Best Ski Resorts in Washington

White Pass, Washington

The state of Washington is brimming with mountain ranges, which serve to provide fun for tourists all year round. During the summer, sports like hiking and biking are prominent, and visitors can enjoy all the breathtaking views and gorgeous weather. For those who like the cold, you have the option of visiting a couple of amazing ski resorts.

And that’s exactly what this article is all about.

If you’ve ever wanted to spend some time skiing in Washington, but didn’t know which resort to choose, enjoy this list of some of the best-rated ski resorts in Washington.

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

This resort is located in the Cascade Range of Washington, in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. It’s the biggest ski resort in the area, with whopping 2,600 acres of skiable area. Not a fan of skiing? You don’t need to worry! There are still plenty of things to do and explore. Enjoy the wintery scenery while exploring the large skiing and snowboarding slopes, or the hiking trails during the summer.

Pros

  • Breathtaking views
  • Large skiing area
  • Great dining options
  • Gondola rides
  • Long runs
  • Friendly staff

Cons

  • Thin walls in some of the accommodations

Famous for: large skiable area, stunning views, advanced and beginner options.

Town

The biggest town located near Crystal Mountain is Enumclaw, around 40 miles from the resort. This town is known for its wonderful scenery and nature spots, so if you’re a fan of outdoor experiences, then you should definitely take the time to visit this place while staying at Crystal Mountain.

You have many parks and lookout spots to choose from. There’s also the option of visiting the Enumclaw Public Library or hitting some of the food spots in town.

Ski Terrain

Crystal Mountain is a skier’s paradise! Known for its long runs (the longest one of which is 2.5 miles) there is no shortage of space to ski on. There are options for beginner and advanced skiers, so everyone will feel included. This place gets a lot of snow, which is also a plus.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

This is one of the most popular resorts in Washington, so it’s bound to attract many visitors, especially during the winter season and weekends. That being said, there are so many runs to choose from, and the resort is so large that you wouldn’t even notice how many people are there!

There is one gondola lift, 10 chairs, and one magic carpet. You have the option of purchasing day tickets, and there are also multi-day tickets packs. The lifts are fast and the view from the gondola is a favorite among visitors. The best part is – the rides are continuous so the lines aren’t long, which is perfect for those who don’t like waiting in line.

Accommodation

There are three lodging options you can choose from: The Alpine Inn, The Village Inn, and The Quicksilver Lodge. These three differ in the lodging style and the number of rooms they provide. You can choose single, double, and family rooms. For anyone who wants to bring their furry friend along for the fun, The Village Inn offers pet-friendly options for lodging.

Verdict

Crystal Mountain is one of the biggest and most popular skiing resorts in Washington. It seems to be a favorite among visitors. You are guaranteed to see some stunning views and have a blast skiing regardless of the level of expertise and experience you have in relation to skiing. If you’re on the lookout for a resort that provides you with lots of activities and the perfect conditions for skiing or other sports, then definitely consider Crystal Mountain.

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Bordering North Cascades National Park, this resort is located in Whatcom County. With such an amazing location, you are bound to enjoy the views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan, as well as the 1,000 acres of skiable area available. The weather conditions are also outstanding – the annual snowfall is around 600 inches. One of the best parts about this resort is how diverse the slopes actually are. Anyone who likes skiing, whether they’re a beginner or an expert, will find a terrain that works for them.

Pros

  • Large skiable area
  • Lots of snow
  • Not crowded
  • Affordable prices
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Great accommodation
  • Delicious food options
  • Spectacular views
  • Old-school style

Cons

  • The runs aren’t as long

Famous for: the amount of snow, great prices, suitable for beginners.

Town

Bellingham is the closest major city and it’s definitely worth a visit! Choose to spend some time outdoors exploring the amazing scenery and parks, or visit some popular tourist attractions like the Chuckanut Bay Distillery or the Whatcom Museum. For book lovers out there, Village Books is a must! If it’s a nice day be sure to visit the Farmer’s Market or drive along the Chuckanut Drive to witness some gorgeous views, especially during sunsets.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, then definitely consider visiting Bellingham.

Ski Terrain

The 1,000 acres of skiable area will provide you with lots of options to choose from in terms of trails and their level of difficulty. There are 31 runs in total, so there is an option for everyone, even if you have never skied before. Unfortunately, there is no option for night skiing, but the views you’re able to see during the day sure make up for it!

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

It seems that this resort doesn’t really get crowded, especially compared to some of the other places on this list. For that reason, it’s going to be a great fit for anyone who doesn’t like crowded places and waiting in long lines, or simply likes their ski terrain empty. During the weekends, it does get a bit more crowded, but not to a great extent.

As far as the ski lifts are concerned, there are 8 chairs and 2 rope towns available. You can purchase ski lift tickets for around $65 for a daily pass for adults and $40 for the kids during peak season or the weekend. The prices for the weekdays are lower – $58 for adults and $27 for children.

Accommodation

There are multiple choices for accommodation at the Mt. Biker Ski Area. Whether you like simpler accommodation with affordable prices or luxury lodging, there’s something for everyone. You can choose simple rooms, suites, condos, and cabins.

The prices between these accommodation options differ depending on whether you go for a room or a suite/cabin. To give you a brief idea, the Whispering Birch Chalet, one of the fancier options for Mt. Biker Ski Area, costs around $400 a night.

Verdict

Mt. Biker Ski Area is a great option for any skier, whether you’re just starting out or you have years of experience. Not only does this place have amazing conditions for skiing, but it also comes with superb views from the top. The accommodation is great and you have plenty of options to choose from. It doesn’t get too crowded and you won’t have to wait in lines for the lifts. Additionally, the prices for the lift tickets seem reasonable. Overall, it’s an incredible resort, well-loved by visitors.

White Pass Ski Area

White Pass Ski Area is located in the Cascade Range at White Pass, which is where it gets its name from. There are various trails available, some of which are suitable for beginners. This resort is incredibly beginner-friendly – no matter how good you are at skiing, you will be able to find a trail that works for you. It’s a small and cozy resort, so if you’re not the type of person who likes big resorts or crowds then this is definitely a good option. It’s a perfect place for a little family getaway.

Pros

  • Family-friendly
  • Easy to navigate around
  • Different trails for all levels
  • No lines during weekdays
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Lots of snow
  • Great staff
  • Tasty meal options
  • Reasonable prices

Cons

  • No public transport
  • The nearest grocery store is quite far away

Famous for: beginner-friendly, cozy vibe, friendly personal.

Town

Yakima is located around 53 miles from White Pass Ski Area. There are plenty of things to do in this city, so you could easily plan a quick trip for a little change of scenery. You can visit the State Park, some of the wineries and brewing companies, the Yakima Valley Museum, or the Gilbert Cellars.

Ski Terrain

There are 45 runs in total available, many of which are beginner-friendly. The snowfall averages around 350 inches per year, and you have the option of night skiing on Saturdays and during the holidays, which further amplifies the cozy atmosphere around the resort.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

As we mentioned before, this resort is smaller than those discussed earlier. This means that it could feel a bit more crowded during the holidays and weekends because of the lack of space. That might turn some people off, especially if you don’t like crowds or lines. However, it rarely gets so crowded that you feel uncomfortable.

There are six chairlifts available: 2 high-speed, one quad, one triple, two doubles, as well as two surface lifts, one of which is a platter lift and the other is a magic carpet.  You can purchase lift tickets at the resort, and the average price of a full-day lift ticket is around $70 for adults and $50 for kids.

Accommodation

During your stay at the White Pass Ski Area, you have the option of lodging at the White Pass Village Inn, which is the closest option to the resort. For those who don’t mind a little distance, you can stay at the White Pass Scenic Byway Lodging, or you can opt for some Airbnb options which are a little farther from the resort. There is also the option of parking your RV at a reserved lot of your choice.

Verdict

White Pass Ski Area is a great place to take the family and enjoy the wonderful scenery from above. There are plenty of beginner-friendly options, so you won’t have to worry about finding the runs too challenging. There are usually no crowds or lines, so it’s perfect for a quiet getaway.

Mission Ridge Ski Area

Central Cascade Mountains between Mission Ridge and Blewett Pass Washington

Mission Ridge is also located on the Cascade Range, except it’s on the eastern side. Covering around 2,000 acres of skiable land, this resort is going to satisfy every skier out there. It’s easily accessible and it offers everything you might need for a wintery escape. Those who prefer snowboarding will be happy to know that you have the option of choosing it over skiing.

Pros

  • Breathtaking views
  • Lots of skiable land
  • Great instructors
  • Affordable prices
  • Nice staff
  • Diverse terrain

Cons

  • Not many food options
  • Some of the lifts are due for an upgrade

Famous for: option of lessons, views, reasonable prices

Town

Wenatchee is located only 12 miles from Mission Ridge Ski Area, so make sure you visit it and get a change of scenery if you have a few hours to spare. This town is known for its beautiful natural landscapes, so choose a day with good weather and spend a couple of hours marveling at the stunning views. You could visit the Pybus Public Market, very popular among tourists, the Rocky Reach Dam Park, Riverfront Park, or the Wenatchee National Forest.

Ski Terrain

The ski terrain at Mission Ridge Ski Area is diverse in nature. There are some challenging slopes with uneven terrain, but there are also runs that are suitable for beginners. There are 36 runs in total and lots of skiable area to conquer. Those who are considering visiting this place will be happy to hear that there are three terrain parks. The snowfall averages around 200 inches. You also have the option to go night skiing every Saturday.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

Mission Ridge Ski Area can get a little crowded during the weekends and holidays. If you want a place that’s extremely tranquil, you should keep this in mind. That being said, there are rarely any lift lines even during the weekends, so if you don’t like waiting in long lines, then you don’t need to worry about it.

There are six ski lifts available: one high-speed detachable quad, three fixed-grip double chairlifts, and two rope towns. The pricing is $75 for adult tickets and $55 for children and teenagers.

Accommodation

Mission Ridge Ski Area provides you with many options in terms of accommodation. You can choose the SpringHill Suites for around $125 a night, the Red Lion Hotel, the Holiday Inn Express, or the Fairfield Inn and Suites. There are plenty more options that you can easily find on their official website.

Verdict

This resort offers everything you might need for a comfortable stay: diverse terrain, comfortable and affordable accommodation, no lines for the ski lifts, spectacular scenery, and great instructors for those who aren’t experienced in skiing. It’s a great option for a romantic getaway or for a family holiday. 

Stevens Pass Ski Area

stevens pass, washington

This resort is located in Stevens Pass in the Cascade Range and the land covers two national forests. As you can imagine, the nature is stunning. With 1,125 acres of skiable area, it’s a perfect option for both beginner and experienced skiers. There are plenty of things to do during the summertime, so it’s a great option all year round. 

Pros

  • Wonderful staff
  • Great views from the top
  • Plenty of snow
  • Fun trails

Cons

  • Lack of parking spaces
  • Lines in front of ski lifts
  • No accommodation in the area

Famous for: great value, beginner options, good conditions.

Town

Leavenworth is located around 60 km from Stevens Pass Ski Area. It’s a perfect town for a day trip. Visit the Mountain Springs, walk through Waterfront Park, or visit the Lake Wenatchee State Park. Other than visiting nature spots, you can always visit some of the local shops or restaurants.

Ski Terrain

The great thing about Stevens Pass Ski Area is that it’s suitable for every level of skiing you’re currently at. With whopping 1,125 acres of skiable area and 37 runs, there are plenty of terrains to explore on the front and the backside of the mountain. It’s important to mention that around 54% of the runs are aimed at people who are at an intermediate level of skiing. The average snowfall is 450 inches a year, and you also have the option of night skiing.

Crowd Density and Ski Lifts

One of the downfalls of this resort is that the lines in front of the ski lifts can be quite crowded, especially during the weekends. If you think you’ll be bothered by this, then it’s best to choose another resort from the list.

In terms of ski lifts, there are ten chairs available. The price for a one day ticket for adults is around $80.

Accommodation

As far as accommodation goes, there are hotels, rooms, and cabins available in the nearby towns. This might be a problem for some people, so if you want accommodation that’s close to where you’re skiing, you’re better off choosing another option from this list. Perhaps the best option in terms of accommodation is to stay in Leavenworth and explore all the natural beauty this town has to offer.

Verdict

Although this resort is stunning, well-equipped, and there are lots of runs suitable for all levels, the fact that all the lodging options are located quite far away from the ski area might be an issue for some of you, especially if you are traveling with family. Dining shouldn’t be an issue since there are plenty of restaurants that can be found in the area.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated August 2020