Make the McKenzie Connection!

Hoodoo celebrating its 75th year

Skiers at Hoodoo BowlSANTIAM PASS: If the early plans of investors had panned out skiers could be making runs down Three Fingered Jack. When funding for a new road didn’t materialize, Bend businessman Ed Thurston constructed the Hoodoo Ski Bowl near the summit of the Santiam Pass in 1938. Before that he’d pioneered winter outings by operating a rope tow at White Branch in McKenzie Bridge.

Early construction at the base of Hoodoo Butte included two A-frame warming huts supplemented by a 30 by 150 lodge, rope tows, and a ski patrol shack. In 1950 workers built what was possibly the first double chair lift in the U.S.

Expansion plans got into high gear when Chuck Shepard of Eugene bought the business in 1999. New additions have included an expansive 60,000-square-foot lodge and quad chair lifts that access all 806 acres and the 1,035 feet of elevation. Among lifts added in 2001 was the Green - which replaced the old double chair. The Ed chair - named after Hoodoo’s founder - replaced the aging Red lift in 2001. The Manzanita triple chair serves the bowl, terrain park, and is open for night skiing. The Hodag lift was built in 1999.

Other parts of the facility include the beginner area which consists of a double chair (named Easy Rider), magic carpet, and a carousel and are isolated from other terrain. Tubers can access the Autobahn, which is on the northwest flanks of Hayrick Butte. Hoodoo also has a large selection of Nordic Skiing trails, both at high and lower altitudes.

As of Tuesday night, there was 13 inches of snow on the slopes – not enough for an opening. “We don’t have any specific events planned yet for the 75th anniversary, but we will have some coming later in the season,” according to spokesman Josh Alder. “We encourage Hoodoo guests to keep updated at, our Facebook page -- -- and Twitter at We’re going to be doing a lot of cool giveaways, contests, etc. for our fans this season via those outlets.


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