Crystal Mountain: Crucial Things You Need To Know

Crystal mountain

Across the United States, there are parts of the country that contain spectacular landscapes and terrain. Millions of people across the globe travel to these areas for relaxation and for sport. In the winter months, ski resorts are a popular destination for these visitors. One such resort, Crystal Mountain, offers great terrain for winter sports and spectacular views of the Northwest United States.

In this guide, we will learn all there is to know about Crystal Mountain Resort. Before we get into the numerous activities offered at the property, however, it's important to get a bit of background information about the resort itself. Let's get started.

Crystal Mountain Resort | Everything You Need to Know

two people hiking up hills in crystal mountain

First opened in 1962, Crystal Mountain is the largest ski resort in the state of Washington and located in the northeast corner of Mt. Rainier National Park. Spanning over 2,600 acres and containing over 50 named ski runs, winter sports enthusiasts flock to Crystal Mountain not only for the amazing skiing terrain but also dine in comfort with the spectacular views of Mt. Rainier and the surrounding Cascade mountains. Located just 2 hours from metropolitan Seattle, thousands of visitors flock to Crystal Mountain every year.

$30 Million Invested

Crystal Mountain has invested over $30 million in new ski lifts, restaurants, lodge renovation, and rental fleet to name a few. All of these upgrades have made Crystal Mountain Resort the preferred winter sports area in the state of Washington and the Northwest United States.

  • Base: 4,440 feet
  • Lower Northway: 3,912 feet
  • Summit: 6,872 feet
  • Silver King: 7,012 feet
  • 2,600 total acres
  • 2,300 lift-serviced acres
Ski Trail Ratio
  • Expert/Advanced: 35%
  • Intermediate: 54%
  • Beginner: 11%
Lift Capacity
  • 19,588 passengers per hour
  • Mt. Rainier Gondola: 8-passenger; 4,456′-6,856′ (2,400 vertical); Installed in 2010
  • Chinook Express: high-speed 6-passenger; 4,430′-5,280′ (850 vertical); Installed in 1998
  • Forest Queen Express: high-speed 6-passenger; 5,103′-6,250′ (1,147 vertical); Installed in 1997
  • Rainier Express: high-speed 4-passenger; 5,270′-6,854′ (1,584 vertical); Installed in 1988
  • Green Valley Express: high-speed 4-passenger; 5,880′-6,800′ (920 vertical); Installed in 2000
  • Quicksilver: quad; 4,443′-5,260′ (717 vertical); Installed in 2014
  • Discovery: triple; 4,418′-4,580′ (162 vertical); Installed in 1984
  • Gold Hills: triple; 4,456′-5,044′ (588 vertical); Installed in 1983
  • Northway: double; 4,900′-6,776′ (1,870 vertical); Installed in 2007
  • Chair 6: double; 6,080′-6,992′ (912 vertical); Installed in 2014
Historic Opening/Closing Dates
  • Earliest opening date: October 1, 2013
  • Latest closing date: July 16, 2011
Dog Policy

Dogs are welcome on the property during the summer months, however, they are not allowed in the winter months for the safety of the pets and the skiers.

Best Times To Visit Crystal Mountain

sky view of crystal mountain

Averaging over 367 inches of snow annually, the most popular time of the year for winter sports enthusiasts to visit Crystal Mountain is the winter months. However, the activities at the resort are not limited to just winter. Crystal Mountain offers a multitude of outdoor activities in the summer months as well. But, what exactly is there to do at this expansive Washington resort? Let's find out.

Things To Do At Crystal Mountain

There are plenty of activities offered at Crystal Mountain Resort besides skiing and snowboarding. Let's get into the meat of what there is to do on the property year-round.

Scenic Gondola Rides

Gondola in crystal mountain

Traveling almost 2,500 vertical feet to the summit, the 8-passenger Mt. Rainier Gondola provides scenic views of the Cascade Mountains and surrounding terrain. Foot passengers, or non-skiers, are welcome on the gondola as well as skiers and snowboarders. If you're hungry, the Mt. Rainier Gondola comes to rest just a few feet from the Summit House restaurant. For adults (18-69 years of age) the ride costs $25. Youth (5-17 years of age) tickets cost $15 and children (0-4) always ride free. There is a discounted $18 rate for senior (70+ years of age) riders. The gondola runs from 9:00 AM through 3:30 PM. Remember, operations of the Mt. Rainier Gondola are weather permitting and can suddenly change without notice. Dogs are not permitted on the gondola during winter months but are allowed to ride with their owners during the summer.

Snowshoe Tours

Group of people discussing about the crystal mountain's directions

The Snowshoe & Sip provides the opportunity to explore the spectacular terrain of Crystal Mountain Resort in snowshoes with expert guides before dining and sampling 4 different samples from the brewery, cidery, or winery. The event costs $95 and includes a complimentary chairlift ride on the Gold Hills Chairlift, snowshoe and pole rental, guided snowshoe tour, and a plated group dinner and tasting at the Bullwheel Restaurant. For a full list of dates and other current snowshoe tour themes, you can view the snowshoe event schedule here.

Chapel Services

Chapels in crystal mountain

Chapel Services are offered every Sunday during the winter season. The chapel is located at the base of the resort near the gondola. Non-denominational services start at 11:30 AM and end at noon. Catholic Mass starts at 12:30 PM and ends at 1 PM.


hiking in crystal mountain

In the summer months, hiking is one of the most popular activities at Crystal Mountain Resort. With trails containing scenic views such as alpine lakes and beautiful wildflowers, hiking the trails at Crystal Mountain could be described as a breathtaking experience. The staff asks that guests stay on the designated marked trails and practice "leave no trace" when hiking at the resort. Dogs are welcome on the trails as long as they are leashed.

Crystal Mountain also offers guided hikes through scenic pine forests and beautiful wildflower meadows and past quiet lakes and streams. The day starts at noon with a ride up the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the Summit House Restaurant for a group lunch. After lunch, the guided tour will take you down Crystal Mountain Trail. This trail is 6 miles downhill and a drop of 3,000 feet in elevation. Therefore, guided tours are recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers. Hiking trails such as these require the appropriate hiking etiquette and preparation. To learn about these topics in greater detail and for current and up-to-date schedules on guided hikes, you can see the schedule here.

Horseback Rides

Two people riding horses in crystal mountain

Chinook Outfitters offers horseback rides through open meadows filled with wildflowers and through Wenatchee National Forest. You will also see the spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains and the unspoiled mountain lakes of the Norse Peak Wilderness. Rides start as early as 9:00 AM and finish at 6:00 PM. Riders must be at least 6 years of age. Double riding is not permitted and weight restrictions do apply. Rides are cash only. There is an ATM located in the Day Lodge. To see current rates and schedules for horseback rides at Crystal Mountain Resort click here.

Mountain Yoga

Group of people watching sunset in crystal mountain

Yoga is offered during the summer months in the Discovery Meadow at the base of the Discovery chairlift. In the event of inclement weather, yoga will be moved into the Chapel. The beautiful scenery and fresh mountain air will put you into the perfect mood to relax and refresh the body, mind, and spirit. Make sure to bring your own towel, mat, and water. Current rates and schedules can be seen by clicking this link.

Crystal Mountain also offers yoga retreats on select days during the summer. You will enjoy a full day of meditation, stretching, a mountaintop yoga session, a guided hike down the Crystal Mountain Trail, awesome food at the Summit House Restaurant and of course more yoga. These yoga retreats are led by local skier and yoga instructor Jen Rudnick and are limited to 30 guests. Crystal Mountain offers special lodging for these yoga retreats. If you are interested and want to see the most up-to-date schedule and rates, you can see them here.

Interpretive Walks

Man in red ski outfit strolling at crystal mountain

Interpretive Walks are short, informational walks that usually 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. Crystal Mountain Resort offers complimentary guided interpretive walks along the summit of the mountain on select days in July. Along this walk, you will learn about the local human history, flowers, wildlife, and geological history of the area. Dogs are welcome to join their owners on these guided interpretive walks as long as they are leashed. Signs are located on the top of the Gondola with the detailed schedule of these Interpretive Walks.

Winter Dining
  • Summit House Restaurant
  • Campbell Basin Lodge
  • Bullwheel
  • Fireside Cafe
  • Cascade Grill
  • Chinook Cafe
Summer Dining
  • Summit House Restaurant
  • Fireside Cafe
Lessons & Rentals

Crystal Mountain Resort offers snow sports lessons for any age and experience level. They also offer a Multi-Week lesson program for children that is 6 weeks in length. This program will teach your child skiing or snowboarding in a fun and safe environment. Classes are formed based on ability and age. The resort also offers quality rental equipment for winter sports.

Final Word And Contact Information

Crystal Mountain Resort is much more than just a ski resort. Besides the numerous ski trails, the resort has many activities that allow guests to relax and explore in some of the most beautiful scenery in the United States. Crystal Mountain also has dining and lodging that is appropriate for any guest.

Crystal Mountain Resort
33914 Crystal Mtn Blvd
Enumclaw, WA 98022
(360) 663-2265
(888) 754-1169
Official Website


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