The Essentials: Seattle

Seattle launches skiers to the Cascades, the Olympics, Rainier, and all the ski resorts in between

Seattle may be the world’s most underrated ski town. Aside from the absence of sun, its three ski areas—Alpental, Crystal, and Stevens Pass—have everything: tons of snow, amazing tree skiing, fluty lines, convenience, and authentic vibes. Only 45 minutes from Seattle, Alpental is the smallest ski area of the three but packs a punch with its funky and endearing terrain, especially off the 5,420-foot top of the Edelweiss lift and the backcountry access near International. Meanwhile, Crystal remains the most “resorty” with tons of options on hill, including the Left Angle Trees, Southback Country, and entire Northway zone, and unpretentious lodging and dining options at the base. As for Stevens, located off Highway 2, it retains the most Sasquatch-esque feel, with rowdy lines off Cowboy and all the wonderful shots through the trees off both sides of 5,600-foot Big Chief Mountain. —John Stifter

Annual Snowfall: 495 inches


Average Vertical: 2,393 feet

Cost of a lift ticket: $60-$66

Average cost of a cheeseburger: $8.50

Gender Ration Male to Female: 1 to 15

Ski Resorts: Alpental, Crystal, Stevens Pass

Can’t Miss: 
In Seattle, El Chupacabra Mexican, Espresso Vivace, ThaiTom; At Stevens, the Foggy Goggle Bar & Grill; the Snorting Elk Cellar at Crystal; and night skiing at Alpental and Stevens Pass.

Notable Event: 
Vertfest backcountry event at Alpental; Downhill Bikini April 13 at Crystal; and Retro Fools Day at Stevens.

Terrain Spotlight: Pillows, funky flutes, and easy backcountry access at Alpental; big vert, sustained and spaced tree skiing, lines off the King, and versatility at Crystal; tree skiing, steeps, and park at Stevens.