Located in the Cascade Range of Washington, next to Mount Rainier National Park, Crystal Mountain is a winter paradise for both skiers and non-skiers. As the largest ski resort in Washington, you can expect limitless variations, with half a dozen basins and peaks to enjoy. It houses numerous hotels and dining locations, as well as nine chairlifts.
From challenging bowls, chutes, glades, and steeps to the gentle groomed beginner runs, this 2,600-acre ski area provides an adventure for skiers of all levels. Plus, if that was not enough, you get to enjoy it with one of the most stunning and expansive backcountry backdrops.
You can expect an average of 367 inches of snowfall per year, meaning there is plenty of time to enjoy what Crystal Mountain has to offer.
Living in Crystal Mountain and Things To Do
Living in Crystal Mountain is a treat. There are so many things to do in Crystal Mountain, with skiing a top draw for many. With a summit stretching 7,012 feet high and a vertical drop of 3,100 feet facilitated by 11 ski lifts, Crystal Mountain boasts an impressive 57 trails to its name. Over half of these are suitable for intermediate skiers, with a smaller proportion of expert and beginners’ slopes.
And what about the Crystal Mountain snow report? In 2018, there were 356 inches of snowfall in total, across 69 snowfall days. The average depth at the summit was 71 inches. When it comes to the weather, you can expect lows of -9 during the winter and highs of 1. In the summer, you can expect lows of 0 and highs of 17, but you can get the latest updates on our Crystal Mountain resort guide here.
From Crystal Mountain, you can also explore the other nearby resorts, including Summit at Snoqualmie Pass, Hurricane Ridge, Mt. Spokane and the Mt. Baker ski area, the most northerly in Washington.
But it's not all about the skiing. There are lots of impressive restaurants too, with the Summit House the highest restaurant in Washington. It is situated right next to Mt. Rainer Gondola, and it operates whenever the gondola is in operation, as well as Saturday evenings throughout the summer.
Leisure and Culture in Crystal Mountain
Crystal Mountain has something to offer everyone. You don’t need to be a skier to have a lot of fun here. There are daily snowshoe tours and rentals, as well as scenic rides on the Mount Rainer Gondola. Through the weekends, you will find live music at the world-famous Snorting Elk Cellar, as well as at the Sundeck, which is at the base area.
In fact, taking a ride on the Mt. Rainer Gondola is something that comes highly recommended no matter the season. This was installed in 2010. It gives people year-round access to the summit of the resort, and it is the only high-speed gondola in the state. This ten-minute ride provides the most magical views of the Olympics to the west, Glacier Peak and Mt. Baker to the north, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens to the south, and of course, Mt. Rainer itself.
Investment Potential in Crystal Mountain
One of the great things about buying a property in Crystal Mountain is that you will have a property that has rental appeal throughout the entire year. You are not going to be restricted to the ski season only. In fact, Crystal Mountain provides the perfect playground during the summer months. Many people come here to enjoy a fun and relaxing escape. After all, Crystal Mountain is nestled amid wildflower-filled meadows, stunning forests, and pure Washington wilderness, and so its appeal is evident.
If that was not enough, this ski resort is a place whereby large investments and developments are the norm. There have been a number of significant projects over the years. This includes the High Campbell Chair 6 Replacement. This saw a new chairlift installed in 2014, which was able to withstand higher winds than the original, meaning more places can now be accessed. The Quicksilver Replacement C-4, in 2014, saw the uphill capacity double and the trail become more beginner-friendly. There are a number of proposed and approved projects too, including high-speed replacements for Discovery and Quicksilver chairs, two new surface tows at the new Bullion Base and old base area and a Park N’ Ride initiative to provide access between the current base area and the new Bullion base.
Transport to Crystal Mountain
Getting to Crystal Mountain is not difficult. You can access it all year from Enumclaw by using Highway 410. You can also travel through Mt. Rainier National Park, using Highway 120 and 410, but please note that this route tends to close between November and Spring because of snowfall. The nearest airport to Crystal Mountain is Seattle Tacoma (SEA), with a transfer time of around two hours expected.