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Our Favorite Locations for Cross-Country Skiing Near Seattle

Cross-country skiing near Seattle

If you live in Seattle, you’re likely aware that the city is just a stone’s throw away from some of the best skiing in the Western United States. With snowcapped mountains visible in three directions, it’s no secret that Seattle’s surrounding wilderness is a hotbed for winter sports. While the masses flock to popular Washington Ski Resorts, it’s easy to find solitude outside the resorts on beautiful trails —all you need is a pair of cross-country skis. Washington is a paradise for cross-country skiing (also known as Nordic skiing or XC skiing), with a plethora of cross-country ski trail networks and centers and dozens of groomed trails located right off Highway 2 and Interstate 90. Gearhouse has everything you need to hit the trail this winter, from skate and classic cross-country ski gear rentals and group outings to cross-country skiing and backcountry awareness courses. Continue reading below to learn about Our Favorite Locations for Cross Country Skiing Near Seattle.

Top Cross-Country Skiing Near Seattle: Summit at Snoqualmie Nordic Center 

Summit at Snoqualmie Nordic Center 

Summit at Snoqualmie may be known as one of Washington’s premier downhill ski resorts, but it’s also home to roughly 30 miles (50 kilometers, since cross-country ski trails are usually measured in kilometers) of groomed Nordic trails that are perfect for classic and skate cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for cross-country skiing near Seattle, it doesn’t get much better than the Summit Nordic Center in Snoqualmie. The area offers a solid selection of varied terrain, with almost daily grooming. There are even a few black diamond trails for those looking for a little extra speed. With easy access to both downhill skiing and cross-country skiing near Seattle, the Summit Nordic Center is ideal for groups. The Summit Nordic Center is just 60 miles from the city and takes approximately one hour to reach without traffic. The center offers full-day passes for $36 for adults and $26 for kids and seniors – and the passes even include access to the Silver Fir chair lift. While most trails are best suited for intermediate skiers, there’s plenty of beginner-friendly terrain. 

Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area

Cabin Creek XC skiing

The Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area is operated and maintained by the Kongsberg Ski Club on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The club began in 1954 and continues to support cross-country skiing in Washington, both on the competitive and recreational levels. The terrain at Cabin Creek is challenging. There are a few areas, Mount Ozbaldy and Amabilis, that are rated for experts only. Most of the other terrain is intermediate-friendly. There is one beginner-friendly area in Cabin Creek known as the Road, with 4.6 km of easy-going trail. The Cabin Creek Nordic Ski Area is approximately 69 miles from the city, and it takes just over an hour to get there. Visitors will need a Sno-Park permit and a Special Groomed Trail Pass, each costs $60. Grooming is dependent on conditions and equipment but usually happens several times per week.

Stevens Pass Nordic Center

Stevens Pass Nordic

Stevens Pass is more than just a favorite downhill mountain. It’s also a great place for beginners to take up cross-country skiing near Seattle. While the Stevens Pass Nordic Center boasts plenty of beginner-friendly terrain, there are also seven expert-rated trails to entertain experienced skiers. Stevens Pass even has a biathlon range, with many course options and races throughout the year. For the truly intrepid, try cross-country skiing with your snowboard or alpine skis to the base of the backside of the alpine area. The Stevens Pass Nordic Center is located 83 miles from the city and takes about 2 hours to reach. 

Plain Valley Ski Trails

Plain Valley Ski Trails

This newly-established network offers 25 kilometers of trails with plenty of beginner to intermediate terrain. Plain Hardware Store manages Plain’s Ski Trails and is the most family-friendly area for cross-country skiing near Seattle. Plain Valley Ski Trails is roughly 106 miles from the city. Day passes are available for $20 for adults, and kids ski free. Snowshoeing is $10. Plain is also the home base for Lake Wenatchee’s Sno-Park groomed trail system.

Leavenworth Trails

Leavenworth Ski Trails

Head to Leavenworth to experience old-world Nordic Skiing in Washington’s Bavarian village. Ski the Icicle River Trail to the Golf Course, cruise by downtown toward Waterfront Park, or enjoy some more technical trails at the Ski Hill. While you may not get the best workout compared to other Washington trails, you’ll enjoy Leavenworth’s charm and family-friendly atmosphere. Nordic ski passes start at $22 for adults, and kids ski free. Leavenworth is 119 miles from Seattle and takes 3 hours driving to reach. 

Gearhouse has everything you need to make the most of the Washington winter, whether you’re an experienced cross-country skier or you’ve never set foot on a Nordic trail. Gearhouse is your one-stop shop for cross-country skiing in Washington. 

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