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Check out all of the options before you hit the slopes

click to enlarge A beautiful day on Schweitzer - BOB LEGASSA
  • Bob Legassa
  • A beautiful day on Schweitzer

49 Degrees North 49 Degrees North is known for its tree skiing and healthy snowfall. Why not check out what locals call "Freshy Fridays"? With the exception of the holiday time period, 49 Degrees North is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. So if a storm hits the region over those days, make sure you head up on Friday morning to enjoy two days of untouched fresh snowfall. In addition to alpine skiing and snowshoeing, the resort has some of the best Nordic (cross-country) skiing in the region, complete with a toasty yurt where you can adjust your gear and relax for a bit before heading back out. 3311 Flowery Trail Rd. Chewelah, Wash. • 935-6649 • http://www.ski49n.com/

Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area Getting to Lookout Pass is easy. Zoom along the four lanes of I-90 from downtown Spokane and you can arrive at Exit 0 on the Idaho/Montana border in 90 minutes; once there, you can ski two states on one mountain. Then there's the snow: a whopping 400 inches per year — nearly 100 inches more of lighter, drier white stuff than other local resorts. Its cozy historic base lodge is the second oldest in the Northwest, reminiscent of 1940s-era lodges. The resort offers three terrain parks, and its "famous free ski school" (yes, it's really free) to introduce kids ages 6 to 17 to skiing or boarding. I-90 Exit 0 Mullan, Idaho • 208-744-1301 • www.skilookout.com

Mount Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park Inlander readers have voted Mt. Spokane their favorite place to snowboard for 10 years. You can chalk up Mt. Spokane's enduring popularity with snowboarders to its rapid addition of terrain parks in recent years. These are designated areas with jumps, slopes and rails — both natural and manmade — where riders of various skill levels can attempt and perfect new tricks. But 10 years of Best Of wins don't come solely from new parks with cool features. It has to do with how diligently Mt. Spokane has worked to create a welcoming, inclusive culture for skiers and snowboarders. Its short distance from Spokane (only 28 miles) and commitment to night skiing (16 runs, the most in the region), don't hurt either. 29500 N. Mount Spokane Park Dr. Mead, Wash. • 238-2220 • www.mtspokane.com

RED Mountain Resort Awarded "Best Up and Coming Ski Resort" in the 2013 World Snow Awards, Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, B.C., invites skiers to come check out their uncrowded 4,200 acres and "find out what none of the fuss is about." The resort has wide-open, well-groomed runs, 360-degree descents off of select peaks and incredibly deep snow. 4300 Red Mountain Rd. Rossland, B.C. • 800-663-0105 • www.redresort.com

Schweitzer Mountain Resort You can't beat the views from the summit of Schweitzer, where skiiers can drink in shimmering Lake Pend Oreille and panoramic views of three mountain ranges that stretch into three states and Canada. It's no wonder that Inlander readers vote Schweitzer their favorite place to ski. In addition to killer views, the resort also boasts the most high-speed lifts and the most skiable acres in the region. Abundant ski-in, ski-out lodging, a vibrant mountain village, nordic trails, terrain parks, tubing, night skiing and a packed calendar of events round out the experience. 10000 Schweitzer Mountain Rd. Sandpoint, Idaho • 208-263-9555 • www.schweitzer.com

Silver Mountain Resort One hour from Spokane and an easy 30-minute freeway ride from Coeur d'Alene, Silver Mountain is one of the most easily accessible ski resorts in the area. Tourists love the scenic 3-mile-long gondola and locals come here to ski the North Face Glades after a fresh dump of snow. Gondola Village offers lodging, restaurants and Idaho's largest indoor waterpark, Silver Rapids. 610 Bunker Ave. Kellogg, Idaho • 866-344-2675 • www.silvermt.com

Ski Bluewood One of Washington's best-kept skiing secrets, Ski Bluewood boasts the second-highest base elevation in the state. This quaint ski hill is known for its excellent tree skiing and great powder. Just 150 miles from Spokane and 54 miles from Walla Walla, the drive isn't bad either. 2000 N. Touchet Rd. Dayton, Wash. • 382-4725 • www.bluewood.com

Whitewater Ski Resort A three-and-a-half-hour drive from Spokane, near the funky town of Nelson, B.C., Whitewater Ski Resort is known for its dry champagne-powder skiing and wide variety of terrain. With dependable snowfall averaging 40 feet each season, it's a guaranteed good time. The resort boasts short lift lines, reasonable prices and a truly some of the best ski resort food you'll taste anywhere. 602 Lake St. Nelson, B.C. • 800-666-9420 • www.skiwhitewater.com


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