area and your destination for family-friendly fun in your backyard!
The ski slopes are on a big, rounded butte, with lots of wide open terrain. So whether you prefer the deep and challenging powder of Hoodoo’s backside or the finely groomed runs of the front side, the majesty of Hoodoo’s location and fun of Hoodoo’s night skiing will bring you back again and again.
|PEAK ELEVATION:||5,703 ft.|
|BASE ELEVATION:||4,668 ft.|
|VERTICAL DROP:||1,035 ft.|
|ACRES OF TERRAIN:||800 Acres|
|NUMBER OF RUNS:||34|
|MAXIMUM RUN LENGTH:||3 Miles|
|AVG. ANNUAL SNOWBASE:||10-15 ft.|
|AVG. ANNUAL SNOWFALL:||450 Inches|
Meet Harold the Hodag
We often get questions asking us about Hoodoo’s Hodag mascot, Harold. “What is a Hodag,” people wonder, “and why is he at Hoodoo?” The first Hodag was discovered in Rhinelander, Wisconsin in the late 1800s by a real estate entrepreneur named Eugene Shepard. About a hundred years later, his descendent, Eugene’s Chuck Shepard, also a real estate investor, found another Hodag living at Hoodoo in the deep snow. Harold and Chuck look a lot different than the earlier Hodag and the earlier Shepard, but both have a lot in common with each other.
The Hodags and the Shepards all originally started in Wisconsin. They shared a love of deep snow and wide open spaces. Unknown to each other at the time, both Harold and Chuck left Wisconsin in the early 1970s, leaving the rest of the Hodag and Shepard clan behind. Harold took up residency in the high Cascades and Chuck took up residency in the low Cascades (The Coburg Hills) for the first 25 years of their lives in Oregon. In 1999 both were attracted to the deep snow of Hoodoo and were surprised to find one another there. Harold had thought that Shepards were a myth, and Shepard, too, doubted the existence of Hodags. So, once again the Hodag and the Shepard joined to form excitement in the snow.
Harold in some ways is like his relatives, but the differences are also very pronounced. In the early days, as anyone can discover by going to a search engine and looking up “Hodag,” the animals lived on a meal of white bulldogs. In Oregon there is a shortage of white bulldogs and so Harold has taken a liking to goggles, single gloves, or socks with a mixture of French fries. The change in diet has changed the look of Harold as well. If one were to go to an historical file on Hodags one would find that Eugene Shepard’s Hodag was very fierce looking. Harold, on the other hand, is very friendly and would no longer even consider eating a bulldog. Shepard, on the other hand, is known to eat pretty much anything, just like his forebearer, and his looks are no better for it. This is why you normally see Harold on billboards rather than Shepard.
Shepard and Harold often enjoy reminiscing about their times in Rhinelander long ago, but both have formed a true love for life at Hoodoo, as well as a lasting friendship for one another. Shepard has also found that he has been able to sell a lot of extra goggles, gloves, and socks thanks to Harold’s eating habits. Also interesting is that the two have started looking alike, although you can still tell the difference between them because Harold is tall and green, while Shepard is short and off-white.