This special page has been set up by XC Oregon to keep our program skiers and Camp guests up-to-date on what we know and what we think about navigating the Mt Bachelor parking reservation system for Winter 2020/2021. If anyone has updated info you think should be added to this page, please share by sending a note to jd at xcoregon dot org. Please limit updates to verified info -- XCO does not want to be in a position of spreading rumors that lead to dark ends.
For starters, here's the direct link to the Mt Bachelor parking reservation page:
The really, really, really important thing you should do in reading the above Mt Bachelor official information about parking reservations is to understand the difference between ADVANCE and WEEK OF reservations. These are two different things -- but for a given skier they basically double the options to do what you want and when.
--> The parking reservation system began accepting Advance reservations as of Monday, November 9 at 7am PST.
--> The system is set up such that any human -- with a season or multi-day pass or not -- can book 7 days worth of Advance Reservations at any point throughout the winter. Repeat -- you do NOT have to show you have some kind of pass already in hand (that part of the advance info this fall proved inaccurate). The system just wants a unique name we are finding out to book another 7 days of Advance reservations.
--> Because the Advance system is so open-ended on who is eligible to set up 7 days per person of Advanced reservations, multiple high traffic days are already filled on the system right now. PLEASE DO NOT PANIC. All that has happened is that the Advanced reservation allocation for a given day (say a Saturday in December or January ) is "filled". In reality, the only thing that filled is the Advance allocation (for sake of argument, let's say 30% of the parking Mt Bachelor is ultimately going to offer on that day). Once you get 8 days out from that Saturday (so the Saturday before your target Saturday), a whole new allocation (the XC Oregon guess is 60-70%) opens up.
---> Advance Reservations were set up for long term planning (say a family coming from out-of-state in March). But for every day of the season, Mt Bachelor will release on a rolling basis a bigger and additional allocation of parking reservation spots seven days and continue offering those spots right up to the target day itself. These are called "Week Of" reservations. These are what most skiers want to aim for. On lower volume days, it'll be easy to snag a "Week Of" reservation minutes before you hop in the car to go to the mountain.
--> If you are attending the Fall Camp or really, really, really want to ski on any particular day (yes, even weekends and holidays) and you did not or could not make an Advance reservation -- DO NOT PANIC. You will very likely be able to get a reservation for any upcoming day once the system enters the "Week Of" window ahead of that given day. The week of window begins at 7am PST exactly 7 days prior to your target day. So -- for example -- if you need a reservation for Fall Camp on Friday, December 11 .... your "Week Of" parking reservation window opens up to the universe at 7am PST on Friday, December 4. Just go on your device, load up mtbachelor.com, and the smart money is that you will find PLENTY OF SPACE for that selected day that was previously unavailable. Here's the link:
--> "Week of" reservations are entirely separate of "Advance" reservations in what every human is allowed. So if you have seven Advance reservation spots held in February/March and you make a couple "Week Of" reservations in December -- those December Week Of reservations are totally different allocations and all fair. So in theory, once the season starts, a single person could hold at any given instant 14 days of total parking reservations between the two systems.
--> Note that you can modify your reservation in terms of the car license at any time. So if you aren't sure someone is going up with you or which car you are using, don't worry about that right now. Just book a spot with your known info and change details to fit later. If you will have a rental car, just make up a car license plate for the time being.
--> The ParkWhiz app can be downloaded to phones now and some folks already find it handy for managing reservations instead of worrying about paper printouts.
--> Do NOT freak out about the time posted on the reservation system (usually appears as 9am). You are allowed to check in to the Mt B parking lots at 7am (you have to scan a smart phone or paper print out with your reservation info). No, you apparently cannot ski earlier than that (sorry dawn patrol folks). You have to check out latest by 6pm. We are guessing they will actually close the gate on both ends, but that's just a guess.
--> When you make Mt Bachelor parking reservations, just ignore the street address and map you see on the booking page. Mt Bachelor parking reservations can be used at whatever lots are open on the day you visit. The ParkWhiz system is more familiar with city or event parking which is fixed to a given location -- not so much for a ski resort in the middle of a National Forest.
--> Some reservation days will offer Nordic options for Advance and/or Week Of reservations. Other days will not. Do NOT worry about this. Just make any free reservation you can get when it is available. The reality is that difference between "Nordic" and "alpine" parking in the virtual parking world is maybe 100m walk. But in the real world, XC Oregon seriously doubts that you won't be able to park on the Nordic side of the parking lot regardless of what type of reservation you made. But even if they end up enforcing the difference, it's not going to be a hardship.