As a skier or snowboarder in Seattle, you have a plethora of options when it comes to choosing a Washington ski resort. Whether you’re looking to cruise groomers, maximize air time in the park, ski big mountain lines, or avoid crowds, there’s something for you within driving distance of the city. If you’re after pure convenience, Summit at Snoqualmie is your best bet. It's located just 50 minutes east of Seattle off I-90. While Summit at Snoqualmie is by no means the largest ski resort in Washington, it boasts four separate ski areas and each of them has unique features that draw skiers of all different ski levels. With nearly 2,000 skiable acres, 2,280 vertical feet, and 25 lifts, you’re sure to find terrain that suits your needs. To learn about the unique ski areas available less than an hour east of Seattle, continue reading below for The Gearhouse Guide to the Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Areas.
Summit at Snoqualmie at a Glance
Snoqualmie offers roughly 2,000 skiable acres across its four ski areas. There are 60 total trails serviced by 25 combined lifts. The lifts include three high-speed quads, four standard quads, three triple chairs, nine double chairs, and six surface lifts, with 14% beginner, 33% intermediate, and 42% advanced terrain. The mountain sees an average of 426 inches of annual snowfall and possesses 2,280 vertical feet from top to bottom. Additionally, two terrain parks with a variety of features will please even the pickiest park rat. Snoqualmie also offers the most available night skiing in the state, with 600 designated acres. If that wasn't enough, there's also snow tubing and over 50 kilometers of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.
Alpental is the premier ski area at Snoqualmie for advanced black and double black skiers and riders. With a history of legendary Cascade riders and some of the steepest runs in the region, Alpental is where you want to be if you’re serious about riding. Chair 2 is the cream of the crop at Alpental and is home to an abundance of expert terrain and backcountry access gates to enter the back bowls in the backcountry. Additionally, there’s plenty of intermediate terrain for those focused on progression. Alpental has one quad, three double chairs, and one surface lift, accessing 18 trails, two back bowls, and four non-designated trails.
Summit East has a little bit of everything to meet your alpine and cross-country / Nordic needs. With a variety of terrain, including four beginner, nine intermediate, and seven expert runs, your whole crew will be happy. The Summit East Nordic Trail Center has over 50 kilometers of groomed and tracked trails to explore on cross-country skis or snowshoes (and even boasts lift-accessed cross-country trails). Summit East is serviced by two triple chairs and one quad chair.
Summit Central is the place to be for an all-around resort experience. With plenty of food options and the most beginner-friendly terrain available at Summit at Snoqualmie, Summit Central has something for the whole crew. All double chairs lead to beginner runs, and the triple and quad chairs take skiers to the top of the ridge, where they can choose between several intermediate and expert runs. This Snoqualmie ski area has three quad chairs, three double chairs, one triple chair, and two beginner surface lifts. There are four beginner trails, eleven intermediate trails, and fourteen expert trails.
Summit West has been Seattle’s go-to learning mountain for years. With plenty of beginner-friendly terrain and tons of night skiing, Summit West has been a cherished ski area for Seattleites for decades. Summit West has three beginner surface lifts, two double chairs, one triple chair, and one quad chair. The area boasts two beginner, five intermediate, and eight expert runs.
Whether you’re chasing first tracks on a powder day or heading east after work for a bit of night skiing, Summit at Snoqualmie’s four unique ski areas are sure to please. Stop by Gearhouse for all your Seattle ski rental needs, from boards and skis to backcountry gear and more.