Rumors abound about the supposed never-ending rain in Seattle. But, speaking as a Seattle native, it really isn’t so bad. Why don’t I mind a few drizzly days? Not only does the rain make our region green and beautiful, but as winter approaches, rain in the city means snow in the mountains. And for me, that means skiing - plenty of it.
One of my favorite things about skiing in the Great Pacific Northwest is the ease of access to ski resorts. Travel a mere 45 minutes east from Seattle on an eight-lane highway and you’ll find yourself in the heart of the Summit at Snoqualmie, my snow playground of preference.
Because it’s so close, I don’t worry about planning a ski trip several weeks in advance, and I’m never worried about missing a fresh pow day! The weather report says it will dump this afternoon? I’ll be up there after work, no problem. Snoqualmie is known to be beginner-friendly, but also features Alpental, a hill that offers challenging terrain and extensive backcountry.
I don’t have to go much farther to ski at other great resorts. Located less than 90 minutes northeast from Seattle is Stevens Pass Ski Resort. Stevens is known to have a pretty phenomenal terrain park.
Then there’s Crystal Mountain, just 90 minutes southwest of Seattle. Crystal offers long runs and a brand new Gondola. Farther north is the well-known, rugged Mount Baker, holding the world record for annual snowfall (95 feet!). Only 2.5 hours from Seattle, it makes for a good day or weekend trip for more advanced riders.
I also enjoy a long weekend trip up to Whistler, Canada because it’s a distance comfortably driven from Seattle and the snow and runs are awesome. It’s true, pack up your car and a mini road trip later you’ll find yourself in the quaint, yet cosmopolitan resort town of Whistler, surrounded by the peaks of Blackcomb and Whistler Mountain. If skiing isn’t your thing, there’s plenty more to do in the town. Personally, I enjoy ice skating, hot-tubbing and shopping.
Seattle itself might not get much snow, but it gets rain, which has its benefits – namely, snow in the hills. So, whether you’re a complete novice or fancy yourself an expert skier/snowboarder, there’s something here for you. And the best part is…it’s close!
Until next time – Think snow!
Born and raised the greater Seattle area, Megan McDonald is the Recruit Concierge at Microsoft and enjoys providing candidates with suggestions for local events and activities while they’re in the area. When she’s not working, she enjoys reading, hiking, traveling, and of course, skiing!