2016 – 17 Northwest Resort Report

November 4, 2016

What’s New at NW Snow Resorts?

Compiled by Kris Parfitt

Photo at right: A snowboarder expresses her excitement to be shredding the slopes on a blue bird day. Photo courtesy of Brundage Mountain Resort


There’s an abundance of upgrades, more terrain, new lodges and lifts at Northwest snow resorts! So grab your friends, gear and this guide to find out which mountains are best to play on this winter.

The graceful art of skiing glades involves trees, fresh powder and a colorful outfit. Photo courtesy of 49 Degrees North Ski and Snowboard Resort



49 Degrees North Ski and Snowboard Resort

Scheduled to open Nov. 21, 49 Degrees offers new lifts and terrain expansions that have doubled the ski terrain to more than 2,300 skiable acres. With 1,850 feet of vertical terrain, night skiing and one of the longest terrain parks in the Northwest, come see why this resort is a favorite with locals in the northeast region of Washington state. www.ski49n.com

Crystal Mountain Resort

Known as the largest ski area in Washington and only two hours from Seattle, Crystal Mountain boasts 2,600 acres of skiable terrain. New this year, the resort upgraded two chairlifts, bought three new snowmaking guns and bought all new rental skis, snowboards and boots. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.crystalmountainresort.com

Loup Loup Ski Bowl

With perfectly groomed runs on 300 acres of diverse terrain, Loup Loup in northeastern Washington sports three lifts, a terrain park, tubing hill and a certified ski school for alpine skiing and snowboarding lessons. Guests can enjoy a rustic day lodge, ski shop and 1,240 vertical feet across 10 runs. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.skitheloup.com

Methow Valley

Known as the nation’s largest cross-country ski area, Methow Valley offers more than 120 miles of groomed trails, snowshoeing and fat-tire biking in uncrowded conditions. Dogs and kids ski free! Opening day is dependent on weather. www.methowtrails.org

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort

Known to receive more than 300 days of sunshine a year, Mission Ridge, just up the road from Wenatchee, offers 2,000 acres with 2,250 feet of vertical drop over 36 runs. The new Bomber Bowl terrain park provides fresh jibbing for riders of all ages. Opening day is dependent on weather and snowmaking conditions. www.missionridge.com

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Averaging 600 inches of snowfall annually, Mt. Baker is known internationally for accessible backcountry skiing from the ski area’s chairlifts. It also hosts the largest snowboard race in the world, the Banked Slalom. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.mtbaker.us

Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park

With three new rails in the nearly mile-long terrain park and some of the best, undiscovered tree skiing around, Mt. Spokane offers 1,425 acres of alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and tubing. On Wednesdays through Saturdays in high season, it’s open for night skiing, with six-hour passes available for just $20. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.mtspokane.com

Stevens Pass

Scheduled to open Nov. 18, Stevens offers 1,800 vertical feet on three sides of two mountains. With an average of 460 inches of snowfall annually over 1,125 acres, guests can enjoy 39 runs with bowls, glades and faces, and both day and night skiing. www.stevenspass.com

Summit at Snoqualmie

With the purchase of the Mountaineers’ land between Summit West and Summit Central, guests will have more downhill terrain options and acres to ski at the Summit. In addition to new Magic Carpets at the Tubing Center and Summit West, two new groomers have been added to the fleet. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.summitatsnoqualmie.com

White Pass Ski Area

An updated terrain park complements the 1,500 acres and 2,000 vertical feet found at White Pass. Located 12 miles southeast of Mount Rainier and scheduled to open Nov. 26, this ski area offers alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing. www.skiwhitepass.com

More Washington Ski Areas/Resources

Bluewood: www.bluewood.com
Cascade Powder Guides: www.cascadepowderguides.com
Echo Ridge: www.lakechelannordic.org
Hurricane Ridge: www.hurricaneridge.net
Leavenworth Winter Sports Club: www.skileavenworth.com
North Cascade Heli Skiing: www.heli-ski.com/about.php
Sitzmark: www.skisitzmark.org



Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort

Affordable and family-friendly with an annual average of 300 inches of snow, Anthony Lakes boasts 900 vertical feet and a base elevation of 8,000 feet — the highest in Oregon — along with the longest run in the state, measuring 1.5 miles. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.anthonylakes.com

Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Scheduled to open Dec. 10, Mt. Ashland has added new rails to its terrain parks for a fresh new look. An upgraded fleet of rental skis and boards complement the new 28-kilowatt solar system that will offset 12 percent energy use throughout the season. www.mtashland.com

Mt. Bachelor

Scheduled to open Nov. 25, Mt. Bachelor announces its first new chairlift in 10 years. Adding 635 acres to its lift-served terrain, the new high-speed quad, Cloudchaser, makes Mt. Bachelor the fifth largest ski area in the U.S. with a total of 4,318 skiable acres. www.mtbachelor.com

Mt. Hood Meadows

New this year at Mt. Hood Meadows is a boot rack and drying system, 600 new rental skis and express check-in for online reservations. In addition to the six high-speed quads, five chairlifts and a rope tow that access more than 2,150 acres of existing terrain, Meadows offers 10 miles of tracks for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. Opening day is dependent on weather. www.skihood.com

Mt. Hood Ski Bowl

Powder Magazine calls Mt. Hood Ski Bowl the best place in the U.S. to go night skiing. New this year, a second conveyor lift has been installed in the Snow Tube and Winter Adventure Park, along with refurbished and newly painted rails in the three terrain parks. Scheduled to open Nov. 23. www.skibowl.com


The only ski area in North America with year-round skiable terrain, Timberline has 3,690 vertical feet. With new snow cats added to the fleet, a remodeled bar and café in the Wy’East Day Lodge, and the ability to move almost 10,000 people per day uphill on five high-speed quads, it’s no wonder this is Oregon’s best-kept secret place to shred. www.timberlinelodge.com

More Oregon Snow Areas/Resources

Cat Ski Mt. Bailey: www.catskimtbailey.com
Cooper Spur Mountain Resort: www.cooperspur.com
Hoo Doo: www.skihoodoo.com
Spout Springs: www.spoutspringsskiarea.com
Warner Canyon: www.warnercanyon.org
Willamette Pass: www.willamettepass.com

Many Northwest snow resorts provide groomed trails and rental options for fat tire biking and Nordic skiing. Photo courtesy of Sun Valley



Brundage Mountain Resort

With new snow-making systems to pile powder below 6,000 feet, Brundage is scheduled to open Nov. 25. After installing a brand new back-up power generator for both lodges, guests will enjoy uninterrupted electricity and lifts no matter what Mother Nature brings. www.brundage.com

Lookout Pass

Receiving 400 inches of powder a year, Lookout Pass has added another day of skiing this season, opening six days a week starting Nov. 24. The terrain parks have numerous improvements and upgrades to complement the 1,111-foot quarter-pipe, the longest in the nation. www.skilookout.com

Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Boasting a new 9,000-square-foot lodge at the summit, Schweitzer also offers 2,900 acres of varied terrain for skiing and snowboarding along wide-open bowls and tree-lined runs, and 20 miles of Nordic trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snow biking. Scheduled to open Dec. 2. www.schweitzer.com

Silver Mountain Resort

Offering diverse terrain spread over two mountains with 1,600 acres and 2,200 vertical feet, Silver Mountain is scheduled to open Nov. 24. It is located in the Panhandle of northern Idaho, a short, one-hour drive east of Spokane. Guests can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, terrain parks, tubing and snowshoeing during the winter months, and Silver Rapids Waterpark year-round. www.silvermt.com

Sun Valley

To celebrate 80 years of operation, Sun Valley will offer direct flights from Portland on Alaska Airlines, in addition to its regularly scheduled Seattle route. With a scheduled opening of Nov. 24, the resort has expanded to 55 acres of gladed skiing and has upgraded its snowmaking guns for better snowmaking efficiency. www.sunvalley.com

More Idaho Snow Resorts

Bogus Basin: www.bogusbasin.org
Galena Lodge: www.galenalodge.com
Grand Targhee:
Kelly Canyon: www.skikelly.com
Lost Trail Powder Mountain: www.losttrail.com
Pebble Creek: www.pebblecreekskiarea.com
Pomerelle Mountain Resort: www.pomerelle-mtn.com

A snowboarder catches big air over Whitefish Lake. Photo courtesy of Whitefish Mountain Resort



Big Sky Resort

Named the third best ski resort to visit in North America during the 2016 – 2017 season by USA Today, Big Sky has much to boast about. With two new chairlifts providing access to more than 5,800 acres and 4,350 vertical feet, this resort smoothly handles more than 3,000 skiers a day. Scheduled to open Nov. 24. www.bigskyresort.com

Izaak Walton Inn

Bordering Glacier National Park, you can hit the trails from your door at the Izaak Walton Inn. The Inn offers backcountry touring, snowshoeing and over 20 miles of groomed trails for classic and skate skiing for all ski levels. Amtrak Empire Builder stops at the Inn! Opening day is dependent on weather.  www.izaakwaltoninn.com

Whitefish Mountain Resort

Scheduled to open Dec. 7, Whitefish has a newly remodeled Summit House with a new mezzanine level, 135 more seats and new windows offering unique views of the Whitefish Range and the Canadian Rockies. www.skiwhitefish.com

More Montana Ski Areas

Blacktail Mountain: www.blacktailmountain.com
Discovery Ski Area: www.skidiscovery.com
Great Divide: www.skigd.com
Lost Trail Powder Mountain: www.losttrail.com
Maverick Mountain: www.skimaverick.com
Montana Snowbowl: www.montanasnowbowl.com
Red Lodge: www.redlodgemountain.com
Showdown Montana: www.showdownmontana.com
Teton Pass: www.tetonpassresort.com
Turner Mountain: www.skiturner.com



Alyeska Ski Resort

Averaging more than 650 inches of annual snowfall at the summit and 113 acres of snowmaking, Alyeska offers downhill skiing, snowboarding, heli- and cat-skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and dog sledding. Scheduled to open Nov. 24, this resort is also one of the best in North America for viewing the Northern Lights. www.alyeskaresort.com

Sunshine, powder and skiing make for happy people. Photo by Paul Morrison, courtesy of Whistler Blackcomb

British Columbia


Big White

Big White was named one of the best terrain parks in North America by USA Today in 2016. It will be the official host mountain for the 2017 World Para Snowboard Championships, Feb. 1– 8. With an expanded Kids Center, a new horse-drawn sleigh dinner tour and its very own IPA beer, Big White is one of Canada’s more family-friendly snow resorts. Scheduled to open Nov. 24. www.bigwhite.com

Fernie Alpine Resort

Boasting up to 444 inches of snow per season and more than 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, Fernie now offers guided backcountry and heli-skiing tours. New, state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming equipment complement the 142 runs and five alpine bowls. Scheduled to open Dec. 15. www.skifernie.com

Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

With a new airline shuttle from the Calgary International Airport, it’s easier than ever to access Kicking Horse’s 2,800 skiable acres, 4,100 vertical feet, 85 inbound chutes and 120 runs. The new heli-skiing option allows guests to really experience the “champagne powder” capital of Canada. Scheduled to open Dec. 15. www.kickinghorseresort.com

Kimberley Alpine Resort

Guests can enjoy airline service from Calgary to Cranbrook International Airport, an easy 30-minute drive from Kimberley. Skiers can also check weather conditions, snow reports, mountain status updates and more with the new RCR Ski App. Scheduled to open Dec. 15. www.skikimberley.com

Red Mountain Resort

Rossland, B.C., less than 100 miles north of Spokane, Washington, is home to Red Mountain Resort. Boasting 4,200 skiable acres and 2,919 feet of vertical drop, this resort is serviced by seven chair lifts. Scheduled to open Dec. 10. www.redresort.com

Silver Star Mountain Resort

With a new Black-Diamond run, Silver Star now offers 132 runs and a new snow cat supplements the fleet. A new Magic Carpet has been added to Tube Town, along with more tubing lanes. Groomed Nordic skiing is scheduled to open Nov. 10, and alpine skiing on Nov. 24. www.skisilverstar.com

Sun Peaks Resort

Endless winter play and more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each winter is offered to everyone at Sun Peaks starting Nov. 19. Beyond the 4,270 acres of terrain spanning three mountains, the second largest ski resort in Canada offers alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboard parks, dog-sled tours, winter Segway tours, Cat Trax groomer rides, snow biking, a tube park and much more. www.sunpeaksresort.com

Whistler Blackcomb

For the third year in a row, SKI Magazine readers have named Whistler Blackcomb the number one ski resort in North America. With opening day scheduled for Nov. 24, Whistler Blackcomb has expanded its snowmaking ability with 315 snow guns and three snowmaking reservoirs, each holding 55 million gallons of water. www.whistlerblackcomb.com

Whitewater Ski Resort

After a successful celebration of its 40th year in operation, Whitewater has been busy installing a new Glory Ridge Chair Lift, bulldozing the Gold Digger run for easier grooming and widening the entrance to Morning Glory for better shreddability — all in time for a Dec. 9 opening. www.skiwhitewater.com

Other British Columbia Resorts

Cross-Country Skiing: www.skiittobelieveit.com/Winter-Activities/Cross-Country-Skiing

For more ski area updates, go to www.OutdoorsNW.com