Summit at Snoqualmie and Alpental
Skiing & Snowboarding GUIDE
In less than an hour drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Seattle and you can be skiing and snowboard at the Summit at Snoqualmie. With four separate base areas, Alpental, Summit West, Summit Central, and Summit East, there is terrain for every level of skier and snowboarder to enjoy. Between these four base areas, there are nearly 2,000 skiable acres to choose from. Alpental is known for it’s great powder skiing with multiple backcountry gates that access steep and snowy terrain, and the legendary Edelweiss Chair 2. Summit West, Central, and East meanwhile, feature one of Washington’s best terrain parks with tons of rail and jump options, as well as more beginner terrain that is accessible to skiers and snowboarders of any level.
While each of the Summit at Snoqualmie’s base areas have something to offer, Alpental is where you will find locals on a powder day. Roll out of your camper in the upper lot, or head up early from Seattle and get ready to line up for the Chair 2 opening. Edelweis, colloquially known as Chair 2, is the gatekeeper to the terrain that Alpental is known for. With the big storms, it often takes ski patrol some time to perform avalanche control work in order to get the chair spinning safely, so you can expect to stand in line for a bit. Look around and get to know the locals, they’re a colorful, but friendly bunch. This is the time to make some friends and maybe even meet your personal ski guide for the day. Once the old center-pole double chairlift gets moving, keep you eyes on the terrain status, and wait for the Nash and Elevator gates to open. From these access points, skiers and snowboarders can traverse out to a huge selection of great tree skiing and snowboarding. It’s steep and can be tight in places, with unmarked cliffs and creeks though, so study the trail map and be careful, however. Make sure to carry backcountry safety equipment
and read up on the backcountry protocol, even if you’re not ready to head out the gates, there is plenty of powder skiing and snowboarding inbounds to be had.
In the mood for something more mellow, or just starting out skiing or snowboarding?? Head over to Summit West for a great learning environment. The eight lifts here, including 2 surface lifts, are perfect for beginners. With a natural progression from easy to advanced terrain, beginning skiers and snowboarders can comfortably challenge themselves as their confidence grows. Summit West is also far enough away from Summit Central, and Alpental that families and beginners don’t have to worry about expert skiers and snowboarders buzzing by constantly; the space is yours to learn and enjoy!
After mastering the slopes of Summit East, or Summit West, skiers and snowboarders might want to head over to Summit Central to take things to the next level. The best-in-the-west terrain park lives here at Summit Central, too. With nine lifts here, there is something for every level of skier and snowboarder, making Central a great place for families. There are some easy runs here, off the Holiday chairlift, however the majority of Summit Central’s terrain is intermediate and advanced. Countless rail options and different jump lines combine with fun and novel features to make for a good time for all skill levels of skiers and boarders alike. The bright green lift tower tubes in all shapes and sizes are staples, along with their creative and fun setups. Awesome events throughout the year, from Up Jib Creek early in the year all the way to Backcountry Booters in the spring, bring together the northwest freestyle community.
East offers the fewest crowds and a wider selection of terrain options. The tree runs of Blowdown and the backside hidden valley lift is a great place to bring those kids who are looking for some adventure, and to get them ready to head over to the bigger, steeper terrain of Alpental. With quick access to the lodge for hot chocolate breaks, The Summit at Snoqualmie offers some of the most family friendly ski and snowboard areas in Washington state.
Night skiing is available at Alpental, Summit West and Summit Central. The lights stay on until 10pm, so you have plenty of time to head up after school or work and shred. 541 of the Summit at Snoqualmie’s 1,994 total skiable acres are lit up for night skiing and snowboarding. Make sure to bundle up though, because it can get chilly on cold winter nights. The slopes often empty out at dark, so this is a great time to have the mountains at the Summit at Snoqualmie to yourself.
Unlike the built-up vacation destinations that dominate much of the resort industry, Washington skiing and snowboarding has always been about the day trip. Just a stone's throw from Seattle, the no-frills, pure experience of skiing and snowboarding at Snoqualmie Pass is undergoing a surge in popularity and a revitalization. Fuel up and come along for the ride.
Mountain Stats & Trail Map
| Total Skiable Acres:
|| 1,994 acres
|| Alpental Vertical Drop
| Back Bowls & Backcountry Terrain
|| 523 acres
|| Summit West Vertical Drop
| Lit Night Skiing Terrain
|| 541 acres
||Summit Central Vertical Drop
| Average Annual Snowfall
|| Summit East Vertical Drop
| Pecentage of Beginner Terrain
| Percentage of Intermediate Terrain
|Percentage of Advanced Terrain
Travel Information & Directions
The Summit at Snoqualmie is the closest ski and snowboard area to Seattle, located just 50 miles east of Seattle off of I-90. This drive takes just under an hour from Seattle, and navigation is simple, just hop on the highway and exit at the summit.There can be winter driving restrictions on Snoqualmie pass so make sure to check the WSDOT Snoqualmie Pass page
before heading out. I-90 is one of Washington’s biggest highways, so traffic is never really an issue, unless the conditions are especially snowy.
While there are some lodging options available at Snoqualmie Pass, the area is fairly undeveloped, without any major hotels or lodges. Being the closest skiing and snowboarding to Seattle, you can stay in the big city and head up for day trips as well. Lodging can be found in several of the towns on either side of Snoqualmie Pass and dotted around the base area. The town of Cle Elum is just 28 miles from the Summit and has several hotels. Lot 3 at Alpental has an eclectic and friendly group of RV driving locals. You can park your own RV here for up to 3 days at a time. Check out more on Snoqualmie Pass lodging below.
Summit at Snoqualmie Lodging
Local Food Picks
Snoqualmie Pass has some surprisingly awesome food options to check out, to fuel up for riding or to kick it and get your apres on. Aardvark Express: It's easy to miss this tiny operation, with a walk-up hut/trailer tucked into the Chevron parking lot across from Summit West. But if you're hungry, Aardvark's eclectic mix of Asian-inspired dishes, BBQ, and savory treats will treat you right. The star of the menu is the Hurry Curry Bowl. Commonwealth: Part of the new Pass Life community at Snoqualmie, Commonwealth offers awesome pub fare for apres. Order grilled jalapenos, the 906 burger, or a Glondo's Sausage (from just down the hill in Cle Elum), and match it with one of Dru Bru's beers. Dru Bru: Tucked next to Commonwealth, Dru Bru's brewery and taproom offers European-inspired session beers for those who want more than a Rainier after riding. Order it with food at Commonwealth, or bring your own food in.
Summit at Snoqualmie Dining:
Where to Find Lift tickets to The summit at snoqualmie?
Summit at Snoqualmie lift tickets can be purchased at each of the base areas, or online. Tickets include all four base areas. Lift tickets at the Summit are very reasonably priced, with discounts for seniors and youth. Skiing and snowboarding at night is a great way to save money as well, with cheap lift tickets, and fewer crowds. Beginner lift tickets are discounted as well, with limited access to lifts, but plenty to get you started.
Summit at Snoqualmie Lift Tickets
Summit at Snoqualmie Weather Information
On average, it snows 429” at the Summit at Snoqualmie; that’s over 35 feet of snow! The snow is awesome, but the relatively low elevation means snoqualmie pass skiing and snowboarding can be wet, so make sure you’re prepared with the proper waterproof ski and snowboard gear
. Alpental snow conditions are usually the best, due to its increased elevation. Once the sun goes down, Snoqualmie night skiing is an awesome time, and less crowded than day time operations. Speaking of the sun, make sure to get over to Alpental in the spring when the conditions get soft and slushy. While most of the base areas will usually close in late April, Alpental will often open up for one last Cinco De Mayo bash - a must attend event for skiers and snowboarders!
Summit at Snoqualmie Weather Resources
Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Report
Summit at Snoqualmie Webcams
Alpental Top Forecast
The Summit at Snoqualmie is not only the closest ski area to Seattle, it is also an all inclusive family ski and snowboard area. Whether you are getting rad at Alpental, jibbing the terrain park at Summit Central, or trying out skiing or snowboarding for the very first time at Summit East, you will find everything you need. 429” of annual snowfall, and four base areas make for a uniquely Washington skiing and snowboarding experience.
ExPLORE More Resorts