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The Gearhouse Guide to Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort is Washington’s largest ski resort in Washington, offering 2,600 acres of pristine alpine terrain with jaw-dropping views of Mount Rainier. While Crystal is the closest thing Washington has to the mammoth ski resort communities found in Colorado, Utah, and California, it retains a small mountain community feel. Crystal has something for every skier and rider. There’s plenty of expert terrain and backcountry access for those looking to push their limits, spacious groomers for cruising, and three terrain parks for the freestyle inclined. If you’re planning a trip to Crystal, continue reading below for The Gearhouse Guide to Crystal Mountain Resort. 

Crystal Mountain Resort at a Glance

Crystal Mountain Resort Trail Map

With 2,600 acres of terrain, high-speed lifts, and the Mt. Rainier Gondola, Crystal Mountain Resort is an absolute alpine playground. As we mentioned in our Washington Ski Pass Guide, Crystal honors 4-7 days on the Ikon Pass (depending on pass tier) and has its own season pass, which offers unlimited access. Despite the hefty price of admission, Washington skiers can’t resist the 2,400 vertical and an average of 348 annual inches of snowfall offered at Crystal. Crystal Mountain Resort offers a mix of terrain difficulty with 35% advanced/ expert, 54% intermediate, and 11% beginner terrain.

Getting to Crystal

Crystal Mountain Gondola

Crystal Mountain Resort is located approximately 76 miles southeast of Seattle. Take I-5 South to Highway 167 North, then follow Highway 410 East to Crystal Mountain Boulevard, right near the entrance to Mount Rainier National Park. The resort offers ample parking for day visitors and overnight guests, but be sure to plan ahead. If you’re visiting on the weekend, you must make a parking reservation online. Parking reservations are $22 but free for Ikon and Crystal Season Pass holders. Crystal also offers a few shuttle options, including the Enumclaw Event Center Shuttle and the Bellevue Ski Bus. The B lot also offers RV parking with power – a rarity at ski resorts.

Terrain Overview

Silver King Ski Run

Whether you’re looking to boot pack to chutes, glade ski, or hit steep terrain directly off a lift, Crystal has you covered. The Northway Chair has some of the best tree runs in the state, which are dreamy on powder days. Intermediate trails are abundantly available off of the Green Valley Chairlift. Chair 6 is a gateway to Crystal’s pristine, expert-only terrain, including the famed Silver King and Queen. The lower mountain chairs, like Quicksilver and Discovery, are perfect for new skiers and those who want to cruise groomers.

Lift Tickets and Ski Passes

Ikon Pass at Crystal Mountain

Daily lift tickets at Crystal Mountain Resort run steep, especially on the weekends. Lift ticket prices range from $150-$190 per day. 3-day passes are available for $299. The Ikon Base Pass is the best bang for your buck. Starting at $979, the Ikon Base Pass gives pass holders 5 days at Crystal Mountain Resort with blackout dates over President’s Day weekend and MLK weekend. The Ikon Pass starts at $1,309 and, as of spring 2024, grants skiers unlimited access to Crystal Mountain Resort with no blackout dates. 

Other Mountain Activities

Cross country skiing at Crystal Mountain

Crystal offers far more than just daily alpine skiing and riding. Even if you don’t plan on skiing, you can take the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the top of the mountain for epic views of Rainier and the surrounding National Park and wilderness areas. Crystal offers night skiing on select runs on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays until 8 PM. Night skiing terrain includes runs accessible from the Discovery, Gold Hills, and Quicksilver chairs and includes the terrain parks. Crystal Mountain Resort is also home to six snowshoe trails in the Bullion Basin that range from easy to advanced. Take a break from alpine skiing and enjoy the mountains from the trail. Head to our Capitol Hill location for your snowshoe and ski rental needs.

Dining and Après Ski at Crystal

Summit House Restaurant

Crystal has some of the best on-the-mountain dining and Après options in the state, with everything from craft beer and tacos to fine wine and decadent entrees. At the Summit House, Washington's highest-elevation restaurant, guests can enjoy breathtaking views at 6,872 feet above sea level, complemented by locally sourced, Northwest-inspired cuisine. For a more casual dining experience, Campbell Basin Lodge & Restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from rice bowls to Greek gyros. Rafters Smokehouse offers a warm après-ski atmosphere, indulging in a mouthwatering array of American BBQ favorites, from Texas-style brisket to Carolina-recipe pulled pork. Lastly, Fireside Cantina, conveniently located near Chinook Express, provides the perfect pit stop for morning breakfast burritos and coffee or après-ski tacos. 

Summer at Crystal

Summer at Crystal Mountain

Summer at Crystal Mountain is almost as magical as winter. From scenic gondola rides to wild flower-lined trails, there’s plenty to do in Crystal Mountain during the summer. Some of our favorite Crystal Mountain hike and mountain bike trails include Bullion Basin Trail, Silver Creek Trail, and the challenging Northway Trail.

Whether you’re skiing Crystal or hitting the backcountry, Gearhouse has everything you need, from ski rentals to backcountry gear and beyond.

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