Seattle is a city that is rich in ski history. The first national ski periodical, Ski magazine, was published in Seattle in 1948. Vashon Island, located near Seattle, was home to the first K2 Skis manufacturing plant. Seattle now boasts six resorts within a one- to three-hour drive. They usually feature typical Pacific Northwest conditions, which usually imply wet and sticky snow. Insiders, however, know that rain in the village usually means abundant snow on the mountaintop, so take advantage of rainy days by riding to the top of the lift and enjoying the powder.
Summit at Snoqualmie
The Summit at Snoqualmie is located in the Washington Cascades, about 52 miles east of Seattle. Its proximity to the city, as well as its night skiing, makes it a popular after-work and after-school ski destination. The area called Snoqualmie is composed of four resorts, which include Alpental, Summit West, Summit Central and Summit East. Summit West takes pride in its family-friendly facilities and specially designed learning areas. Summit Central is known for its top-to-bottom terrain park. Summit East has glade runs as well as a Nordic skiing center, and Alpental is famous for its 825 acres of backcountry terrain. The Snoqualmie resorts have an average base elevation of about 3,200 feet. If you find yourself "ski-less" in Seattle or with limited funds for purchasing new boards, Snoqualmie has a $119 equipment rental pass that allows you to pay one price for an entire season of rental equipment.
Summit at Snoqualmie
1001 State Route 906
Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
Crystal Mountain is about 80 miles north of Seattle. The largest ski area in the state, its 4,400 foot base elevation puts it at a higher altitude than some of the elevations found in Snoqualmie. The higher elevation means that Crystal Mountain is often the recipient of the lighter and fluffier powder you would expect in Utah. The resort is famous for its 300 acres of backcountry terrain, but with only 11 percent of its runs rated green, novices may want to look elsewhere.
33914 Crystal Mountain Boulevard
Crystal Mountain, WA 98022
Steven's Pass is another Seattle area resort that offers night skiing. It is located 78 miles northeast of Seattle. The resort, which is at a base elevation of 4,061 feet, receives over 450 inches of snow each year, and is famous for its open bowl skiing. The trails are divided into 11 percent beginner, 54 percent intermediate, and 35 percent advanced terrain.
Summit Stevens Pass, U.S. Highway 2
Skykomish, WA 98288
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.