Mount Rainier, WA

Washington Ski Resorts Ranked & Mapped

Washington has 13 open ski resorts, most of which are located in the Cascade Mountain Range between Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks.

Washington Ski Season

In general, ski season in Washington state typically starts in November, although some ski resorts may open as early as October if the weather and snow conditions permit. The ski season can last until April or May, depending on the resort and the weather.

If you are looking for the best snow conditions, January and February are often considered the best months to ski in Washington, as the snowpack is usually well established and the skiing and snowboarding conditions are at their best. Late March and early April can also be good for skiing and snowboarding, as the weather tends to be a little warmer and the ski resorts are often less crowded since it’s the start of shoulder season.

List of All Washington Ski Resorts

Nine of the Washington state’s ski resorts are located down the middle of the state along the Cascade Mountain ridges.

ResortPassLocation
49 Degrees NorthINDYChewelah, WA, 99109
Badger MountainEast Wenatchee, WA, 98802
Crystal MountainIKONEnumclaw, WA, 98022
Echo ValleyColville, WA, 99114
Hurricane RidgeINDYPort Angeles, WA, 98363
Loup Loup Ski BowlOkanogan, WA, 98840
Mission RidgeINDY,POWDWenatchee, WA, 98801
Mt. BakerDeming, WA, 98244
Mt. SpokaneMead, WA, 99021
Ski BluewoodDayton, WA, 99328
Stevens PassEPICLeavenworth, WA, 98826
The Summit at SnoqualmieIKONSnoqualmie Pass, WA, 98068
White PassINDY,POWDNaches, WA, 98937

Explaining Our ‘Difficulty Score’

Parks & Trips created a proprietary Difficulty Score that is generated by looking at the number of easy-intermediate-expert slopes by acreage and the maximum vertical drop of the overall resort.

Our algorithm compares each resort’s metrics with all others in North America, then gives each a Difficulty Score, which we use to rank them accordingly. Resorts with a lower score are easier than those with a higher one. However, a high score does not mean that the resort does not have any easy slopes, or vice versa. This is just an overall score given to the resort based on all its metrics grouped together.

The Most Difficult Washington State Ski Resorts

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain is more difficult than the average ski slope. 89% of its trails rated as either intermediate or expert-level, which doesn’t leave much for the beginners.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  7,012′
Vertical:  2,612′
Base:  4,400′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  85
Lifts:  10
Acres:  2,600

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  11%
Intermediate:  54%
Expert:  35%

More Information…

The most difficult ski resort in Washington is Crystal Mountain. It features the steepest vertical drop in the state by more than two hundred feet. It also has the most skiable acreage and over a third of its trails are for the experts.

The only EPIC-associated ski resort in Washington State is Stevens Pass, and it comes in at second place on our list. Clocking in with the fourth-steepest vertical drop and seventh most acreage, Stevens Pass is not huge, but it is difficult. Only 8% of their runs rated as “easy”, while almost half are considered “advanced”.

Rank ResortGreen TrailsBlue TrailsBlack TrailsDifficulty ScoreTM
#1Crystal Mountain11%54%35%63%
#2Mission Ridge10%60%30%58%
#3Stevens Pass11%54%35%55%
#4Loup Loup Ski Bowl20%30%50%53%
#5The Summit at Snoqualmie15%40%45%50%

The Easiest Ski Resorts in Washington State

Badger Mountain

Badger Mountain can be beginner-friendly, but it depends on the ski trails you ride. While it ranks in the lower half of all North American ski areas in terms of overall difficulty, it still has 67% of its trails rated at or above intermediate ski level.

Mountain Stats

Summit:  3,800′
Vertical:  800′
Base:  3,000′

Terrain Stats

Trails:  5
Lifts:  3
Acres:  20

Trail Breakdown

Beginner:  33%
Intermediate:  34%
Expert:  33%

More Information…

Badger Mountain is the easiest ski resort in WA according to our data. It has the second-smallest vertical drop, and is the smallest in the state by a large margin. Bluewood and Hurricane Ridge round out the top three easiest resorts due to their overall numbers being middle-to-low in just about every category.

Rank ResortGreen TrailsBlue TrailsBlack TrailsDifficulty ScoreTM
#1Badger Mountain33%34%33%38%
#2Ski Bluewood27%43%30%42%
#3Hurricane Ridge25%25%50%46%
#4Mt. Baker24%45%31%47%
#5Echo Valley10%50%40%48%

The Largest Ski Resorts in Washington

Choosing the largest ski resorts is a bit of a tricky proposition. Do you look at just the summit elevation? How about the total acreage, most trails, or steepest vertical drop?

Well, we decided to combine all four of those metrics into one ranking to get the best idea, although we fully admit this is completely subjective. We’ve given you all the data in the following table to make your own decision.

As previously mentioned, Crystal Mountain has the steepest vertical and most skiable acres, making it the biggest resort in the state. It also has the second-most trails, and the highest summit elevation. Crystal Mountain is very clearly the largest ski resort in the state.

Rank ResortSummit ElevationBase ElevationVertical DropAcresTrails
#1Crystal Mountain7,012 ft4,400 ft2,612 ft2,60085
#2Mission Ridge6,820 ft4,570 ft2,250 ft2,00053
#3White Pass6,550 ft4,500 ft2,050 ft1,40245
#449 Degrees North5,774 ft3,923 ft1,851 ft2,32589
#5Stevens Pass5,845 ft4,061 ft1,784 ft1,12553

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