Crystal Mountain resort definitely fits the bill of winter playground and summer oasis. Just 32 miles east of Enumclaw. With more than 350 inches of snowfall annually.
Crystal Mountain often finds itself on the who’s who list of top North American ski resorts. Its 2,600 acres of groomed runs cater to beginners and ski arnd snowboard enthusiasts. There are gentle slopes, challenging steep runs, and expansive back country areas. There’s a gondola that can whisk non-skiers to the summit, 6,872 feet, in about 10 minutes for breathtaking views of Mount Rainier or for a dining experience at the Summit House, Washington’s highest elevation restaurant.
Crystal Mountain has it all – lodging, lessons, rentals, ski shop, restaurants. Things at Crystal Mountain heat up when the snow melts. During the summer, those slopes fill with wildflowers and provide miles of hiking and biking trails that wind along alpine lakes and through evergreen forest. Guided horseback rides, an 18-hole disc golf course and frequent weekend events that bring live music to the hillside round out the summer season.
Crystal Mountain Resort’s Mt. Rainier Gondola is an excellent way for people of any mobility level to enjoy an alpine outdoor experience. Its cherry-red cabins whisk visitors from 5,400 feet to 8672 feet in just 10 minutes. Soaring high above meadows and trees, the gondola offers gorgeous views, including a jaw-dropping vision of Mt. Rainier as the gondola crests the summit. In addition, Crystal Mt. Resort is dog-friendly. Dogs ride free on the gondola with a paying rider. Visitors can opt to ride both directions or can ride one way and hike from the ridge, down through the meadows to the base again. Hiking from the base of the resort to Hensken Lake is also a popular summer excursion.