Best time to visit Washington

Skiing and Snowboarding

The snowiest state is heaven for winter sports fans


Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Washington receives the most snow in the United States. Mt. Rainier alone gets a record 645.5 inches (1,640 cm) of winter precipitation, which makes Washington ski resorts so desirable to snowboarders and skiers from all over the U.S. Start your winter adventure at the pristine slopes of the Cascades range, check out the isolated Olympic Peninsula and discover the Blue Mountains located on the border with Oregon and Idaho. The ski season at some Washington resorts starts as early as Thanksgiving, however, in the last years many have delayed openings till December due to warm autumns. Skiing and snowboarding is possible till late April. At a few high altitude resorts you can ski even in early May. The snow conditions are the best in February.

East Cascades: Wenatchee – Mission Ridge

Mission Ridge is one of the largest ski resorts in Washington. It offers over 2,000 skiable acres to conquer. The resort is known for its combination of powder and sun: 200 inches (5.1 m) of snow per year and more than 300 sunny days. Night skiing is available on Saturdays. You can find here the most fantastic backcountry skiing and a laid back atmosphere.

vertical: 2,250 ft (686 m) area: 2,000 acres (8 sq km) runs: 36 (easiest Trails: 10%, more difficult : 60%, difficult: 30%) lifts: 4 chairlifts, 2 tows season: late November to early April

Skiing and Snowboarding in Washington - Best Season 2020

Crystal Mountain, Mount Rainier National Park

Crystal Mountain Ski area 2020
Crystal Mountain Ski area

Crystal Mountain is the biggest ski resort in Washington. Its main attraction is the stunning view of Mt. Rainier, which is so perfect, you'd want to stop skiing and just sit for hours at the Summit House, the highest restaurant in the state. The famous 2,400-ft (731-m) Mount Rainier Gondola ride is also going to be memorable for sure. Crystal Mountain Resort also gets points for variety due to over 2,600 acres of groomed trails. Lodging options include three hotels in close proximity to the resort.

vertical: 3,100 ft (945 m) area: 2,600 acres (10.5 sq km) runs: 80 (11% easiest - 54% more difficult - 35% most difficult) lifts: 11 season: mid-December to mid-April

North Cascades: Mount Baker Ski Area

Mount Baker Ski Area is worth visiting because it is one of the snowiest resorts in Washington. If you are looking for tons of powder, you won't be disappointed here. Backcountry rides and stunning views at Mt. Baker are great. However, you have to pick your timing carefully, because the mountain is not that high, and that results in less than perfect snow conditions. The most reliable time to ski at Mount Baker is mid-February. Another advantage is affordability and thinner crowds, than at bigger Northwest ski resorts.

vertical: 1,589 ft (484 m) area: 1,000 acres (4 sq km) runs: 31 (24% easiest, 45% medium, 31% difficult) lifts: 8 chairs, 2 handle tows season: mid-December to May

Best time for Skiing and Snowboarding in Washington 2020

Leavenworth and Stevens Pass

47°44'41.8"N 121°05'26.0"W 2020
47°44'41.8"N 121°05'26.0"W

Stevens Pass is famous for its dry powder over f the Cascade Crest. The resort also offers night skiing, terrain parks, and beautiful views over 1,000 skiable acres. A ski trip to Stevens Pass can be combined with the visit to a nearby Bavarian village of m Leavenworth and snowshoeing or snowtubing for the whole family.

vertical: 1,800 ft (548 m) area: 1,125 acres (4.5 sq km) runs: 52 (beginner 11%, intermediate 54%, advanced 35%) lifts: 10 season: early December to early April

Best time to see Skiing and Snowboarding in Washington 2020

Blue Mountains: Bluewood Ski Area

If you are not from the Northwest, you probably didn't hear of the Blue Mountains, located on the border between Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. That's why Ski Bluewood boasts thinner crowds and affordability. The resort located in southeastern Washington is an excellent option for families and beginners. It's known for beautiful trees and dry fluffy snow.

vertical: 1,125 ft (342 m) area: 400 acres (1.6 sq km) runs: 24 (beginner 25%, intermediate 45%, advanced 30%) lifts: 4 season: early December to early April

Best time for Skiing and Snowboarding 2020