People And Pets Ride Together In Crystal Mountain Gondola
This summer, Crystal Mountain Resort has officially gone to the dogs.
The resort’s Mt. Rainier Gondola is one of a few summer lifts around that allows visitors to bring their four-legged pets along for the ride. Running daily through Sept. 23, the eight-passenger gondola rises nearly 2,500 feet to the 6,900-foot summit – right on the boundary of Mt. Rainier National Park.
While our canine friends are not allowed in the national park, dog-lovers can put man’s best friend on a leash and both can take a hike around the Crystal Mountain summit or all the way to the base. Or, they can find a smooth rock and together admire the in-your-face views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascade Mountain Range.
All visitors can enjoy a Northwest cuisine meal at the Summit House, reportedly the highest elevation restaurant in the state. The eatery serves lunch and dinners throughout the summer, and the gondola runs through the last seating on Thursdays through Sundays so that diners can get a ride down the mountain after dinner. Reservations are required.
Roundtrip gondola cost $20 for adults, $15 for teens and seniors, and $5 for children three years and older. Dogs ride for free.
Other activities at Crystal Mountain include a 27-hole disc golf course that starts at either the base or the summit and intersects halfway down. Walk-ups are welcome and disc golfing is free for all.
Chinook Pass Outfitters run horseback rides throughout the summer, from one hour to overnight in length. Cost begins at $35 for a one-hour ride.
Now in its 50th year, Crystal Mountain is hoping to get approval from the U.S. Forest Service for mountain biking on its trails and slopes but, for now, biking is restricted to trails around the base area.
Photo: Crystal Mountain