Everything You Need to Know About Winter in Sisters

Chris Smith | 11.25.20

When planning a winter vacation, it’s best to be prepared. Chilly temperatures, snow-covered roads, lukewarm hot chocolate – there are so many ways the winter season can throw a kink in your plans! 


Luckily, winter in Sisters is as magical as it is mysterious, offering breathtaking scenery, plenty of winter fun, and the toastiest cocoa in the area. To guarantee your winter vacation is warm and wonderful, read on for everything you need to know about winter in Sisters. 


True Winter. 

That’s right – the high desert country of central Oregon has a true winter. From November through February, average daily temperatures range from 20 to 40, with the coldest temps in mid-late December. As December is also the rainiest month of the year…


It snows. 

Winter days are mostly cloudy, and the area gets an average of 32 inches of snow per year. Much of Sisters’ snowfall occurs in December and January, with about 8’ of powder per month. While this makes the area a perfect wonderland for winter fun, it also means you should pack appropriately. You’ll want to dress in waterproof layers, have snow boots with plenty of extra socks, and be sure to include a hat, scarf, and gloves. 


The good news is, much of the area’s snowfall is concentrated to high-mountain elevations. The bad news is, you should…


Watch for road closures. 

Before traveling on area roadways, check the winter road conditions with a tool like TripCheck. As snowfalls rise, both major roads and popular trailheads become unsafe to access and are closed to motorists for the winter season.


If you’ve never driven in snowy conditions, you’ll need to be extra cautious. Spend time reviewing Oregon’s Winter Driving Guide and be sure you have the tools and time you need to reach your destination safely. Remember that Oregon requires that you have and use special equipment like snow chains or traction tires when driving in winter conditions, and you may need them to access some roadways or elevations.


You’ll want a Sno-Park Permit. 

Snagging a great parking spot is even better when it’s chilly outside. If you plan to visit any of the area’s designated winter recreation areas like HooDoo Ski Area, Ray Benson Sno Park, or Santiam Pass, you’ll need a valid Sno-Park Permit to park anywhere near the attraction.


Permits are sold at all DMV offices and by permit agents in resorts, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets in and around the area. There are three types of permits to choose from: an annual permit is $15, a three-day permit is $7, or a day permit is $3. 


For more information, view the Sisters Winter Trail Guide


It’s fun!

Sisters’ fun outdoor adventure doesn’t hibernate during the winter season – it just gets a snowy upgrade! Alpine and cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, tubing, and snowshoeing are just some of the fun winter activities available in the area. Winter attractions like HooDoo Ski Area or Mt. Bachelor make it easy to try several winter sports in a single day, or you can hit the Sisters trails for some solo snow play. 


Winter sports not your thing? No problem! There are also festive holiday events and activities like horse-drawn carriage rides to keep you in the seasonal spirit.


You’ll need a place to warm up.

After a day enjoying the snow, return to a warm and cozy Sisters rental to thaw out. Sisters Vacation Rentals has a wide variety of great accommodations that are just minutes from the area’s best winter attractions. 

Choose a rental like our Meadow View Cabin to enjoy stunning winter views while staying warm and toasty thanks to amenities like an inside wood stove and private outdoor hot tub!

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