10 Top-Rated Ski Resorts in Washington State
No matter the time of year, the state of Washington is never lacking on fast-paced recreation. During the summer months, the mountains of Washington cater towards hiking, biking, and overnight camping, but come winter, skiing and snowboarding dominate the slopes. Whether you are just figuring out the pizza-pie stopping technique, or you prefer to shred in the backcountry through fresh powder, there are plenty of opportunities to carve your way down a mountain in Washington. While the best ski resorts in the state do vary with the type and amount of snow they receive, the common denominator between all ski resorts in Washington is the refreshing feeling of stepping off the chairlift into a winter wonderland.
1 Mt. Baker Ski Area
Just over an hour north of Bellingham in Northern Washington, Mt. Baker Ski Area shares a border with North Cascades National Park, and the 1,000 acres of skiable terrain you'll find there lies sandwiched between the inspiring peaks of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. With an average of 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 agree that Mt. Baker is perhaps the best ski resort on that side of the country.
2 The Summit at Snoqualmie
Comprised of four mountain bases including Summit East, Summit Central, and Summit West, the cumulative Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski resort to Seattle and caters to all types of Puget Sound skiers and tourists. 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. Featuring more than 100 designated runs and almost 2,000 skiable acres to explore, plus 50 kilometers of groomed Nordic ski trails leading out from the resort, The Summit at Snoqualmie has plenty of winter recreation value even if you're not from Seattle.
3 Crystal Mountain Resort
Standing nearly in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park, Crystal Mountain Resort provides more than 2,600 skiable acres to shred, 10 chairlifts, and one eight-passenger gondola to ride into the sky, and if the weather is right, perhaps one of the best views of Rainier you'll ever see while skiing down a slope. Located under two hours from both Seattle and Bellevue, Crystal Mountain Resort can have some chairlift lines on the weekends, but as the largest ski resort in the state of Washington, you'll be able to find plenty of mountain to explore all to yourself once you've made your way to the top.
4 Stevens Pass Resort
Spanning three sides of two different mountains, Stevens Pass is a pinnacle of Washington skiing, with more than 1,200 acres to explore and 450 inches of average snowfall each winter. Experts and beginners alike can enjoy the wide variety of runs that Stevens Pass caters to with their 10 high-speed chairlifts. Even for non-skiers, the wide variety of dining options, including the Cascadian Kitchen, provides 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.
5 49° North Mountain Resort
Less than 60 miles north of Spokane in Northeast Washington, surrounding Chewelah Peak, 49° North Mountain Resort is an absolute 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 the ski resorts on this list, it's the community and entertainment options that solidify this Northeastern Washington ski resort as one of the best. Featuring weekly events like Saturday Night Skiing and Live Music, plus annual celebrations like Hawaiian Days, the fun never really stops at 49° North and its seemingly unending ski slopes.
6 White Pass Ski Area
Within 25 miles of the peak 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. Off the slopes and away from the wide variety of routes for every level of skier, White Pass hosts a huge number of events, like the Winter Carnival that provides the perfect winter parties for the whole family. Whether it's for the skiing, or just for staying warm during the cold months of winter, White Pass provides more than enough fuel to keep your fire burning.
7 Mission Ridge Ski & Snowboard Resort
Mission Ridge, on the Eastern portion of the Cascade range, touts itself as having a small mountain vibe with big mountain terrain. As evidence to that, 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, proving that Mission Ridge really does provide a relaxed atmosphere with access to adrenaline-pumping action. To take in all the fun of Mission Ridge, night skiing is offered every Saturday throughout the winter, and 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.
8 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 has a lot going for it, including 1,000 skiable acres, five chairlifts, and an average of 300 inches of snowfall a year. It's not the quantity of snow Mt. Spokane receives that draws this mountain resort attention, it's the quality. Located on the Eastern side of Washington, away from the wetter conditions of the West Coast, Mt. Spokane Ski and Snowboard Park receives light and fluffy snow, perfect for all the Spokanites and tourists who ride these world-class slopes each winter.
9 Alpental Ski Resort
Included within the four ski areas that make up The Summit at Snoqualmie, Alpental stands uniquely from the other three mountain bases by not only being on the other side of Interstate 90 but by offering even more variety and challenging skiing found at Snoqualmie Pass. Featuring an additional 800 acres, Alpental is comprised primarily of more difficult runs suited to advanced skiers, including the Alpental Back Bowls, which 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 is required.
Address: 1001 State Route 906 Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Snoqualmie Pass
10 Ski Bluewood
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 with a base height of 4,450 feet, leading to ample snow throughout the winter, Ski Bluewood is considered by some to be the best-kept ski secret in the state of Washington. 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.