Location: Enumclaw, WA
Resorts: 22 out of 50
Crystal Mountain in Washington might be the best kept secret on the West Coast. It’s massive, the terrain is endless, and everywhere you turn there are epic views of Mt. Rainier.
Started up in the sixties, Boyne Resorts acquired Crystal in the late nineties. Because it’s located on national forest land, Boyne took all the money they would have spent on massive hotels and instead put it into the lift system. The result is easily accessible terrain — and lots of it.
Take for instance the Northway Chair, opened during the 07-08 season (see the map at the bottom). This modest double gets you to the top of an insane amount of terrain. There’s bowls, there’s trees, there’s cliffs…there’s really a little bit of everything to keep you busy for a week. And that’s just off of one chair lift.
If you’re not ready to jump out through the gates to Northway, check out the Green Valley chair which is a smaller version of the terrain you would find to the north. For those seeking out the steeps, grab a ride up the High Campbell double to the top of Silver Queen.
All this would be more than enough to qualify as a sick hill, but Crystal’s stand out terrain are the multiple basins: Campbell, Avalanche, and Silver. You can get to these through a combination of hiking and traversing. The ridge lines reminded us of Big Sky back in Montana which happens to be another Boyne mountain.
The sun was blasting again which meant t-shirts under our coats. As I heard one patroller comment: “If you can’t enjoy the snow, then enjoy the sun.” It was that kind of day where it feels more like April than late February. The southern facing slopes even softened up enough for slushy bumps. We took a long tour of the mountain, sometimes poking onto rock hard icy steeps, but mostly enjoying the groomers.
Here is our random picture of the day taken in the town of Snoqualmie in front of some giant tree trunk.
The Cheat Sheet:
33914 Crystal Mountain Boulevard
|Snowfall||380 in (965 cm)|
|Top Elevation||7,012 ft (2,137 m)|
|Bottom Elevation||4,400 ft (1,341 m)|
|Vertical Drop||3,100 ft (945 m)|
|Area Size||11 lifts | 57 trails | 2,600 acres (1,053 ha) acres|