By Penny Fox
The Pacific Northwest features some truly majestic mountain ranges, making it a prime location to put on a pair of skis and take full advantage of the winter. Whether you enjoy a leisurely ride down beginner-level slopes or tearing it up at the terrain park, these awesome ski destinations are perfect for everyone’s taste.
If you’re looking for a friendly, affordable, and fun place to take the family this winter and you love outdoor sports like skiing and snowboarding, check out Hurricane Ridge Ski and Snowboard Area in Port Angeles, Washington. Located high in Olympic National Park, this mile-high ridge has some of the most amazing scenic views anywhere in the state. Small and family friendly, there’s an average of 400 inches of natural snowfall every year at Hurricane Ridge, making it a premier destination for winter fun. Open mid-December through March each year on weekends and some holidays, there are 10 trails to explore, youth and educational programs like ski and snowboard schools for toddlers, groups, and individuals.
Mount Baker in Bellingham, Washington, is classified as an active glacier volcano that gets an average of 682 inches of snow a year. There are over 1,000 acres for skiing, eight lifts, and 38 runs. Part of the Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Mount Baker Ski Area is happy to be your family’s winter skiing destination. They make special efforts to give thorough instruction for beginners, and packages for ages seven and up include a lesson, ski rental, and all-day lift ticket.
Family fun and adventure await for families with children aged three and up at The Summit at Snoqualmie near Seattle, Washington. A fun-filled half-day program called Alpentykes is available for little ones, and there’s a Try before You Buy program that lets you convert your ticket into a season pass if you fall in love with the snow. Military and group discounts are available.
Your family’s first ski trip should be memorable, and a trip to Crystal Mountain in Enumclaw, Washington, is just the place to make sure that happens. This family friendly winter ski destination offers quick and easy loading and unloading zones, and ticket centers, restrooms, lockers, ATMs, and restaurants are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Playing outdoors is sure to build a healthy appetite, but no need to worry with a nice variety of places to eat that feature kid favorites like pizza, chicken strips, macaroni and cheese, and burgers to grown up favorites and the best hot cocoa around.
The mission of Loup Loup Ski Bowl, located in Winthrop, Washington, is to make sure there’s a fun and safe place for families and individuals who love outdoor sports. Staffed by experienced skiers and outdoor enthusiasts, you can rest assured that your young ones and you will get the best instruction on safety and having fun on your winter vacation. There are over 300 acres of terrain that fits beginners to advanced skiers and snow boarders, and don’t worry if you’ve forgotten something at home. Stop by the rental shop for apparel, boots, kids’ and adult rental equipment, and other necessities.
When you’ve been around for almost 90 years, you learn a few things. This renowned skiing community at Leavenworth Trails in Washington knows about outdoor winter activities. They have world-class Nordic and alpine trails for skiing and snowboarding for those with a competitive and adventurous spirit, but the main mission is to promote health, fitness, and fun when participating in skiing and other winter activities. There’s a tubing park that takes you belly first down a 100-foot drop, and you can snowshoe, ski jump up to 27 feet. And don’t put your bike away for the winter! Try the fat biking program for some extra special fun.
Don’t let the polar bears and penguins have all the winter fun this year! Plan your winter family vacation at Mission Ridge Ski and Board Resort in Wenatchee, Washington. This volcanic ridge is the perfect place to experience snow-capped peaks and valleys and provides one of the best places for beginners to learn. First trip or fiftieth, you’ll find everything you need on site like skis, boots, and other gear and apparel items from national brands. There are lessons available for groups and individuals, and kids from age three through adults.
More than 350 inches of snow falls annually at White Pass in Naches, Washington, and there are 45 runs for beginners through experts covering more than 1,400 acres of some of the most scenic areas in the Evergreen State. Winter activities include cross country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, nature watching, and more for you and your family. Lodging is available at the base of the mountain and higher up. Whatever your favorite winter sport is, you’ll find your next family adventure here.
Located in the southwestern part of Washington near Dayton, Ski Bluewood is perfect for your next family winter vacation. With more than 300 inches of the frosty white powder annually, it’s great for snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and tubing for all ages and skill levels. There are great local restaurants and lodging choices and over 400 acres of skiable family fun that includes 24 trails, three terrain parks. There’s something for everyone.
49 Degrees North Mountain Resort near Chewelah, Washington, is no small ski area. With over 2,300 acres and 54 runs with five lifts, once you visit, you’ll find it hard to leave. This winter wonderland and playground first opened in 1935, but is now known as one of the premier spots for winter fun. The EZ 1-2-3 Program encourages everyone five years-old and up to get out on the snow and learn to ski or snowboard. They even have a Little Nugget Program for little ones aged two to six, and a Mommy/Daddy and Me program. Fun for all!