It’s no surprise that ski season looks a little different this year. As CDC and state guidelines change, Washington ski resorts are adapting. One thing is clear: people are determined to ski!
With most indoor activity on hold, a Cabana can provide the safety and comfort you need for a successful ski season. It’s a spacious place to get your gear ready, a warm place to dine, and a clean bed that isn’t dependent on ski resorts’ lodging restrictions or a group ski lease.
With that being said, pack up your gear and hit the slopes! We’ve outlined everything you need to know for all of Washington’s best ski spots this season.
With reduced capacity and extended hours, Crystal Mountain reopened November 18. Visitors are required to wear a mask and social distance, and everything from the Mt. Rainier Gondola to the lodges to the actual lift passes will operate at reduced capacity.
For now, Crystal Mountain has done away with walk-up window sales, so make a reservation beforehand. Priority will be given to season pass holders, but the extended hours and emphasis on week-day skiing should space out skiers enough to give you a chance at the slopes as long as you plan ahead. If your schedule has some flexibility, check out their new seasonal pass options for weekday skiing.
Indoor dining is closed at this time, but to-go meals are available. If you don’t feel like eating in the cold, bring your meal back to your Cabana for a private table in a warm space.
A big change to pay attention to if you’re taking a Cabana is Crystal Mountain’s new B Lot booking. To stay in the RV parking area, you need to make a reservation online. It will provide a no-contact check in and means you can reserve a spot, so you don’t have to worry about arriving early. Reservations will become available a month at a time. Since you’re already booking your lift pass in advance, this shouldn’t require much more planning!
Another bonus of the B Lot this year is strengthened Wi-Fi throughout. This means you can “work from home” right off the slopes.
Opening day for Stevens Pass is December 4th, with pass holders already able to reserve their preferred days. Booking opens to the general public on December 8th. Although the Epic Pass resorts don’t anticipate reaching capacity most days, they are currently requiring guests to book online and recommend booking in advance.
In addition to requiring masks and enforcing social distancing whenever possible, the ski and ride classes require an added health screening. According to their website, restaurants will be open, but full service bars will not. However, new guidelines for the state of Washington prohibit indoor dining through December 14.
Like Crystal Mountain, Stevens Pass requires reservations for its RV parking. You can begin making reservations on November 19th, but if you aren’t a season pass holder, this is well before you are able to pre-purchase lift passes.
Overall, Stevens Pass is heavily encouraging anyone planning on skiing this winter to purchase a season pass.
The plan for Mt. Baker seems to be evolving. Masks are required and social distancing protocols are in place. Beyond that, things are up in the air. So far, there are no restrictions on the number of skiers on a given day, so reservations are not required for the ski lift. Mt. Baker has expanded its hours and plans to be open 7 days a week through April.
Overnight parking is available for $25 a night for up to seven nights. The White Salmon and Heather Meadows Base Areas are both open for online registrations.
If you are not planning on purchasing a season pass for any ski resort, Mt. Baker looks to be the best option for skiing without one.
Although most purchasing for products and services will be done online for Snoqualmie, reservations are not required at this time. That being said, the resort is limiting capacity for lift ticket sales, so it’s recommended that you book ahead of time.
So far, Snoqualmie does not plan to limit access for passholders. However, season pass sales are currently on hold and will be sold in a limited capacity.
In addition to social distancing and mask requirements, Snoqualmie asks that you get ready in your vehicle, because of the reduced capacity of indoor facilities. It is also suggested that you consider skiing on weekdays or in the evenings to avoid crowds.
The two overnight parking lots are first-come first-served. Despite going cashless for all other transactions, the parking site still states that cash is required for overnight parking fees.
If you’re looking for cross country skiing, you’ll need to check your desired trail on Methow Trails. There are a few basic guidelines stating that skiers should social distance and stay local. The COVID restrictions page warns that trails will close if they become too crowded and that most areas are only open for day use. Beyond that, there is little information provided.
Whether you’re a loyal season pass holder or an occasional visitor, this season will require some flexibility. With a little preparation and patience, you can still have a successful season on the slopes!