If you love skiing, then you’re likely on the lookout for the next best place to hit the slopes. The state of Washington offers many exciting ski resorts to fulfill your need for fresh snow. From family-friendly slopes to trails suited primarily for intermediate and expert skiers, there’s an ideal ski resort for everyone in this Pacific Northwestern state. Stay at one of numerous cozy Washington vacation rentals for an unforgettable ski trip. That said, take a look at the six best ski resorts in Washington.
1. Crystal Mountain Resort
Crystal Mountain Resort is the largest ski area in the state and offers more than 50 trails and some backcountry areas for days filled with fun. Only about 11 percent of the trails are rated for beginners so families with newbies might look for something a little easier. This resort is a little more than an hour and a half drive from Seattle. The resort offers ski lessons for all experience levels and a special day camp called Crystal Kids that include lunch and the ski lift tickets. The Summit House at 6,872 feet is the state’s highest restaurant, and you can enjoy a meal with a brief gondola ride, and you don’t have to ski back down; simply ride the gondola back to the bottom after the meal.
2. White Pass Ski Area
White Pass Ski Area is the perfect area for the family with small kids who have never skied before the trip. It’s a smaller resort than some of the mountains and offers an equal number of beginner, intermediate, and expert trails. It’s about three hours from this resort to Seattle so add in the drive time if you’re flying into the city first. Sign little ones up for the Kids’ Clinic Ski and Snowboard CampsKids’ to help them get up to speed. In addition to 40 trails and numerous lifts, there are several ski jumps available for more advanced skiers. White Pass Tubing Hill is a popular place for families and even grown kids at heart. At the Nordic Center, find 10 miles of groomed trails for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.
3. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park
For night skiing, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park is the place to go. This resort offers just a little over 50 trails and five lifts to provide you with a variety of options during your ski break. Decide between zooming down the mountain on traditional skis or a snowboard. If you’ve always wanted to try snowboarding, sign up for a lesson at the resort about an hour from the Spokane Airport. If you have really small children, there’s an on-sight daycare center along with a child’s program for kids not old enough to ski by themselves or keep up with the adults. Tube at the Top is a fun family activity for all ages. Small children can ride in the tube with a parent or older sibling.
4. Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort
Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort is known for its light powdered snow. If you’re flying in from out of state, this resort is about three hours from both the Seattle and Tacoma airports. With its location on the eastern side of the Cascades Mountains, this resort receives plenty of sunlight so bring your sunglasses and sunscreen. The resort offers more than 50 trails for varying skill levels and six lifts to get you where you want to go. The Mission Ridge Terrain Park is a hot spot for snowboarders who want more of a challenge than the smooth slopes. You can purchase a pass for the lifts and terrain park that’s good for three days with the Triple Play Pass.
5. Summit at Snoqualmie
Made up of four mountain areas, Summit at Snoqualmie is the place for skiers of all skill levels and ages so bring your entire family to this vacation destination. It has more than 120 trails and more than 25 lifts for easy access to the trails you want. Summit West is the place for beginner and intermediate skiers while the more advanced and expert skiers flock to Alpental area. Less than an hour from Seattle, this resort is a popular place for locals. There’s a dedicated tubing area and groomed trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at the Summit Nordic Center. Take a Nordic ski class if you want to learn the art of cross-country skiing.
6. Stevens Pass Ski Area
Wedged in between two national parks leaves Stevens Pass one of the most beautiful ski resorts you’ll get to visit. The area receives around 450 inches of fresh snowfall each season so you’re almost always skiing on fresh powder. More than half the trails are rated for intermediate skiers and only 11 percent for beginners so it’s not the ideal spot for someone who wants to try skiing for the first time. The park features 10 lifts and 52 trails for a variety of challenges. Visit the Snow Play Area for a little horsing around on tubes or zooming down the hills on a sled.
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