From runs fit for Olympic-caliber skiers and snowboarders to family-friendly slopes, Washington offers a variety of terrain created by its volcanoes, multiple mountain ranges and plentiful precipitation. Here are 11 Washington ski slopes from every region to consider for your winter pursuits.
The mountain that holds the world record for snowfall—95 feet fell here in 1998 and 1999— is huge among boarders and skiers (including Olympian Angeli VanLaanen) thanks to trees, bowls and double blacks galore.
Vertical: 1,500 feet
Trails: 38 (23% easy, 35% medium, 42% expert)
Loup Loup Ski Bowl
One quad, a J-bar and a towrope serve this uncongested Methow Valley moutain. Veer into the trees for virgin powder and some 300 acres of alpine terrain.
Vertical: 1,240 feet
Less than two hours northeast of Seattle, Stevens Pass is located on the crest of the Cascade Range. Averaging 460 inches of snowfall each year, Stevens Pass offers a variety of terrain for skiers of every ability.
Vertical: 1,800 feet
Trails: 37 (11% easy, 54% medium, 35% expert)
Being east of the Cascades makes for cool, bright winter—and dry powder and blue skies. Take a run on Bomber Bowl and catch a glimpse of a B-24 that crashed here in 1944.
Vertical: 2,250 feet
Trails: 36 (10% easy, 60% medium, 30% expert)
Alpental and The Summit at Snoqualmie
Family-friendly Summit features 50-plus kilometers of snowshoeing and Nordic trails, plus tubing and night skiing. Alpental, on the north side of I-90, offers more steeps and deeps, as well as 523 acres of backcountry.
Vertical: 2,280 feet
Trails: 108 (14% easy, 45% medium, 41% expert)
Ascend above the tree line for steeps and deeps, and the chance to drop between trees and rocky chutes at this resort perched in the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park. Don’t ski? Ride the gondola for dinner and an up-close view of the mountain.
Vertical: 3,100 feet
Trails: 57 (11% easy, 54% medium, 35% expert)
Combine Washington state’s highest base elevation with the dry air of the eastern slopes and you get consistent snow and some of the best tree skiing in the state. This über-family-friendly resort southeast of Mt. Rainier National Park also has 18,000 acres of cross-country terrain.
Vertical: 2,050 feet
Trails: 47 (23% easy, 60% medium, 17% expert)
49 Degrees North
Come home to moguls, bone-dry powde and evergreens for everyone. The Angel Peak lift grants access to 270 acres of inbounds backcountry.
Vertical: 1,851 feet
Trails: 82 (30% easy, 40% medium, 30% expert)
This mountain is home to some of the state’s best night skiing and the largest certified ski school in the state. Warm up at the summit with fireside hot toddies.
Vertical: 2,000 feet
Trails: 45 (23% easy, 45% medium, 32% expert)
Dry powder, short lift lines and blue skies make this ski area near the Oregon border special. Don’t miss a cat ride to Vintners ridge for tree runs.
Vertical: 1,125 feet
Trails: 24 (27% easy, 43% medium, 30% expert)
Olympic National Park
A mile above sea level, this resort offers terrain that changes weekly, uncongested bowls and the right to brag you’ve skied in the Olympics. Go off-piste and you’re in Olympic National Park backcountry.
Vertical: 800 feet
Grab a Sno-Park permit, rent skis or snowshoes from outfitters like REI and head to any of the 120 public Sno-Parks. Find everything from sledding hills to skate lanes to snowmobiling, as well as the occasional sleddog sighting.
—Julie H. Case
Photo Credit: Jackson Caven