Maybe this season is the time to squeeze in a getaway beyond the Inland Northwest? Here are three great destinations in Washington state

Hitting the deep powder. - CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT PHOTO
Crystal Mountain Resort photo
Hitting the deep powder.

Crystal Mountain

Crystal Mountain, Washington •

3,100 vertical feet • 85 runs • 11 lifts

Think of it as Washington's Whistler. Crystal Mountain Resort drapes across a ring of snowy peaks less than two hours southeast of Seattle, its quiltwork of hanging bowls, steep chutes and snaking groomers stretched out below the towering backdrop of Mount Rainier. Yes, it's huge, with an expansive network of 11 lifts opening on 2,600 skiable acres, all of it blanketed each season with an average of 486 inches of powder. On the resort's Mount Rainier Gondola, visitors can take in a stunning view of the nearby Mount Rainier National Park. The village is full service, too, with cafes, restaurants and the Bullwheel Bar. For a special treat, dine at nearly 7,000 feet at the Summit House — the state's highest elevation restaurant.

Tailgating recommended pre-ski. - BLUEWOOD PHOTO
Bluewood photo
Tailgating recommended pre-ski.


Dayton, Washington •

1,125 vertical feet • 24 runs • 4 lifts

Head south to Dayton, and tucked within southeastern Washington's Umatilla National Forest, Bluewood packs a lot of punch in its 400 skiable acres. Treed slopes, terrain parks and groomers fed with an annual average of 300 inches of powder are there for the shredding at one of the lowest day-pass rates around. It's not huge, more on the mom-and-pop range of resorts, but it gets some great snow and especially in spring can have some sweet bluebird days. And did we mention it's near Walla Walla? No visit to Bluewood should be without a side trip to the mecca of wine, with more than 120 wineries in the area and tons of tasting rooms to test. Dayton is the cut-off — head southeast and it's a half-hour to Bluewood; head southwest and it's 40 minutes to Walla Walla.

Mission Ridge

Wenatchee, Washington •

2,250 vertical feet • 36 runs • 6 lifts/tows

Located just 12 miles above Wenatchee, Mission Ridge offers 2,000 skiable acres. Famed for the lingering wreckage of a crashed B-24 bomber from 1944, Mission Ridge is the kind of mountain dripping with history. For snowsports enthusiasts, it's also dripping with steep, treed chutes off its summit to powder stashes lurking above its maze of groomers. Mission Ridge has several on-mountain dining options, but the town of Wenatchee is so close, skiers and snowboarders can take their après drinks down on the shores of the Columbia River. Check out the Pybus Public Market, Wenatchee's favorite hangout with shops, wineries, restaurants and artisan galleries. And it's just a couple blocks from Badger Mountain Brewery, where you can try one of their "ales with attitude." ♦