Parking at Teacup: Q & A + ACTIONS you can take...

January 11, 2022

Parking at Teacup: Q & A + ACTIONS you can take...

Parking… we know it’s a big concern! You’ve managed to get your crew going in the morning and navigate the roads only to wait 20 minutes to park.  Or worse, the lot is 100% full!  We read your emails and see your social media questions.  In reply, we have tried to assemble honest, simple answers… even if they are frustrating and not really what any of us want.  It is complicated and many persons are involved.  But… change can happen.  And we need your help.  So here we go…

What’s up with the Teacup Sno-Park parking area?

  • On Mt. Hood, Oregon Dept. of Transportation plows the parking lots for ski areas and trailheads, including Teacup's, just like they do the roads.  

  • We think the local plow managers and drivers do an AMAZING job given extreme winter conditions.  Give them a friendly thumb’s up when you see them next!

  • This is all funded by the sno-park pass you need to purchase; so please get one.

  • The Teacup Sno-Park is not part of Teacup Nordic’s “ski area” permit; rather, it is controlled by the US Forest Service.  This is different than other ski areas where their parking is inside their boundary area and so they can better control of their lots (to close or open them, signage, etc.)  This is why we are limited in our abilities; for example, we cannot prevent Meadow’s skiers from using it.

What are you doing about Meadow’s chronic impacts upon Teacup?

  • We know that Mt. Hood Meadows overflows to Teacup on popular days.  This usually is only two to four times per year. We have asked them to do better for years, and to their credit they have made operational shifts to better prevent this.  For example, last year they started asking their skiers to not park at the Teacup sno-park.  

  • It is helpful to know they also get non-Meadow's skiers parking in their lots to head into the backcountry.  This makes it tough for them to know how many of their guests they can welcome.
  • As occurred two weekends ago (1/9/22) sometimes this happens - in party - because they fail to have opened all of their parking.  This is when we all get especially frustrated...  You can see below the portion of Twilight not plowed was because they ran out of time.  Its helpful to remember that every ski area was stretched thin from digging out after the preceding week's massive snowfall / rain weather event.

  • Know that we have explained to their leadership that when Meadow’s sells more tickets than they can park, their overflow robs our nonprofit of trail fee revenues.  And it robs you of the opportunity to cross country ski.  Understandably, they don’t like to acknowledge this and sell fewer tickets.  BUT... to their credit, they did react by selling fewer tickets ahead of the popular MLK weekend and ZERO parking problems occurred.  Their actions are appreciated!

  • We have suggested you should be able to expect highway 35 to remain passable, not clogged with their skiers waiting to get in to the lots they closed.  Know that they agree with this.

  • They know their operational choices create really unsafe roadway conditions for the public, and it takes the County Sherriff’s time away from other duties.  It just isn't safe to park or walk along the highway.  DO NOT WALK ALONG THE HIGHWAY to get to Meadows.

  • There is very little we can do because their permit to operate on National Forest Land is privately held. Just as we do, you can email them to encourage them.  Please remember that being respectful is usually the most effective approach.  

Isn’t there a government regulator in charge of this parking mess? 

  • The US Forest Service regulates all ski areas on the mountain (Meadows, Ski Bowl, Teacup, Timberline), including how they operate, grow, etc.  

  • You can email the District Ranger in charge to encourage proactive action with Meadow’s chronic overflows, the need for better parking or any other concern at: kameron.sam@usda.gov with a CC to the direct permit administrator, allison.sweeney@usda.gov  Public input helps them do their work.

  • They get parking is an issue that needs to be addressed.  They are engaged and meet with every ski area frequently to identify better tactics and actions.  

  Who is the best democratically elected contact for this issue?
  • Because all of this is on National Forest Land, the elected representatives in regards to this matter are our federal delegation.  

  • Congressman Blumenauer’s new (post-redistricting) area includes Mt. Hood which makes him along with Senators Wyden and Merkley the right contacts to encourage action.  To their credit, they have staff engaged on this issue.

  • Please know they are aware of these chronic issues and care about them.  And hearing from their constituency as to the urgency is important.  They welcome public input; you can just email them.  This is important from the standpoint of longer term, capacity investment solutions.

  Can Teacup Nordic do anything to help?
  • Yes… and you probably have noticed some recent changes.

  • We are now parking some areas at 90 degrees because this increases the Teacup Sno-Park capacity by 20% to 30%, depending on the amount of snow that day.  (From 160-180 up to 210-220.)  This is how we hosted Mt. Hood Nordic programs, a big high school race and the Tea Party event last Saturday and did not run out of parking. 

  • We have started to use VOLUNTEER parking lot attendants to ensure cars, vans and trucks park efficiently.  Please consider helping for one morning shift!

  • We have started to use signage to more clearly denote where you can park at an angle, versus a normal perpendicular method.  Please abide by these signs… even longer vehicles.  These signs must be put up and taken down every time; volunteers do this.

  • We need more volunteers; please email us (info@teacupnordic.org) if you would be willing to take a shift or help with signage setup and removal.

  • Big sprinter & trucks; your rigs are awesome!  But if you worry about being too long to fit at 90 degrees behind the barriers, please park at the top or bottom of the sno-park where there is plenty of room to do so.  It is not ok to occupy multiple stalls and prevent other skiers from enjoying their ski day.  We are all in this together…

  • We have moved some of our programs an hour earlier to get ahead of the general “peak” demand; this is to better assure you of a place to park.  Thanks for waking up the kids a bit earlier!

  • Please consider taking the bus!  From Hood River, check out the “Gorge-to-Mountain” bus from CAT.  (We understand the bus has not been running this season so far; know we consistently encourage this be better resourced.)

  • Please respect our ADA parking at the top of the lot.  We have adaptive sport athletes that rely upon this to ski.  Please respect the ski patrol parking area. 

  So please remember to:
  1. Leave extra drive-time and come up highway 35 (vs 26)

  2. Volunteer for parking attendant duty; we need help from 8a to 11a most weekends

  3. Make your voice heard to encourage action be taken 

  4. For the youth program, races, etc… leave extra time for parking lot patience

  5. Park close to the next car and encourage others to do soT

  6. Try an afternoon ski; the sunsets at Teacup are often breathtakingly beautiful  




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