Hosting the National Alpine Championships after being in operation only three years in 1965, and then installing the Campbell Basin Chairlift in 1972 (then the longest running chairlift in North America) set the tone for Crystal to provide Pacific Northwest skiers the epic snow and terrain they have always deserved. The High Campbell lift, installed in the heyday of 1980, plunks skiers onto a perch atop Silver Queen (7,002 feet), with Powder Bowl on the north side—a massive face of consistent 40-degree pitch. The sunnier, Campbell Basin side is a quad buster zone of fall-line options underneath the lift. Riding up the chair can be entertaining if a local such as Tyler Ceccanti is pulling up his skirt to huck some of the cliffs here. Lastly, and most enticingly, is the access to the south backcountry across a short traverse along the top of Campbell Basin. The Southback hike to the top of Silver King (7,012 feet) will pay back in aces as your friends watch you slash turns from the lift, nauseous from jealousy. —LAURA OGDEN
Crystal Mountain Resort is best known for its expansive terrain and jaw-dropping views, but it’s more than that. It has gentle cruisers for beginners and technical steeps and backcountry access for experts. Throw in the only gondola at a Washington ski resort and you’ve got a warm and dry way to get to what seems like the top of the world. Crystal has invested over $30 million in the past decade in high-speed lifts, dining facilities, and the Mt. Rainier Gondola. Come up for the day or stay the night with slope-side accommodations.
The sprawling expanse of ski terrain flows over half a dozen peaks and basins and lends itself to seemingly limitless variations. You’ll find 2,600 acres of everything from gentle groomed runs to challenging steeps, glades, chutes, bowls and expansive backcountry for the more adventurous.
- 3/10/12: Hope on the Slopes
- 3/24/12: Dirtbag Ball
- 4/14/12: Bikini & Board Shorts Downhill
|Annual Snowfall:||367 inches|
|Vertical Drop:||3,100 feet|
|Local Bars:||Bullwheel, snorting Elk & Naches Tavern|
|Number of Lifts:||10|
|Number of Trails:||57 named|
|Number of Parks/Pipes:||1 Park|
|Local Restaurants:||Summit House, Campbell Basin Lodge, Bullwheel & Alpine Inn|
|Backcountry Access:||Open gate policy|
|Nearest Airport:||Seatac, Seattle, Washington|
|Hotels / Lodging:||Alta Crystal Resort, Crystal Mountain Hotels; Quicksilver, Alpine Inn & Village Inn and Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites; Silver Skis & Crystal Chalets|