Belva's List Seattle - "There's always something to do at Belva's"

Your recreation guide to Seattle & Western Washington.

Whether you are a skier or a snowboarder, novice or expert, Crystal Mountain has something for you. Voted #7 Top Mountain in North America, Crystal presents 50-plus named ski runs located on 2,600 acres and serviced by eleven lifts (able to move up to 20,310 fun-seekers per hour).

The Crystal Experience ranges from gentle groomed cruising runs for beginners to challenging steeps – backcountry, glades, chutes and unbelievable “black” runs for the more adventurous.

Crystal Mountain Ski Resort offers a great snowshoe tour, also. It’s a 2.5-hour hike that begins with a ride up the Quicksilver chair lift to the base of the beautiful South Backcountry. Then a loop around Lower Hen Skin Lake to Upper Hen Skin Lake, then a rest stop at the Leaning Tree Lounge to hydrate and have a nutritious snack. Finally, traverse the slopes all the way down to the base area lodge for a Cheese Fondue Dinner with salad and dessert. Guaranteed to make you sleep good that night!

Mission Ridge, located on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, has 36 designated runs spread over 2000 acres. The runs serviced by 4 lifts and 2 tows capable of 4,910 skiers per hour. Dry snow and 300 days of sunshine, plus a thrilling 2,500-foot vertical drop provide Northwest skiers with an experience comparable to world-class areas in Idaho, Colorado and Utah.

Mt. Baker, believe it or not, receives the highest annual snowfall of any lift-serviced ski area in the entire world. In fact, Baker holds the world record for the greatest verifiable snowfall in a season, with a reported depth of 1,140 inches recorded for the 1998–99 season. Do the math: that’s 95 feet of snow!!! (Take that, Trukee, Park City, Whitefish and all you other snowy showoffs!)

Mt. Baker’s 38 trails are mostly challenging, with a wide variety of steeps, chutes, and canyons which make it a “freerider's” paradise. If the rugged mountain scenery—even on the road there—doesn’t take your breath away, some of the runs will!

But it is not just about skiing, here. Mt. Baker is reputed to be one of the nation's top snowboarding areas. There is a terrain park, a super-pipe and half-pipe to keep the snowboarder busy and happy, too.

The story on Stevens Pass? A wide variety of terrain (over 1,125 acres of it ski-able, close to Seattle (75 miles), over 400 inches of snow per year, and a management philosophy that focuses on making the skiing experience as good as it can possibly be. That includes 10 lifts serving 37 primary runs, and a base village surrounded by three day lodges. This combo makes Stevens one of Washington’s best venues. Skiing and snowboarding at Stevens Pass encompasses all that is the Northwest snow-riding experience.

But there’s more. Stevens Pass Ski Area also offers 16 groomed Nordic (cross-country) trails and 4 groomed snowshoe trails. A free shuttle operates between the Alpine area and the Nordic Center, which allows part of the family to enjoy a day of snowshoeing/cross-country while others enjoy the Alpine slopes.

Just head 52 miles east of Seattle, about 75 minutes’ driving time on Interstate 90, and you will arrive at Washington’s largest ski resort. The Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Area is actually four separate ski areas: Alpental, Summit West (Snoqualmie), Summit Central (Ski Acres), and Summit East (Hyak).

There is something here for everyone—kids, adults and families. No matter if you are a skier or a snow boarder, beginner or pro, there are runs for every skill level.

Over 20 chairlifts and tows service more than 60 runs spread across 1,916 ski-able acres.

Snowboarders have three parks just for them. Greenhorn Acres is set up for the beginner. West 52 is geared for intermediates, honing their skills, and Central Park leads the Northwest with its ever-changing, creative and flat-out-fun layouts to challenge the experts.

If downhill and snowboarding are not your cup of tea, there are over 50km of incredible cross-country skiing trails. Or try snowshoeing, one of the fastest-growing, easiest-to-learn, and healthiest winter activities, around. Or, if you just want to enjoy the snow and mountain air, snow tubing at The Summit Tubing Area is the best way for the whole family to escape the city for some winter mountain fun!

Located in Washington’s Southern Cascade Mountains about 111 miles SE of Tacoma, the White Pass Ski Area offers some of the Cascade’s best snow (350 inches annually) and awe-inspiring views of Mount Rainier, the Tattoosh Range, and the Goat Rocks. White Pass is a compact 635 skiable acres with 5 lifts servicing 32 trails.

But the terrain is varied enough to appeal to skiers of all abilities. Besides the Alpine runs, there is an 18-kilometer network of Nordic trails for the cross-country aficionados. And of course the terrain park is where the snowboarders gather for a variety of fun.

Our Snow Activities list is being upgraded and integrated with our new Activities & Adventures catalog.