Skiers on Crystal Mountain's slopes

If you're in or near Washington State, you should very well check out Crystal Mountain. With a summit of 7004 feet and a vertical drop of 3102 feet, Crystal Mountain really sits below Mount Rainier, which has a top elevation of 14,408 feet. Within the months of November and April, several feet of fresh powder comes down on Crystal Mountain, due to the cold Cascade storms more common to the area.

This is a rough terrain, and there is little offered to novices as far as the simplicity of the trails go. But lessons are readily available, as well as rentals for skis and other gear. At Crystal Mountain, there are more than 2300 acres and 50 trails, making this the biggest ski area in the state of Washington. There are 10 lifts available: 2 triple chairs, 3 double chairs, 2 high speed six passenger lifts, 2 high speed quads and 1 children's surface lift.

The season runs from mid November to the middle of April, when the most snow fall is gained. There are numerous places to choose for lodging, meals, and nightly entertainment, but the biggest magnet is the skiing, of course.

The Crystal Mountain Express Bus service keeps going on weekends from mid December to the middle of March. You'll be collected from your lodge and dropped off at the base plaza – where you can start a full day of fun on the slopes. After a day of skiing, you must definitely head over to East Peak Massage & Fitness to make use of the hot tub, sauna, showers, and even the game room. Massages are also available, with prior reservation.

If your children aren't quite ready for the black diamond trails – but you are – you can leave them in the Kid's Club. The Kid's Club is open from 8am to 4pm every day for kids aged four to eleven years old. The kid's aged 4 – 11 will be monitored while they ski on a 'kid appropriate' slope, and snowboarding is also available for kids aged 7 – 11 years old. Your child will have fun, while being supervised and instructed. The cost of the care includes a 4 hour lesson, a lift ticket, lunch, and supervision. Rental gear is available for the kids for an additional charge.

Everybody has fun at Crystal Mountain. It is a great place for a family vacation, but once again, the slopes are more for intermediate skiers and expert skiers – although novices will have fun as well. Just use common sense, and avoid trails that you don't feel like you're prepared for.


Travel Destinations: Ski Club Vacations

Skiing Destinations: The Big White Resort, Canada