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The Summit at Snoqualmie Ski Holidays

Near enough to Seattle to combine a ski break with a jaunt in one of America’s greatest cities – The Summit’s four mountains mightn’t have the biggest verticals on earth, but the variety on offer’s fantastic.





At a glance: • Near Seattle • 4 ski areas • Quiet base villages

Great for: • Night skiing • Short transfers • Off piste

Near enough to Seattle to combine a ski break with a jaunt in one of America’s greatest cities – The Summit’s four mountains mightn’t have the biggest verticals on earth, but the variety on offer’s fantastic.

The Summit at Snoqualmie Resort

One of the Washington ski resorts, The Summit is 45 minutes away from Seattle, half an hour out of Snoqualmie city and home to some of the best skiing in the Northwest.

People have been skiing on the Snoqualmie Pass since the twenties and thirties but the Summit ski area officially opened its doors in 1937. It’s long been a haunt of devoted skiers, who in wartimes, would save up their gas ration coupons to ski here.

These days, the resort is split into four base areas: Summit East, Summit Center, Summit West and Alpental on the other side of the Snoqualmie Pass. None are brimming with their own accommodation options - you’ll find the odd inn, lodge and holiday home scattered about, with the bulk of places to stay within a short drive. There aren’t oodles of après ski activities either, apart from a tubing hill in Summit Center and a handful of watering holes dotted around. But that’s half the charm of being here – skiing’s the sole focus and like the wartime enthusiasts before them, many who ski here are loyal returners with huge passion for the mountains.

Access to the resort is fantastic, thanks to Seattle airport being only an hour’s drive away – refreshingly near compared to the 4 hour plus transfers you get in some North American ski resorts. To keep the Seattle crowd coming, shuttles run between The Summit and West Seattle, Downtown Seattle, Bellevue and North Bend which can take care of your transfer if it isn’t included in a package.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Washington, USA

Established: 1937

Open: December - April

Downhill: 1994 acres

View our detailed The Summit at Snoqualmie snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our The Summit at Snoqualmie snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA)57 miles, 1 hour
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 14%

  • 45%

  • 41%

Top Altitude:5420ft / 1652m
Bottom Altitude:2610ft / 795m
Resort Altitude:3140ft / 957m
Longest run:1.17 miles
Slope Orientation:
Vertical Drop:2280ft / 694m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:Yes

Snow Report

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  • Base
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Web Cam

The Summit at Snoqualmie web cams
Downhill Runs:1994 acres
Beginner slopes:14%
Advanced slopes:41%
Lift Pass Price: $66 (adult 1 day)
Nearby resorts:

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in The Summit at Snoqualmie

Due to the small-ish size of the mountains, the general nature of the runs here is short but with lots of variety.

The place to learn is Summit West, where the kids club and ski school ease you onto gentle green runs like Julies and Little Thunder. Once the snowplough is perfected, progress onto runs like Easy Rider, Dodge Ridge and Big Bill. If you’re here with family or friends, more advanced skiers and riders needn’t steer completely clear, with black diamonds Thunderbolt, Thunderbird and the 360 Bowl to provide a challenge.

Summit Central has some of the best snow parks in the Northwest, with seventy-something features in the central park. This is also a huge night skiing area featuring black diamonds, blues and greens over 600 acres of terrain. Learners have a couple of beginner runs near the central base area, while intermediates can enjoy the lovely Outback blue where you can nip between the trees. Central is linked to Summit East by the blue Crossover runs between the trees – and together, these two areas are where you’ll find most of the intermediate runs.

Over on the backside of East you’ll find the Hidden Valley, where beginners can cruise the long Solitude, intermediates have the wide Revelation and experts the Hidden Valley and Eclipse. The Nordic centre with its cross country trails can also be found in this area.

Last but most certainly not least is Alpental, which has a different feel to the other ski areas. This place ups the ante with expert territory, including the off piste in the Alpental Back Bowls (no marked trails, just weave your own way down between cliffs and rocks) and the Edelweiss powder bowl on the other side of the cliff.

Black diamond runs include Ingrid’s Inspiration and Snake Dance, while the Double Blacks really test your mettle. Adrenalin is one of the steepest runs around, with a 50-degree gradient and the famous Upper International is a must ski, with a hairy initial chute that drops into wide, steep bowl. Those who prefer a gentler descent aren’t forgotten, with easier runs like Debbie’s Gold which is a wide, cruisey groomer down the fall line and the beginner standard St Bernard.

The Summit at Snoqualmie Apres Ski

While none of the bases are famed for their wild and wonderful après ski, each has its share of places to eat, drink and be merry.

You’ve got the most choice at Summit Central, where the tubing centre can provide hours of snowy fun. Silver Fir has an upstairs bar as well as a dining room where you can feast on burgers, stir fry and curries at lunchtime. If the sun’s out, head to Coyotes for al fresco dining – and if you want a quick bite before heading back for more sunny skiing, Hot Shots does coffee and snacks. Later on, try the Side Door Speakeasy which serves local beers like Summit Pale Ale and Alpental Amber.

In Alpental, Tiroler Stube does burgers and grilled meats, while the Backcountry Bar is a nice loft with balconies serving beers and pizza slices. You’ll find pub food and drinks at Webb’s in Summit West, where another popular spot is Timberwolf for its fireplace and games tables.

Summit East is the smallest of the lot, with just the Milwaukee Lodge open in peak season for lunches (pizza, soup) and drinks in the Broken Tip bar upstairs.

Best time to go

Best time to ski The Summit at Snoqualmie

Best time to visit & ski The Summit at Snoqualmie

The ski season usually runs from early December to late April over here, with 428 inches of snowfall on average each year. On good snow weeks, skiers and snowboarders flock in from Seattle to enjoy the conditions – but with lifts transporting 34,490 people an hour the queues shouldn’t be too much trouble.

Peak Dates

Look out for Father Christmas, who’s made an appearance on the ski slopes over Christmas at The Summit on previous years.

Live bands, torchlight parades and parties help welcome in the New Year at The Summit. Usually you’ll find the main events in the Alpental Lodge.

Seattle schools mid-winter break doesn’t tend to coincide with British half term, meaning Half Term at The Summit usually leaves the lift queues lovely and short.

On a good snow year, Easter at The Summit is all about enjoying the softer snow and sunshine.

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Families in The Summit at Snoqualmie

With such a variety of ski areas, Summit suits all kinds of families. We love the learning facilities at Summit West, where the Kids Club provides half day lessons and the Burton Riglet park is a dream for little rippers. Teens can while away the hours at the Summit Parks in Central, and if it calls for some time off the skis, the tubing slopes are great fun.

GroupsGroup Holidays The Summit at Snoqualmie

Groups of 15 or more have qualified for discounts on lift passes in recent years, with a free lift pass given out to groups bigger than 20. The different ski areas here mean each member can find terrain to suit them – while experts set off to explore Alpental, beginners can practice on the wide, gentle terrain of Summit West. Each area has its own bars and restaurants, so you can gather together for beers in Alpental’s Backcountry Bar, burritos at Rosita’s in Summit West or burgers at Silver Fir in Center, depending where you’re based.

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