For our birthday gifts we really love to give each other different experiences rather than things. It is something we changed to as we find it brings us more joy and we are fortunate enough that we have everything we need. I grew up ski racing at Ski Bowl and know the area well in that aspect. For my birthday this year my husband got us adventure passes for Ski Bowl Adventure Park because I have been saying for years that I wanted to try their alpine slides – this year was the year and we were able to explore in summer which was a really amazing experience.
There are a variety of passes you can buy depending on what you interests are. The two different adventure passes give you access to some of the biggest activities and then discounts on other. There is an all day pass for $42 and a 3-hour pass for $37. The Action Pass is $79 and gives you everything the Adventure pass gave you plus 3 of the Premier attractions. Everything can be bough ala karte as well. Check out their website for the most up to date packages and pricing.
The Alpine Slides are what attracted me most (I have done them in Europe and they are a complete hoot!), but the area boasts more than 20 attractions in the summer, so here is the run down of a few of the biggest attractions.
Alpine Slides: These are the main attraction as far as I am concerned! Found at the base of Ski Bowl West there are 2 identical half-mile long tracks that race down the hill from the mid-station of the Lower Bowl Sky Chair. The sleds are usually waiting for you at the top but you might have one catch a ride up the chair lift with you (don’t worry though, the very nice lift ops will take care of everything in load and unloading them). At the top of the course the attendants will give you all of the instructions as to how the sleds work and go over the rules (such as: DON’T STOP ON THE TRACK…we saw a really bad crash, so please don’t stop on the track!). You have full control over your sled and average speeds are 20+mph, although nearly twice that has been achieved. We found the first run or two we were a bit more cautious as we got to know the sleds and the track. After that, we were ready to move to the advanced/fast track!
Aqua Rollers: This was a lot of fun. You will find these at the base of Ski Bowl East (the Multopor Side) and they are a lot of fun. They are inflatables set in the middle of a pool and you can feel like a hamster as you spin the Aqua Roller round and round. There were a lot of squeels and giggles coming from inside and my fellas had a hard time standing up the whole time. There was no line the day we were there so the guys played as long as they had the energy and then asked to come out. It is in the shade here and mostly enclosed so they didn’t get wet at all.
Summer Tubing Hill: This is also found at the Ski Bowl East Base. This was fun and low key. The tubes don’t slide quite as fast on the mats as the do on the snow, so after the alpine slides it was less exciting. This is great though for little kids who might be afraid of really fast things and they have a nice conveyor belt system that helps you bring the tubes and your kids up the hill.
There are so many more things to do here. We had a really nice hike on the mountains and our vistas included the snow covered Mt. Hood most of the time. The park has activities for kids and adults of all ages offers various activity levels also. Things like zip lining, 27 holes of frisbee golf and 9 holes of mini-golf, rock climbing, bungy trampolines, batting cages, pony rides, Jacobs Ladders, slack lines, go-karts, bungy jumping, a tree top tour and old school games like Badmittons, bean bag toss (aka Corn Hole), and horseshoes. In Government Camp (aka “Govy”) is the Ratskeller which is great for getting some food or a beer, but the advertised arcade was a huge disappointment. They have skee ball, but only one ramp was working and we were able to play 2 other games (everything else was either broken or off). The folks working there were very nice an accommodating, but we won’t go again unless we are hungry or thirsty.
The mountain biking is a huge draw to Ski Bowl Adventure park too. You can chose to ride up the hill yourself or you can catch a ride on the Sky Chair. If you are new to the sport there is the Bike Learning Center that will teach you the ins and outs and then you can hit the various trails and terrain parks.
I might not be posting this at the right time because we got there a couple of weeks before the summer season ended. It was the perfect time to go (late September) because there weren’t very many people, we didn’t have to wait in lines, and we got to ride the slides as many times as we wanted – it was great! The bright side of me posting this now is so you can start planning for when the snow melts and the park opens again next summer! Although, and I might be biased, Ski Bowl is one of my favorite resorts to ski in Oregon so we will be up again soon. You should probably have a look at their winter website to see if you want to plan an earlier trip up this winter too!