When the snow starts falling in Seattle, it’s time to head out of the city and hit the mountains for some snow sports fun! The region might not be famous for its massive alpine resorts, but it’s a fantastic hub for skiing enthusiasts, thanks to the few incredible ski resorts near Seattle.
From family-friendly resorts with gentle slopes to world-class destinations for pros, there’s a snowy spot for everyone. Within a short drive from Seattle, The Summit at Snoqualmie is packed with adventure from snow tubing to night skiing. Majestic Mount Rainer stands sentry over Crystal Mountain Resort, offering breathtaking views, and Stevens Pass Nordic Center is a cross-country skiing and snowshoeing haven.
Whether you’re a seasoned skier or just strapping on those boots for the first time, this guide will help you dive into the snowy wonderland of Seattle’s skiing scene!
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The Summit at Snoqualmie
Just a hop, skip, and jump from the city, you’ll find The Summit at Snoqualmie – a beloved playground for outdoor lovers during Seattle’s winter months. Less than an hour’s drive from the Emerald City, this family-friendly ski resort is a perfect escape if you’re looking for a snowy adventure.
The Summit at Snoqualmie is a collection of four base areas – Summit West, Summit Central, Summit East, and Alpental – each offering a unique charm and character. It’s the go-to spot for Seattleites to get their winter fix without venturing too far from the city.
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, The Summit offers terrain for everyone. The four base areas provide various slopes and challenges, making it ideal for families and friends of all abilities.
If you’re not into skiing or snowboarding, the resort offers snow tubing – an exhilarating activity for all ages. Zoom down dedicated lanes, and then a rope tow will bring you back up for more fun. Alpental is a hidden gem within The Summit at Snoqualmie for the more adventurous. It’s renowned for its challenging terrain, steep runs, and epic powder days.
The Summit at Snoqualmie is famous for night skiing, allowing you to enjoy the slopes under the stars. Ask the locals about the ‘Elevator Gate’ at Alpental, where you’ll find the freshest powder.
If you’re looking for a snow-filled escape for the whole family, head to Stevens Pass. Nestled in the breathtaking Cascade Mountains, about 82 miles from Seattle, this winter wonderland offers a combination of challenging slopes and family-friendly activities.
Stevens Pass is renowned for its abundant snowfall and is one of the top ski resorts in the Pacific Northwest. Skiers and snowboarders of all levels will find a fantastic mix of terrain, from gentle slopes to challenging runs. With over 1,000 acres to explore and various trails, you can expect endless winter fun.
For those who love jumps, rails, and boxes, Stevens Pass has well-designed terrain parks for all skill levels. Get your tricks dialed in and show off your moves. You can also enjoy night skiing here, extending your day on the slopes and enjoying a unique experience under the stars.
The Nordic Center offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails if you need a break from downhill skiing. It’s a quieter, more peaceful way to enjoy the mountains.
PRO TIP: When you’re done for the day, consider stopping in Skykomish on your way back to Seattle. This tiny town has charming local eateries that offer a delightful contrast to the resort dining options.
Crystal Mountain Resort
Tucked away in the majestic Cascade Range, Crystal Mountain Resort is a snowy haven with epic snowfall and jaw-dropping views. Washington State’s largest ski resort rests about 84 miles southeast of Seattle. The resort is known for its breathtaking vistas of Mount Rainier, which provides an unforgettable backdrop for skiing and snowboarding adventures.
Crystal Mountain Resort boasts over 2,600 acres of skiable terrain for all skill levels, so both beginners and seasoned pros can enjoy slopes and trails that suit their abilities.
Don’t miss a ride on the Mt. Rainier Gondola. It’s not just for skiers – anyone can enjoy the sensational panoramic views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range.
PRO TIP: Looking for the perfect end to your day? Take a sunset ride on the Mt. Rainier Gondola for a magical experience!
Venture out on guided backcountry skiing adventures and explore untracked powder in the safety of experienced guides. If you want to take a break from downhill action, explore the serene snowshoe trails around the resort.
Head up to the Summit House restaurant for an early morning breakfast as the sun rises over Mount Rainier. The view is absolutely magical!
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort
Venture farther afield from Seattle and head east to the Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort. A little over a three-hour drive from the city, Mission Ridge is in the heart of Washington’s Cascade Mountains and promises a wonderland of winter fun.
Often called the ‘sunniest ski area in Washington,’ Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort is celebrated for its abundant sunshine and clear, sunny days on the slopes.
The resort boasts over 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, offering a great mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. From gentle groomers to challenging moguls, there’s something for everyone. With an average of 300 sunny days a year, you can expect a generous dose of vitamin D while skiing or snowboarding. It’s a rare treat in the world of snow sports!
Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort’s snow tubing hill is an absolute blast for all ages. Zip down the lanes and ride back up using the convenient rope tow. When you want a change of pace, pop on snowshoes and explore the beautiful winter landscapes.
Keep an eye out for Mission Ridge’s Winterfest events, including live music, themed days, and other festive activities. It’s a great time to visit for some extra fun on the mountain!
Hurricane Ridge Ski & Snowboard Area
Perched high in the breathtaking Olympic Mountains, Hurricane Ridge Ski & Snowboard Area offers a unique and picturesque winter experience. Just over 155 miles away from Seattle, this enchanting spot is known for its breathtaking panoramic views of the Olympic Range and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
It’s all about the scenery at Hurricane Ridge. While it may not have the extensive terrain of larger resorts, it offers a unique and intimate skiing experience. The small ski area is excellent for families and those seeking a more relaxed outdoor adventure.
The breathtaking vistas are undoubtedly the main attraction. Walk to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and the many overlooks to marvel at the majestic snow-capped peaks and the Strait of Juan de Fuca below.
There are plenty of snowshoe trails to explore and immerse yourself in the spectacular winter scenery. If you’re a photography enthusiast, this is heaven for capturing winter landscapes, wildlife, and the magical play of light on the mountains.
Stevens Pass Nordic Center
The Stevens Pass Nordic Center is a true gem if you’re a cross-country skiing or snowshoeing fan! With its serene beauty, it’s an idyllic spot to unwind and experience the tranquility of winter.
Nestled in the picturesque Cascade Mountains, the Stevens Pass Nordic Center is 88 miles east of Seattle, making it a perfect getaway from the city’s hustle and bustle. The scenic journey through the mountains is as remarkable as the destination!
The Stevens Pass Nordic Center boasts an extensive network of groomed cross-country ski and snowshoe trails, offering a tranquil oasis for those seeking a quieter, more peaceful escape into the winter wonderland.
Over 28 kilometers of pristine cross-country ski trails wind through the breathtaking alpine landscape. There are trails for all levels, from beginners to experienced skiers. If you prefer a different pace, the center also provides snowshoe trails for exploring the winter landscape without requiring technical skills. Keep an eye out for wildlife, too!
For a one-of-a-kind experience, book a moonlight snowshoe or cross-country ski tour and take in the beauty of the landscape under the moon and stars.