Washington State is one of the country’s most northern states, and while it’s not known for its major ski resorts like Utah or Colorado are, that doesn’t mean the Evergreen State is always so evergreen — it gets plenty of snow, too, and has mountains galore. There are plenty of ski and snowboard areas within driving distance of Seattle, and several located in Central and Eastern Washington as well. Whether you’re looking to ski, snowboard, sled, snowshoe or take up another winter sport, read on for a listing of the biggest ski resorts in Washington State.
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Washington’s largest ski resort is located close to both Seattle and Tacoma, and it’s a great destination in both winter and summer. While there’s no lodging right within the resort, Crystal Mountain partners with three nearby hotels — Alta Crystal Resort, Crystal Mountain Hotels and Silver Skis Chalets — to provide the full ski resort experience. Another perk of this ski area is that Washington’s highest restaurant is located here. The Summit House at 6,872 feet is open year-round, as is the gondola to the peak. Both are popular summer attractions. The ski area is also a great hiking destination in the summer and is one of the more welcoming mountains for non-skiers.
Crystal Mountain is fairly expansive and skiers and boarders will find all sorts of terrain here, from beginner areas (11% of the terrain), to intermediate (54%), all the way up to advanced and expert (35%). Crystal Mountain has 2,600 acres, 2,300 of which are serviced by lifts, more than 50 named runs and plenty of back... country too.
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The Summit at Snoqualmie’s four mountain areas are great for beginners and advanced skiers alike. Advanced skiers should head to the Alpental area, while beginners and families will feel more comfortable at Summit West. Each mountain area has dining available, and there’s also a tubing area and Summit Nordic Center where you can cross county ski or go snow shoeing.
The Summit doesn’t have lodging, but as it’s located on Snoqualmie Pass, there are lodging options not far off, several of which offer package deals with the ski area. Options include everything from private rentals to chain hotels, but one of the coziest places to stay is Suncadia Resort, which is about a half hour away. After a long day of skiing, Suncadia is the perfect place to relax at the onsite winery, in the hot tub or get a massage.
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Stevens Pass is snuggled into two national forests and the result is — you guessed it — a place that’s absolutely beautiful. The ski area gets an impressive 450 inches of snowfall each year over 1,125 acres of terrain. There are 37 runs at Stevens Pass, divided up as 11% beginner, 54% intermediate and 35% advanced. The Stevens Pass Nordic Center also opens up opportunities for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
There are several restaurants at Stevens Pass, including sit-down spots and places to grab a quick bite. Lodging options include cabins and hotels in nearby towns, but one of the best of these to stay in is Leavenworth, a Bavarian-themed town that not only has hotels, but also has plenty of German food and beer to cap off a day on the slopes.
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Mission Ridge is located on the eastern side of the Cascades and, as a result, is a bit sunnier than ski areas in Western Washington. Mission Ridge is also known for its light, dry powder — perks all around! The resort is large enough to have terrain for all — 36 named runs, divided into 10% easiest, 60% difficult, and 30% advanced.
The resort also offers rentals, lessons and child care, but does not have its own restaurants or lodging. Your best bet for meals is to head to Wenatchee about 11 miles away. Leavenworth and its Bavarian hotels and restaurants are also not far off.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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White Pass Ski Area has runs suited to beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers alike, all in a smaller, more approachable atmosphere that’s great for families. In fact, this ski area is super family friendly overall with child care for kids 2 through 6, and the Kids' Clinic Ski & Snowboard CampsKids' Clinic for younger children to learn to ski.
While White Pass isn’t overly large, this ski area has everything you need and a welcoming atmosphere to go with it. Rentals, lessons for all levels, lodging at Village Inn and dining options are all right on the mountain. The Nordic Center has more than 10 miles of trails for snowshoeing, cross country skiing and more. There’s also a terrain park if you want to work on your tricks and jumps.
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49 Degrees North has a whopping 82 marked trails, 30% of which are for beginners, 40% for intermediate, 25% for advanced and 5% for experts—meaning this resort area is one of the best in the state if you’re an accomplished skier looking for a challenge. Other amenities include a terrain park that’s filled with rails, boxes and more, as well as a Nordic center for cross country skiing and showshoeing.
49 Degrees North also offers lessons, equipment rentals, kids programs, child care and more. Like most Washington state ski resorts, the ski area partners with area hotels to offer ski and stay packages.
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From night skiing to a tubing hill to a terrain park, Mt. Spokane is a ski area with a bit of everything. The ski area is located within the wider Mt. Spokane State Park, meaning there’s lots to do not only in the winter, but also in the summer as the park opens up fishing, hiking, horseback trails and other outdoorsy pursuits. There are 45 designated runs divided into 23% beginner, 45% intermediate and 32% advanced. Throughout the season, the resort offers runs lit for night skiing.
Other perks of skiing at this ski area are a full lineup of lessons for all ages and skill levels, and equipment rentals. Mt. Spokane has not one, but three ski lodges to grab a bite to eat or relax at for a bit.