There is wonderful skiing near Seattle that’s some of the finest in the Northwest. Seattle ski resorts that are close to the city offer ample powder and plenty of thrills for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Some ski areas are perfect for a day trip from the big city while others are large enough to require a few days to explore. Ski resorts in the state of Washington are known for panoramic Pacific vistas, supple white snow and exciting trails for newbies and experts alike.
Here are a few of our favorite Seattle ski resorts nearby that don’t require you to pass through customs. These Washington ski areas are convenient, fun and affordable, and will have you booking your next ski trip to the Emerald City in no time. The chic, world-class Northwestern city is best known for the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and Starbucks, but also presents some magnificent skiing and snowboarding. Let’s take a peek.
Only an hour outside of Seattle, the Summit at Snoqualmie is an ideal day trip for awesome skiing with lots of powder. The resort receives more than 425 inches of snowfall per year on average, so powder days can run one after another. The Summit at Snoqualmie is an hour east of Seattle at Exit 52 along Interstate 90.
Spread out over four mountains, the resort serves up close to 2,000 skiable acres and more than 2,200 vertical feet of pure enjoyment. The resort also offers the most night skiing in the United States, with more than 600 acres across three mountain areas.
The resort has a great mix of terrain with trails of varying difficulty. Fourteen percent of runs are marked for beginners (green) while 33 percent is for intermediates (blue). Advanced skiing (black) takes the lion’s share at the ski area, with about 42 percent of the total terrain. Expert skiing (double black) accounts for the remaining 11 percent.
Terrain is serviced by a total of 25 lifts, including a trio of high-speed quad chairs, four quads, three triple chairs, nine double chairs and six surface lifts. There are also two sweet terrain parks with some quality skiing and snowboarding progressions. Snow tubing, Nordic and snowshoeing are also popular activities at the resort.
Advanced skiers and experts should head to Alpental for challenging skiing that’s some of the best in North America. There are large cliffs and other natural obstacles that will test the mettle of even the most seasoned pros. What an adrenaline rush!
Three other ski areas – Summit Central, Summit East and Summit West – are geared toward beginners and intermediate skiers and boarders. Summit Central has a nice blend of runs and is home to the resort’s two terrain parks and more than 600 acres of night skiing. The terrain parks cover more than 30 acres and are open six nights a week for fun after dark. Central Park is filled with several progressive challenges like rails, pole jams, jibs, boxes, stairs and mini balls. The other terrain park – called Greenhor Acres – is a hot spot for beginners who want to practice on a variety of boxes and rails.
Summit East is an intimate area of the resort with a sweet collection of intermediate and advanced runs as well as some prime backcountry skiing. The area has rugged trails with excellent tree skiing and a challenging grouping of Nordic trails.
Summit West is the beginners’ hub. West has additional night skiing opportunities and is where ski lessons take place. The area is not intimidating and an ideal introduction to skiing or snowboarding for anyone who want to give it a try.
Located about 100 miles from Seattle, Crystal Mountain is a great destination for a day trip or a long weekend from the Emerald City. It’s the state of Washington’s biggest ski resort. The ski area spans more than 2,600 acres in glorious Mount Rainier National Park in the Cascade Mountains and has some of the most incredible skiing and snowboarding in the West.
Crystal Mountain has 85 named trails and more than 300 acres of backcountry to explore. The resort has an impressive 3,000-plus feet of vertical rise from base to summit that is almost double what you’d see at another ski area – making it a popular spot for Washington skiers and snowboarders for more than five decades. The ski area is serviced by 11 total lifts and receives a whopping 480 inches of snow annually.
The ski resort has 57 designated trails that are mostly intermediate runs (54 percent). Another 35 percent of trails are for advanced skiers and experts while 11 percent is set aside for beginners. Crystal Mountain has everything from gentle groomed runs to challenging glades, chutes and steeps for more adventurous skiers and boarders. Over the past decade, the resort has invested in new lifts, terrain expansions, improved rentals, increase dining and guest experiences and day lodge renovations – so things are only getting better!
Less than 80 miles east of Seattle, Stevens Pass is big enough (1,125 acres of terrain) for accomplished skiers and small enough to not be too intimidating for newbies. The resort is spread across three sides of two mountains and has lots of thrills for all abilities with more than 1,800 vertical feet to conquer. The ski area has great intermediate skiing, and about 54 percent of the terrain is marked for it. Advanced and expert skiers will find about 35 percent of terrain perfect for their skill set while beginners can enjoy roughly 11 percent.
Stevens Pass gets plenty of snow – about 460 inches per year – and there’s oodles of powder and some excellent bowls, chutes, steeps and other stashes sprinkled across the resort. There’s even excellent night skiing offered at the resort five nights of the week.
Located on the Cascade Loop, Stevens Pass is a picturesque ski destination with additional outdoor activities like sledding, tubing, snowshoeing and a Snow Play Area. There are also a handful of beautiful mountain towns in the area to explore.
Big snow and huge thrills await at Mount Baker, another great ski resort in the Cascades near Stevens Pass. The ski area is a little further away from Seattle – about two hours – but totally worth it. It’s easy to ski Mt. Baker over a long weekend (or longer!) or spend a wonderful weekend splitting your time between Stevens Pass and Mount Baker.
Mount Baker holds the world record for annual snowfall at a ski resort with a mind-boggling total of 1,140 inches. Yes – that’s 95 feet of snow! At Mt. Baker, it’s thick, it’s deep and it’s a-plenty! The average is about 660 inches per year.
The ski area is a no-frills resort that’s all about skiing and snowboarding. You won’t find posh stores and fancy amenities here – just a lot of snow and a deep passion for playing in it. Mt. Baker sits in a protected National Forest and has breathtaking panoramic vista views to go along with a pretty affordable lift ticket price.
Mt. Baker is an excellent destination for intermediate skiers who will enjoy about 45 percent of the terrain at the resort. There’s about 30 percent market for advanced and expert skiers while beginners get a 20 percent stake on terrain. The ski area has a vertical drop of about 1,500 feet, so there’s some great action on the hill with a few nice opportunities to let ‘er rip.
Check out our website for great deals on skiing in Washington state at Seattle ski resorts like these. You’ll can find deals on lodging, lift tickets, ski rentals, dining and more that can add up to real savings on your vacation. Pick up a deal on our site and save money while having fun all at the same time. How can you beat that?