If you are in or near Washington State, you should definitely check out Crystal Mountain. With an elevation of 7004 feet and a vertical drop of 3102 feet, Crystal Mountain actually sits below Mount Rainier, which has a top elevation of 14,408 feet. Between the months of November and April, several feet of fresh powder falls on Crystal Mountain, due to the cold Cascade storms common to the area.
This is rough terrain, and there is little offered to beginners as far as the ease of the trails go. But lessons are available, as well as rentals for ski’s and other equipment. At Crystal Mountain, there are more than 2300 acres and fifty trails, making this the largest ski area in the state of Washington. There are ten lifts available: 2 high speed six passenger lifts, 2 high speed quads, 2 triple chairs, 3 double chairs, and 1 children’s surface lift.
The season runs from the middle of November to the middle of April, when the most snow fall is experienced. There are several places to choose for lodging, meals, and nightly entertainment, but the biggest attraction is the skiing, of course.
The Crystal Mountain Express Bus service runs on weekends from the middle of December to the middle of March. You will be picked up from your lodge and dropped off at the base plaza – where you can begin a full day of fun on the slopes. After a day of skiing, you should definitely head over to East Peak Massage & Fitness to take advantage of the hot tub, sauna, showers, and even the game room. Massages are also available, with a reservation.
If your kids aren’t quite ready for the black diamond trails – but you are – you can register them in the Kid’s Club. The Kid’s Club is open from 8am to 4pm each day for children aged four to eleven years old. The kid’s aged 4 – 11 will be supervised while they ski on a ‘kid appropriate’ slope, and snowboarding is also available for children aged 7 – 11 years old. Your child will have fun, while being supervised and taught. The cost of the care includes a four hour lesson, a lift ticket, lunch, and supervision. Rental equipment is available for the kids for an additional fee.
Everyone has fun at Crystal Mountain. It is a great place for a family vacation, but again, the slopes are more for intermediate skiers and expert skiers – although beginners will have fun as well. Just use good sense, and avoid trails that you don’t feel like your ready for.