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Children Skiing at Crystal Mountain
© Colin Meagher

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort

Written by Scott Messmore
Crystal Mountain is located only 12 miles from Mount Rainier and a little more than an hour's drive from Seattle. In fact, Crystal Mountain is located in the middle of Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service. Crystal Mountain has a history that traces its roots to the gold rush days of the late 1800s. Mining never produced the huge amounts of money envisioned and brighter minds decided to form ski lodges at Crystal Mountain. Crystal Mountain has 50 miles of ski trails with the Northway Trail being the longest at two and a half miles.
More than half of the trails were built with intermediate skiers in mind. Crystal Mountain is a very large place; 1,300 acres are supplied with skiers by the 10 lifts. Another 1,000 acres of backcountry skiing is at Crystal Mountain. The 10 ski lifts can move a combined 19,110 skiers per hour. Crystal Mountain is just over 7,000 feet tall and drops 4,000 feet to its base below. The Crystal Mountain area gets a whopping 380 inches of snow every year. If you want to ski in the Pacific Northwest, Crystal Mountain is clearly the
Downhill Skiing at Crystal Mountain
© Matt Small
place to go.

Ski Schools

Crystal Mountain offers several different ski schools from two-hour classes to all-day seminars with champion skiers. A three-class special is available for $150. Other classes range from two-hour group lessons for $35 to full day private lessons for $330. A four- hour group rate is $45 per person. Former U.S. Ski Team member Tracy McEwan Gibbons runs women's skiing clinics, an all-day affair that includes breakfast, instruction, presentations, video coaching and lift tickets.

Hotels and Lodging at Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain offers several places to stay, all within easy reach of the ski slopes. Alta Crystal Resort is a 1920s lodge with a heated pool, hut tubs and even a ping pong table for friendly pick up games. Small Chalets can sleep from two to six people or newlyweds can rent the honeymoon log cabin built just
for two. For more information, call 800-277-6475. Crystal Mountain Hotels is a group of three buildings where you can ski straight to your door after a day on the slopes. Call 888-SKI-6400 for more information. Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites are one and two bedroom suites located just near the ski lifts, some even have fireplaces. For more information, call 888-ON-THE-MT.

Hours of Operation and Location

Crystal Mountain is located south of Seattle and near Tacoma and Mount Rainier. Crystal Mountain is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. During the weekends, skiing is from 8:30 a.m. to
Skiing at Crystal Mountain
© Colin Meagher
8 p.m. Ski season runs from the middle of November to the middle of March. Daily operations and weekend skiing is available through May, weather permitting. Daily ski rates are: adults, $40 for all day with night skiing; seniors older than 70, $10 per day with night skiing; children 11 to 17, $35 per day with night skiing; children under 10 years ski for free. Groups of 20 skiers or more can make special arrangements by calling 360-663-3010. For rental ski equipment: performance skis are $33 for skis, boots and poles. Telemark skis are $25 for package while snowboards with binders and boots are $32. A $400 deposit is required for all snowboard rentals. Children under 10 years, $15 for either ski or snowboard rental.

For more information about skiing, lodging or recreation at Crystal Mountain, call 888-SKI-6199.

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Last Updated: September 23, 2015