I grew up in the Midwest, and part of me still misses those white Christmases. It looks like we won’t get snow here in Seattle this Holiday season, but one of the great things about this place: the mountains! It’s so easy to find snow this time of year. For those of you new Seattle homeowners (or locals who are looking for something new), I made a list of some of the easiest ways to get a white Christmas after all!
Paradise snow-play area at Mount Rainier National Park is open during weekends and school breaks in winter, the Snowplay Area is the one established place in the park where sledding is permitted. Only soft sliding devices like sleds and discs made of 100 percent plastic are allowed—no hard toboggans or runner sleds.
The tubing center at the Summit at Snoqualmie is open December 16 – January 2. Guests sign up online for a two-hour block of tubing time. You can tube longer by purchasing more than one session. The tubing center provides the tubes (no outside sleds or tubes are allowed). Cost: $20-$25
Mount Baker Ski Area expects 3 to 6 inches of new snow. An adult all-day lift ticket costs $60.
Stevens Pass expects 5 to 11 inches of new snow. An adult all-day lift ticket costs $67-$74.
Summit at Snoqualmie expects 5 to 10 inches of new snow at Alpental. An adult lift ticket costs $66-$79.
Crystal Mountain expects 6 to 12 inches of new snow. An adult lift ticket costs $74.
White Pass expects 5 to 10 inches of new snow. An adult lift ticket costs $58-$63.
Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Paradise at Mount Rainier offers a two-hour, ranger-guided snowshoe hike. Moderately strenuous, this hike is great for beginners and families. While only adults and kids eight years and older can sign up, you can bring younger children in front or back carriers. You can borrow snowshoes from the visitor center for a $4 per-pair donation.
Lake Wenatchee State Park has groomed trails at the North Shore State Park, the South Shore State Park, and trails thru Kahler Glen resort to the Nason Ridge Trail system. The See and Ski trail is also groomed and dogs on this trail are allowed after noon(!). You need either a Season Snow Permit with a grooming stamp, or a Discovery Pass and a daily ski pass.
Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area, 10 miles north of Chelan, has a decent snow base and many trails.
Methow Valley offers 120 miles of skiing in peaceful, freshly groomed, and uncrowded conditions. The Nordic ski trail system is divided into four areas, all connected by the Methow Community Trail, which includes a suspension bridge crossing the Methow River, trailheads, and lodges along the way.
Leavenworth Winter Sports Club maintains 26km of tracks and skating lanes that offer a variety of skiing terrain in four areas around Leavenworth. Five kilometers are lighted for night skiing until 10 p.m. each night.
White Pass offers 18km of groomed double-tracked trails which meander through both the Wenatchee and the Gifford Pinchot National Forests. Their terrain offers classic cross-country, skating, and snowshoeing for individuals of all ability levels. Lessons and rentals are available daily through the holiday period then Thursday – Sunday.
Stevens Pass has natural and historic setting for cross-country skiing, skate skiing, or snowshoeing. Their scenic trail system takes you along the base of Jim Hill Mountain and into the heart of Mill Valley.
Cabin Creek nordic ski area is located east of Snoqualmie. It provides some of the best groomed and scenic trails in central Washington for skiers of all levels. In addition to a sno-park permit, you’ll need a groomed trails permit to use this facility.