[sponsored by Ikon Pass]
The Pacific Northwest sees the biggest snowfalls in North America on some of the most impressive terrain.
The Ikon Pass serves up over 5,000-acres of skiing via 44 lifts on up to 486″ of average annual snowfall.
- Crystal Mountain = 2,600-acres, 11 lifts, 486″ Average Annual Snowfall
- Summit at Snoqualmie = 2,000-Acres, 26-Lifts, 450″ Average Annual Snowfall
- Cypress Mountain = 600-acres, 8 Lifts, 350″ Average Annual Snowfall
Whether you have the urge to shred some Pacific Northwest pow or feel like hopping the border into the Great White North, the Ikon Pass gives you access to three iconic skiing and riding destinations that are all within a few hours from Seattle—Crystal Mountain, The Summit at Snoqualmie, and Cypress Mountain. So, if you’ll be in the Seattle area, pack your boots and goggles. And if you live in Seattle, then listen up: two countries’ worth of unforgettable alpine terrain is just a quick day or weekend trip away.
With 2,600 acres and 50-plus named runs, Washington’s biggest mountain destination, Crystal Mountain is just under two hours from Seattle. If you really want to make some memories, rent an RV for a long weekend, and camp in Crystal Mountain’s B Lot. Be sure to get there on a Thursday; otherwise, your chance to snag a weekend spot is slim.
Day trip or weekend stay, keep a close eye on the Crystal Mountain Twitter account on the way there if it starts dumping—you’ll be the first to know when the Southback and Northway gates open, aka, score your free ticket to powder town. To access Southback’s technical terrain, take Crystal’s most legendary lift, the high-speed two-seater, Chair 6.
After a fun day on the slopes, head directly to the local go-to, Bullwheel, for a Crystal Mountain Amber Ale—brewed exclusively for Crystal Mountain Resort by Pyramid Brewing Co. Share a pitcher with friends over a plate of Bullwheel’s famous Mountain Nachos, which feed at least four.
The Summit at Snoqualmie
Closest to Seattle, at just under an hour away, the super-convenient The Summit at Snoqualmie boasts a nearly-eighty-year history of diverse terrain, including 20 snow tubing lanes and 541 night skiing acres—the most in America. In the heart of the Cascades, The Summit at Snoqualmie’s four unique mountains are always a go for alpenglow, whether you’re arriving at sunrise or sunset.
For access to the back bowls, be sure to hit up Washington’s steepest run—Alpenatal’s iconic International. Stay on Alpental or try out Silver Fir if the snow starts flying, and don’t miss the tree runs at Summit East, packed with hidden pow zones.
And while you could easily shuttle between The Summit at Snoqualmie’s four base areas, you could just as simply ski between them. Traverse like a local by taking the S-90 from east to west for three miles of intermediate adventure.
Travel internationally, if only for a weekend, by driving three hours north from Seattle to hit Cypress Mountain—Vancouver’s largest skiing and riding destination that’s only 30 minutes from downtown. Located in Canada’s legendary North Shore Mountains, Cypress Mountain was the 2010 Olympic Winter Games’ official freestyle skiing and snowboarding venue, not to mention the proud home of Canada’s first Olympic gold medals on home snow.
On a powder day, hurry off to Sky Chair—the highest skiing and riding peak on the North Shore. While you’re at the top of Sky Chair, you’re also in one of Cypress Mountain’s prime selfie spots. Remember your trip by snapping a quick, snowy pic with the Lions or the incomparable Howe Sound in the background.
Top off your mountain day slopeside at the Crazy Raven Pub with some mouthwatering lemon pepper wings and a pint of Granville Island Brewing’s Cypress Honey Lager. With its soft malt flavor and dash of locally sourced honey, this homegrown brew is sure to hit the sweet spot.
For more info on Ikon Pass access to these destinations and to explore the complete Ikon Pass destination list, visit ikonpass.com.