10 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Washington State, 2021

Written by Brad Lane
Nov 17, 2020

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No matter the time of year, the state of Washington is never lacking in fast-paced recreation. During the summer months, the mountains of Washington cater to hiking, biking, and overnight camping. But come winter, skiing and snowboarding dominate.

Whether you are just figuring out the pizza-pie stopping technique, or you prefer to shred in the backcountry through fresh powder, the state of Washington offers plenty of chances to carve down a mountain.

The type of snow and amount of precipitation varies from ski resort to ski resort in Washington. The common denominator between the best ski resorts in Washington, however, is the refreshing feeling of entering a winter wonderland the moment you get off the chairlift.

Changes to the 2020/2021 season in Washington: Many ski resorts in Washington are implementing new protocols for the 2020/2021 season due to health and safety concerns. In some cases, reservations may be necessary to visit. Visitors should expect to use face masks in public areas, including on chairlifts. Food and beverage options will also look a little different, with reduced seating capacity indoors. Check the resort’s official website before arriving.

Find the best spot for your next winter vacation with our list of the top ski resorts in Washington State.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Mt. Baker Ski Area

Mount Shuksan Ski Lodge
Mount Shuksan Ski Lodge

Just over an hour east of Bellingham in northern Washington, Mt. Baker Ski Area shares a border with North Cascades National Park. The 1,000 acres of skiable terrain you'll find at Mt. Baker lies sandwiched between the inspiring peaks of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

With an average of over 600 inches of snow a season, the Mt. Baker Ski Area receives the most snowfall out of any ski resort in Washington, which means powder days are more common than not.

With groomed routes and extensive tree lines, plus a large terrain park, Mt. Baker caters to the beginner skier, the backcountry expert, and everyone in between. And with 150 days making up the average ski season, many winter athletes flock from all sides of the country to enjoy the extended season.

Alongside great skiing, Mt. Baker hosts numerous social gatherings, including "Music on the Mountain" during weekends throughout the season. Mt. Baker is also home to the Legendary Banked Slalom in February, which features sure-footed snowboarders flying down a twisting track.

Address: Mount Baker Highway, Deming, Washington

Official site: https://www.mtbaker.us/

Accommodation: Where to Stay near Mt. Baker Ski Area

2. The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie
The Summit at Snoqualmie

The Summit at Snoqualmie comprises four mountain bases, including Summit East, Summit Central, and Summit West. The fourth ski area at Snoqualmie, Alpental, is on the other side of Interstate 90 and features steeper terrain.

The cumulative Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski resort to Seattle and caters to all types of skiers and boarders. This convenient location makes the Summit at Snoqualmie a popular destination, but it's really the world-class winter terrain within the Mount Baker/Snoqualmie National Forest that keeps the chairlifts running.

The Summit at Snoqualmie has plenty of winter recreation value even if you're not from Seattle. The mountain has more than 100 designated downhill runs and almost 2,000 skiable acres to explore. Over 20 chairlifts and surface lifts spread out the crowds that visit on the weekends.

Summit at Snoqualmie also features 50 kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails leading out from the resort. Other resort amenities include snow tubing, night skiing, and slope-side lodging.

Address: 1001 WA-906, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Official site: http://www.summitatsnoqualmie.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Snoqualmie Pass

3. Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort
Crystal Mountain Resort

Standing nearly in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park, Crystal Mountain Resort provides 2,600 skiable acres to shred, 10 chairlifts, and one eight-passenger gondola to ride into the sky.

If the weather is right, Crystal Mountains also provides one of the best views of Rainier you'll ever see while skiing down a slope.

The resort is located only two hours from Seattle and Bellevue, and visitors should expect chairlift lines on the weekends. But as the largest ski resort in the state of Washington, there's plenty of mountain to explore once you've made it to the top.

Alongside a new logo and user-friendly website, Crystal Mountain recently acquired new terrain and snowmaking equipment.

Beginner visitors can take advantage of the new Terrain Based Learning at the resort, and snowshoe enthusiasts have six new snowshoe trails to explore in the Bullion Basin Area. The resort also added new gondola cabins to their Mt. Rainier Gondola.

Address: 33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd, Enumclaw, Washington

Official site: https://crystalmountainresort.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Enumclaw

4. Stevens Pass Resort

Stevens Pass Resort
Stevens Pass Resort

Spanning three sides of two different mountains, Stevens Pass is a pinnacle of Washington skiing. With more than 1,125 acres to explore and 460 inches of average snowfall each winter, experts and beginners alike can enjoy the wide variety of runs at Stevens Pass. Ten different chairlifts, including four high-speed quads, service the large amount of terrain.

The wide variety of dining options, including the Cascadian Kitchen, provide plenty of warm spots to dry your mittens. Throw in the night skiing that happens nearly every day of the week during the peak winter months, and it's easy to see why Stevens Pass is one of the most popular ski spots in all of Washington.

Stevens Pass is only 90 minutes from Seattle, and its proximity to the Emerald City also makes it a popular destination.

The resort is even closer to the Bavarian town of Leavenworth on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. One of Washington's best small towns to visit, Leavenworth provides an awesome winter weekend getaway in combination with Stevens Pass.

The abundant cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails at the Stevens Pass Nordic Center also makes it one of the most popular spots for other winter recreation.

Address: US-2, Skykomish, Washington

Official site: https://www.stevenspass.com/site

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Skykomish

5. 49° North Mountain Ski & Snowboard Resort

49 North Mountain Ski & Snowboard Resort
49 North Mountain Ski & Snowboard Resort | Ski Picture Archive / photo modified

Less than 60 miles north of Spokane in northeast Washington and surrounding Chewelah Peak, 49° North Mountain Resort is a favorite in the region for skiing and snowboarding. Much of the popularity of 49° North relies on its impressive 2,300 acres of skiable terrain and 50 different runs.

But like all ski resorts on this list, it's the community and entertainment options that solidify this Washington ski resort as one of the best.

Featuring weekly events like Saturday Night Skiing and Live Music, plus annual celebrations like Hawaiian Daze, the fun never really stops at 49° North. The Boomtown Grill in the main lodge offers other tasty reasons to visit.

Lift tickets to 49° North are now available through the Indy Pass, which gives skiers two-day access at 46 different resorts across the country.

Address: 3311 Flowery Trail Road, Chewelah, Washington

Official site: http://www.ski49n.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Chewelah

6. White Pass Ski Area

White Pass Ski Area
White Pass Ski Area | John Johnston / photo modified

Within eyesight of Mount Rainier, White Pass Ski Area draws big crowds from the town of Yakima only 50 miles away.

Featuring more than 1,500 acres of accessible terrain, serviced by six chairlifts and two rope-tows, White Pass is a true winter gem in the state of Washington. Add in the slope-side dining and lodging at White Pass, and this ski area offers a full winter vacation.

Away from the slopes and wide variety of routes for every level of skier, White Pass hosts a huge number of events and other snow activities.

A Winter Carnival in February provides a fun winter party for the whole family. And a Nordic Center at the resort caters to a different type of skiing with 18 kilometers of groomed trails.

Address: 48935 US Highway 12, Naches, Washington

Official site: http://skiwhitepass.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Naches

7. Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort | Sam DeLong / photo modified

Mission Ridge, on the eastern portion of the Cascade Range, touts itself as having a small mountain vibe with big mountain terrain. As evidence, you'll find not only 2,000 acres to explore while skiing or snowboarding Mission Ridge, but rarely will there be a line on any one of their four chairlifts. This relaxed atmosphere at Mission Ridge adds nicely to the adrenaline-pumped action on the slopes.

To take in all the fun of Mission Ridge, night skiing is offered every Saturday throughout the winter. The Hampton Lodge at the mountain's base serves up some of the best poutine (French fries topped with cheese curds and gravy) found in the entire state.

Mission has been actively working to expand operations since 2015. New improvements to the resort will include expanded beginner terrain and overnight lodging options. For the 2020/2021 season, the resort updated their iconic Liberator Express chairlift to a high-speed, four-person lift with plexiglass covers.

Address: 7500 Mission Ridge Road, Wenatchee, Washington

Official site: https://www.missionridge.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Wenatchee

8. Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park

Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park
Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park

Entirely encompassed by Mt. Spokane State Park, and only 25 miles away from Spokane, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park features 1,700 skiable acres, six chairlifts, and an average of 300 inches of snowfall a year.

It's not the quantity of snow Mt. Spokane receives that draws the most attention, it's the quality. On the drier east side of Washington, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park receives light and fluffy snow throughout the season.

Mt. Spokane offers night skiing Wednesday through Saturday between December and March. The Children's Choice Tubing Hill at the resort is also open on the weekends.

The four terrain parks are also popular spots at Mt. Spokane, including the natural Gnarwood Forest, which is made up of organic features.

Address: 29500 N Mt. Spokane Park Drive, Mead, Washington

Official site: http://www.mtspokane.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay near Mead

9. Alpental Ski Resort

Alpental Ski Resort
Alpental Ski Resort

Included within the four ski areas that make up Summit at Snoqualmie, Alpental stands uniquely apart from the other three mountain bases. Not only is Alpental on the other side of Interstate 90 from the rest of the resort, but the ski area also offers more variety and challenging terrain. Featuring 800 acres, Alpental primarily comprises more difficult runs suited to advanced skiers.

The Alpental Back Bowls features some of the best backcountry skiing you can easily access in the state. Alpental does have a small spread of beginner routes, but it's not a beginner mountain, and good technique, as well as avalanche safety and knowledge are required.

Alpental also hosts its own dining opportunities, including fresh tacos and burritos at the Powder House.

Address: 1001 State Route 906 Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Snoqualmie Pass

10. Ski Bluewood

Ski Bluewood base area
Ski Bluewood base area | Ski Picture Archive / photo modified

Also known as the Bluewood Ski Area, Ski Bluewood is close to both the Oregon and Idaho border in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington.

With only 400 skiable acres and roughly 25 named runs, Ski Bluewood isn't the biggest resort in Washington by any means, but to some, it's the best-kept ski secret in the state.

With a base height of 4,450 feet, leading to ample snow throughout the winter, Ski Bluewood has a long and consistent season. Lift tickets are also more affordable here.

Whether you happen to be on the east side of Washington or you are looking for a family-friendly alternative to massive mountain resorts, you'll feel ready for a satisfying night's sleep after a full day exploring the slopes of Ski Bluewood.

Address: 2000 N Touchet Road, Dayton, Washington

Official site: http://www.bluewood.com/

Accommodation: Where to Stay in Dayton

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