In the state of Washington, a trio of ski and snowboard mountains flip the toggle from winter to summer to entice city dwellers and vacationers to head into the Cascades.
Stevens Pass is a two-hour drive from Seattle, pending summer construction delays. Regular bus service runs during the summer, an inexpensive way to avoid traffic on busy U.S. 2.
Owned by Vail Resorts, a Stevens Pass' summer focuses on the mountain bike park. Winding around and down the lower front portion of the mountain, the downhill trail map features two categories: freeride and technical.
The man-made jumps and ramps and berms in the freeride network take riders down two green runs, one blue and one black diamond. The more difficult natural-terrain technical runs rate one short green, three top-to-bottom blues and one black diamond and one double-black.
All runs can be reached via the Hogback chairlift, which is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays to Sundays. Other things to do include scenic chairlift rides, disc golf and guided tours.
A two-hour drive from Seattle, summer at Crystal Mountain takes its cues from its location across from Mt. Ranier -- deep in the Cascade Range. There's hardly a spot on the mountain where the 14,417-foot stratovolcano cannot be seen.
Thus, summer activities at Crystal emphasize getting up and on the mountain. The state's only gondola tops out at 7,000 feet in elevation, where visitor can go on self-guided interpretive walks or spin a Frisbee on the summit disc golf course up there. Other ways to enjoy the scenery and cool mountain air can be had with horseback riding and hiking tours.
The gondola runs seven days a week through Labor Day, then Fridays through Sundays until Sept. 25.
The northernmost ski and snowboard mountain in the West, 49 Degrees North is tucked up in the Colville National Forest near both the Idaho and Canadian borders.
This back-country, hardy setting lends itself to summer hiking and no-lift mountain biking. Take one of several service roads up into the three high-mountain basins. Or top out at 5,774-foot-high Chewelah Peak. From there, nearly 2,000 vertical feet await, and it's hiker's and biker's choice as to the ways down. And don't forget to pull over for pick-and-eat huckleberries that grow all over the mountain.
With the arrival of April comes soft turns, pond skimming, goggle tans, and sometimes some magical April snow. In this week’s SnoCast, we’ll check out conditions across North America so you know where to bring sunscreen, where you’ll still need layers, and where fresh snow is still expected.
Used to be that the first week of April was the traditional time to hang up the skis, store away the boots, and dust off the summer recreation equipment. Not so much nowadays.
According to Punxsutawney Phil, we have six more weeks winter, and we are LOVING that report. Rodents aside, the weather clearly looks like winter this week with heavy snow from the Rockies to New England. Here’s the scoop in this week’s SnoCast.
Three years after being acquired by big ski conglomerates, Stevens Pass and Crystal Mountain faced their biggest test yet: COVID-19.
A large pool of bitter cold air seeps into the US from Canada this week, affecting the weather from coast to coast. Here’s what to expect on the slopes.
For Pacific Northwest skiers and riding seeking a different look, feel, and sound -- and fewer crowds -- to their experience, check out night skiing.
While the northwest peaks remain most active this week, cold air in the East and two systems bring new snow to the southern Appalachians. Here’s where to find best conditions this week.
2021 already looks good with storm after storm lining up in the West, and a turn to a more active pattern for the East. Here’s where to find great ski conditions through the first week of January.
This week, snow activity really begins to pick up. As more and more ski areas open, we'll have multiple storms out West and fast movers in the East to build up the bases.
While lurking past closing hours in the mountain resort parking lot has always been the domain of the dirtbag, more ski areas are bringing the practice of overnight stays out of the shadows—and some are downright embracing the car-bound camp movement. This focus on ski resort winter camping, which accommodates visitors of lesser means—as well as nomadic adventurers—is a refreshing step back from the luxury demographic. that the ski industry habitually targets.
February can bring some healthy storms around North America, and this week proves that. The Rocky Mountains and Northeast have storms ahead that will keep you itching to hit the slopes. Here’s where to expect the best conditions.
In most seasons, the Pacific Northwest can claim the most snow in the country -- and the heaviest powder. So, skiers and riders who head up to the Cascades know they have to work a bit harder to carve up the freshies.
As we approach the final days of 2019, we'll have a pleasant mix of snow days, sunny days, and mild days to take in all that the weather has to offer on our favorite ski trails.
Naughty or nice? Rather than your deeds, location will determine who will get the finest gift of snowy weather this week!
Another season of SnoCast is back right here on SnoCountry.com. We’re glad to bring you a powder-tastic year of forecasts so you can find the best skiing and riding this 2019-2020 winter season.
After hiking in the mountains, the chance to soak sore muscles in a warm or hot springs pool beckons us all -- especially as the weather cools.
The largest ski and snowboard resort owner in the world enters its second decade of its expansion with a modest slate of on-mountain upgrades and a couple of portfolio-wide improvements.
The latest round of storms off the Pacific Ocean have rivaled any in recent years, so much so that a number of resorts closed temporarily and others had to cut back on skiable terrain.
As we bid a fond farewell to 2018, the editors at SnoCountry take a look at the news that shaped skiing and riding at mountain resorts across North America over the year.