Ski Resorts Every Seattleite Should Know

Seattleites have long relied on our nearby snow to make any old winter day an easy ski day, but these resorts are worth the trip for skiers and nonskiers alike

By Chelsea Lin


January 28, 2020

This article originally appeared in the January 2020 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the January 2020 issue. Click here to subscribe.

Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Situated just minutes from Bend, Oregon, Mount Bachelor is Oregon’s largest ski resort, and “The Mountain,” as locals call it, has plenty to offer regardless of the season. A dozen lifts and 101 runs (with a maximum run length of 4 miles) draw adventurers, and a long season that generally starts in November and ends in May keeps them busy. Bonus for families: Kids 12 and younger ski for free with a prepurchased online ticket. There are lessons aplenty.

If skiing isn’t your thing, fear not: There’s a six-lane tubing park, dogsled rides (reservations required) and free 90-minute snowshoe tours led by a U.S. Forest Service naturalist. Multiple dining/drinking options provide refueling opportunities; don’t forget to try a local beer (or two).

Brundage Mountain, Idaho
If getting your family comfortable on the slopes is your goal this year, spend your winter holiday at Brundage Mountain in Idaho, where beginners of all ages have free access to the conveyor belt and the Easy Street Triple Chairlift, which deliver them to four different runs for first-timers. More experienced skiers may consider bypassing the 46 runs in favor of the powdery backcountry skiing and snowboarding opportunities (obviously, be smart and prepared). For an alternative to the slopes, check out the well-maintained 5-kilometer fat-tire bike loop (rent one on-site), or simply take a ride in the old-fashioned horse-drawn sleigh. 

Base your stay in McCall, Idaho, just 15 minutes away, at the Shore Lodge, a 77-unit resort whose spa has saltwater immersion pools for après-ski soaking. Book a dinner at the on-site restaurant The Narrows Steakhouse and take advantage of the 450-bottle wine list. 

Looking for another mountain escape nearby? Check out quaint Tamarack Resort offering 45 ski runs, charming lodging and a spa. Tamarack is located about an hour’s drive southwest of Brundage. 

Sun Valley, Idaho
The biggest name in Idaho skiing is Sun Valley, a two-mountain mega resort with an entire village (complete with movie theater, bowling alley, outdoor ice rink and more) set up around it. The ski terrain measures over 2,000 acres between Bald and Dollar mountains, including more than 100 runs for every level on Baldy and a full-feature terrain park (hello, 50-foot jumps!) on Dollar that snowboarders particularly love. Nearly 25 miles of groomed trails make this a great spot for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing as well.

The classic Sun Valley Lodge isn’t the only lodging in town, but it is the most iconic; plus, it went through a major renovation a few years ago, adding a full-service spa, which is much needed after a day of outdoor activities (or simply in place of them).

The Shore Lodge’s spa immersion pools. Photo by Shore Lodge

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