Snow, Ski, and Snowboard

Snoqualmie Pass Temperature forecast

Snoqualmie Pass Current Weather and Forecast

Snoqualmie Pass Weather NWS Weather Alerts

[nws_alerts zip="98068" city="Snoqualmie Pass" state="Washington" county="King" display="full" scope="county" limit="3"]

I-90 Traveler Information Blog (coming soon)

Best Snow, Ski, and Snowboard Places in the North Bend Area

We compiled a list our favorite snow activities in the North Bend – Snoqualmie Pass area.  Click on an items you are interested in to get more information.  You can ski downhill or cross country, snowboard, go snow tubing or snowshoeing, or sledding.  Bring your own stuff or rent it when you arrive.  The locations without a link have not yet been added to our website.

Snow, Ski, and Snowboard Location Summaries

If there is a green clickable button below the image, click on it to go to a page with added detail information.  If the button is yellow and not clickable, the necessary information is all here.

Alpental Ski Area - Summit At Snoqualmie

Alpental - Summit at Snoqualmie
Alpental - Summit at Snoqualmie

Access: I-90 Eastbound Exit 52, Westbound Exit 53

Alpental Ski Area:  4 chairs, 1 surface lift, mostly moderate to expert terrain.  Upper mountain all expert.  Steepest and largest drop of all Snoqalmie Summit Areas.  Lots of chutes and trees.  Night skiing available.

Dining: Tiroler Stube, Backcountry Bar, Powder House

Shopping: Alpental Sports

1.5 miles from I-90 up to Alpental Ski Area parking lot.  Parking is free.   Lot 3 is for overnight parking only.  Summit Shuttle runs T-Su between the different base areas

Summit West Ski Area - Summit At Snoqualmie

Access: I-90 Eastbound Exit 52, Westbound Exit 53

Summit West Ski Area:  6 chairs, 3 surface lifts, Best Place to Learn to Ski.  dedicated first timer program, almost all beginner and intermediate terrain.  Summit Inn nearby.  Night skiing available.  

Dining: Timberwolf Bar and Grill, Stan’s Cafe, Webbs International Market, Webb’s Mountain Grill

Shopping: Slopestyles

Parking Lot is next to the main lodges on the west side of Highway 906.  It’s just off I-90 Exit 52 and about 1/2 mile north of Exit 53.  Parking is free. 

Ski Summit Central - Summit At Snoqualmie

Access: I-90 Exit 53

Summit Central Ski Area: 7 chairs, 2 surface lifts, variety of terrain, typically most crowded.  Has large terrain park hosting many events.  Night skiing.

Dining: Timberhouse Cafe, Whiskey Pete’s, Side Door Speakeasy, Hot Shotz Espresso

Shopping: Gravity Gear

Parking lot is across Route 906 from the Summit Central Main Building and next to the tubing center.  Parking is free.    

Tubing Park - Summit At Snoqualmie

Access: I-90 Exit 53

Tubing Park:  500 ft long, 40 ft vertical, 20 tubing lanes with covered surface lift.  One session lasts 2 hours.

Located across the street from Summit Central.  Option to access from the entrance across the street from Silver Fir.  Parking is free.    Only Fri evening thru Sunday plus holidays.  Usually mid Dec thru April.

Snoqualmie Nordic Center - Summit East - Summit At Snoqualmie

Access: I-90 Exit 54

Summit East Alpine:  3 chair lifts, mix of intermediate and advanced, glade skiing  

Summit Nordic Center: 50 km groomed and tracked trail.  Private lessons, beginner package, junior

Summit East Snowshoeing: On the nordic trails or use special snowshoeing trails.

Dining: Milwaukee Lodge Cafe, Broken Tip Bar

At Exit 54, head to the west on Hyak Dr E.  Continue straight into the parking lots.  Parking is free.    

Palouse to Cascades State Park (formerly Iron Horse) - Hyak Trailhead and Hyak Sno-Park

Access: I-90 Exit 54

Elevation 2560 feet, 150 parking spaces

Sno-Park:  heated restrooms, tubing hill, designated snow play area.  Palouse to Cascades Trail East of Hyak is shared use (snowmobile, x-country ski, snowshoe, and dog sled)

Non-winter access to Palouse to Cascades Trail: Snoqualmie Tunnel is closed Nov 1 to May 1st.

At Exit 54, head to the west on Hyak Dr E.  Turn left onto Highway 906 and continue until you see the Iron Horse (Palouse to Cascades) State Park Hyak Trailhead and Hyak Sno-Park on the right hand side.  Parking requires a Discover Pass.    

Gold Creek Pond Trail

Gold Creek Pond View of Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Gold Creek Pond View of Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Access: I-90 Exit 54

Elevation: 3000 feet

Gold Creek Pond Snowshoe: 1.2 miles around lake.  Option to add a small trail into the forest off the east side of the lake.  Don’t go too far into the back of the tight valley unless you are skilled at avalanche risk evaluation.

At Exit 54, turn North.  Take FR 4832 parallel to freeway for 1 mile then left on Gold Creek Rd.  Parking Lot on left in 0.3 mile.  Winter requires a Sno-Parks permit.

Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort View
Crystal Mountain Resort View

Access: I-90 Exit 25

Base Elevation: 4440 feet. summit 6856 ft (2400 ft vertical)

Crystal Mountain is a great option for snow, ski, and snowboarding activities, especially if it’s warm as the elevation is the highest of all the ski resorts in Washington State.  Ride the Gondola for a great view of Mt Rainier.

At Exit 25, turn south on Highway 18.  Follow 18 to 169 to highway 410.

Stevens Pass Mountain Resort

Stevens Pass Resort
Stevens Pass Resort

Access: Highways 202, 203, 2

Base Elevation: 4061 feet. summit 5845 ft (1800 ft vertical).  Mill Valley base elevation 3821 feet.

Stevens has a relatively high base although the vertical drop is not as much as Alpental or Crystal Mountain. 11% of its trails are beginner, 54% intermediate, and 35% expert.  Snow is relatively dry due to cool air from the east.

Take Hwys 202W-203N from North Bend to Monroe.  Then Highway 2 East to Stevens Pass.  Traffic and parking are issues on weekends and holidays.

Gold Creek Sno Park

Gold Creek Pond Winter View up the Valley
Gold Creek Pond Winter View up the Valley

Access: I-90 Exit 54.  Snow season generally December through March.

Ungroomed sno-park with 3 sections.  Park on the north side of the road.  

First section by I-90 interchange for snowshoe/ski up the Kendall Peak Lakes Road or play in the snow.

Second section one mile east for access to Gold Creek Pond snowshoe and ski.

Third section is the end of the road.  Access to Mt Margaret area snowshoe, ski, and snowmobile.

Take Exit 54 off I-90 and turn north (opposite side of the road from Hyak).   Turn right (east) on a narrow paved road paralelling the highway.  Seasonal or one-day Sno-Park permit required for parking on the north side of the road.  The forest road up to Gold Creek Pond is not plowed in the winter.

Nordic Pass Trail

Ascending the Nordic Pass Trail to Hyak Lake
Ascending the Nordic Pass Trail to Hyak Lake

Access: I-90 Exit 54.  Snow season generally December through March.  Backcountry nordic ski and snowshoeing trail.

To Hyak Lake.  3 miles roundtrip, 660 ft elevation gain.  Follow the blue diamonds about 10 feet up on trees to Hyak Lake.  Do not follow trails with yellow badges which are maintained by the Snoqualmie Nordic Center.

To Windy Pass.  Cross Hyak Lake and turn left (west) to refind blue diamonds.  You will want a phone GPS app (and a battery pack as the app really uses phone battery) to stay on the nordic trail after Hyak Lake as the blue diamonds are much less frequent and harder to find and there are ski trails looping everywhere.  8 miles roundtrip and 1580 ft elevation gain.

Take Exit 54 off I-90 and turn south (into Hyak).   Continue to intersection with SE Snoqualmie Parkway and park at the overflow parking lot of the Hyak Ski Resort.

Walk up Snoqualmie Parkway which turns into Snoqualmie Drive.  The unmarked trailhead is at the first hairpin curve.

Granite Lakes Snowshoe

Granite Lake in Winter
Granite Lake in Winter

Access: I-90 Exit 34.  Great avalanche free hike/snowshoe when Snoqualmie Pass is a mess. 

2300 ft elevation gain to Upper Granite Lake but you can go less distance if desired.  Great views in winter when the leaves are gone from the trees.  At the lakes, see Mailbox Peak, Webb Mountain, Mt Defiance.

You may not need your snowshoes until part way up the trail.  The trail follows an old logging road.

Take Exit 34 off I-90 and turn north.   Continue past truck stops 0.4 miles and turn right on to Middle Fork Rd.  Proceed 2.5 miles to the Mailbox Peak trailhead and park there or at the smaller Granite Lakes Trailhead just up the road.  Discover Pass Required

Gold Creek Sno-Park Groomed Snowmobile Trail System

Snowmobiling on Keechelus Ridge
Snowmobiling on Keechelus Ridge

Access: I-90 Exit 54.  23 miles of groomed snowmobile trails.  You need to rent and bring your own snowmobiles. Check potential avalanche danger before leaving home.

You can make a loop over Keechelus Ridge, down along Kachess Lake, along the plowed Kachess Lake Road, and returning above Keechelus Lake.  

Snowmobile rentals are available at Motor Toys (509-674-6807) in Cle Elum, and Cascade Playtime Rentals in Ronald (just west of Cle Elum).

Take Exit 54 off I-90 and turn north (opposite side of the road from Hyak).   Turn right (east) on a narrow paved road paralleling the highway.  Continue for 1 mile or so up the road to the end of the plowed section.  This is the start of the groomed snowmobile trail system.  Seasonal or one-day Sno-Park permit required for parking on the north side of the road.