Everyone has to start somewhere, and while there are a lot of beginner-friendly adventures in the area, the Summit at Snoqualmie is a great place to learn the ropes of skiing or snowboarding on easy terrain. For extra confidence, take a lesson with the resort’s ski school. 1001 SR 906, Snoqualmie Pass; summitatsnoqualmie.com
Skiing at Alpental, part of the Summit family, isn’t for the faint of heart—but if you’re ready for the challenge, you’re in for an amazing day of back bowls and heart-pounding terrain. For a different kind of thrill, the Top Phlight Terrain Park at Stevens Pass offers plenty of showboating ops. And for night owls, several lifts stay open until 10pm. 17800 Alpental Access Rd, Snoqualmie Pass; summitatsnoqualmie.com and 93001 NE Stevens Pass Hwy, Skykomish; stevenspass.com
If you love a good trip to the sauna or sipping a hot toddy by the fire after a long day on the slopes, Crystal Mountain Resort is for you. Not only does this downhill haven have 50 named runs, making it the largest ski resort in the state, but it also has a gondola that ferries foot passengers 2,456 feet up the mountain in about 10 minutes. Settle in at the Summit House, Washington’s highest-elevation restaurant, for grilled teriyaki salmon or asiago linguini with a glass of wine and views of Mount Rainier on a clear day. *33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd, Crystal Mountain; crystalmountainresort.com
About an hour from Seattle, Hyak Sno-Park has a sledding hill that’s fun for everyone but particularly suited to kids. A marked snowshoe route is also a great activity to tackle together, no special skills required. More snowshoeing awaits at Mt. Rainier National Park, where you can choose from easy routes like Cougar Rock, a four-mile section of the Wonderland Trail, or more-moderate ones, like the lovely trek to Reflection Lakes. Rangers also lead guided snowshoe walks from the Paradise visitor area in winter.
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