The short version: Fantastic!! The detailed version: Fantastic!! Absolutely one of my favorite mountains in North America. Easily in the top 10. I spent two days at the resort and was blown away within the first 2 runs. High-speed quads all over the mountain, two high-speed six-packs and a few slower doubles, including a new one to access some of the double black diamond terrain.

For beginners: Very good. For intermediates: Great. For advanced: Fantastic. For experts: Heaven. For SC and BC: Great, fantastic, and heaven.

For sure, this mountain will not always provide the best snow, as it is near the ocean, but even this year with a very low snow pack, it was easy to find steep runs and chutes with very good snow. We had spring snow, some hard packed but also soft powder the first day and nice soft powder the 2nd day. The vertical is great, and the tree skiing is tight in places but more spaced in other areas.

If you like easy access to side country, this is the place to go. Ski patrol will help you with information if you ask, and they are very friendly. There are several gates to access the SC and BC.

They have a plan to add a tram from the base to the top and already have a permit to build it, so it is just a matter of time and it will be even easier to get to the top in one go. In addition to this tram, they have a master plan with numerous changes to be made over the coming years.


Various places between the resort and the Seattle airport—nothing near the mountain, but there is on-hill accommodation. Check the Web site for rates and specials. I found some very good last-minute mid-week offers to stay and ski even for only one night and one day of skiing.

For the 2nd day, we booked on-hill accommodation, which is rather expensive, but for $170, we did expect something nice. Well, it turned out to be pretty poor. Any Motel 6 will have bigger and nicer rooms. Everything is old, small, and a bit smelly. Crystal Village Inn never again!!

Discounted Tickets

Day tickets are $60 at the resort, which is a very good value, or get 5 days of skiing or snowboarding for only $275. There is a discount ticket book containing five vouchers. You can get it at Puget Sound retail locations or online.


Very nice lodges on the mountain and the base area, but we didn’t have time to stop, so no details yet, but we will try to go back.

How To Get There

About 100 to 120min from Seattle depending on how close to the airport you stay. Take 410 but don’t try to access Mt. Rainer from the southeast/west, as the roads are closed in winter. If you don’t have a car, there is an express bus. Check the Web site for details.

Resort Homepage


Best Time


Worst Time