The good news about Northwest skiing is there are many extraordinary mountains to ski. All the great options make it understandable that not all sources agree on which are the top five ski mountains. Five states comprise the U.S. Northwest — Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho — and each offers excellent skiing opportunities.
The year 2018 began with lots of snow and cold weather. Take advantage of the winter season and make it exciting by planning your ski trip with family, friends or co-workers. US Coachways is glad to provide you with a charter bus that’s perfect for your group. Enjoy the trip and let a professional driver deal with snowy roads and driving hassles.
For the Love of Skiing
As you drive to the ski resort, the stunning beauty of enormous snowcapped mountains is almost otherworldly. Taking the ski lift to the slope provides an even more magnificent view.
Skiing is a sport like none other, as any snow bunny will tell you. Speeding down a slope fills you with exhilaration, and every mogul, bump and turn is a source of excitement. If you love the sensation of going airborne, learning to fly off a ski jump may be in your wheelhouse. For those few seconds, you soar above the ground, with your skis balanced like wings and the breeze brushing across your face.
If you haven’t caught the ski bug yet, no worries, there’s still time!
Mount Hood and Mount Bachelor are the top ski mountains in Oregon.
About an hour and a half drive from Portland, Mount Hood beckons to skiers. In fact, as a point of interest, author Stephen King’s story The Shining was filmed in Mt. Hood1 at the Timberline Lodge. Timberline is the only ski lodge in the United States that is open year round for skiing. The mountain here has a vertical drop of 3,690 feet, which is more vertical than any other mountain in the Pacific Northwest. Mt. Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon and the resort is located near the top of an 11, 245-foot volcano. The Timberline resort offers 41 trails — 25% for beginners, 50% for intermediate skiers and 25% advanced ski trails.
You have six ski resorts to choose from at Mt. Hood:
- Timberline Lodge
- Mountain Hood Meadows
- Mount Hood Ski Bowl,
- Cooper Spur
- Snow Bunny
Mt. Hood Meadows claims it has the ranking of most popular resort. Aside from skiing and snowboarding, you can go on a snowshoe tour and take in the mountain views. The resort offers classes to improve your skiing and there’s even a class to hone your skills in steep terrain, which is offered to advanced and expert skiers and riders.
If you have kids who want to learn to ski, you’ll be excited to know that they can ski free at Mount Bachelor. Private ski lessons are also available for kids. On certain days you can go snow tubing or take dog sled rides and snowshoe tours. Even if you’re not an experienced skier, there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy at Mt. Bachelor. At this family friendly resort, there is even daycare for children from the ages of 6 weeks to 10 years old. Kids enjoy crafts, circle time, story time, videos and a wide selection of toys and books.
The top mountains for skiing in Washington are Mount Baker and Crystal Mountain.
Mount Baker is located in the Washington North Cascades range, about 80 miles from the Canadian border. The mountain boasts more snowfall than any other Northwest U.S. area and averages more than 700 inches of snow a year. There are 8 ski lifts and 38 runs. The elevation extends to 5,089 feet with a vertical of 1500 feet.
Mount Baker is known for its boundless backcountry and has excellent inbounds terrain. You’ll find many powder skiing opportunities here along with many snow days. The skiing is inexpensive compared with other resorts because the resort lacks the glamorous attractions like day spas and shops that come with more commercialized ski areas.
Crystal Mountain2 lies in the Cascade Range and is over an hour drive from the Seattle-Tacoma Washington International Airport. The mountain gets close to 500 inches of snowfall a year and its summit sits at an elevation of 6.672 feet with a vertical of 3,100 feet. Most notable is the mountain’s expansive terrain for skiing, with 2,300 acres of lift serviced area to ski or snowboard. Expert skiers love the backcountry and challenging terrain.
Idaho Skiing — Sun Valley
Sun Valley3 is undoubtedly the most famous ski area in Idaho. This resort city lies in central Idaho and is world famous for its alpine ski area on Bald Mountain. A number of Olympic medalists hail from Sun Valley, such as Gretchen Fraser, Christin Cooper, Picabo Street and snowboarder Kaitlyn Farmington.
When skiers talk about Sun Valley, they’re referring to two mountains — Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. Sun Valley has more than 2,000 acres of varied terrain and 3,400 vertical feet. Bald Mountain has 13 chairlifts and 65 runs on both sides of the mountain. There are also themed adventure trails for children. Experienced skiers go to Bald Mountain for skiing. The novice and low intermediate skiers go to Dollar Mountain. Dollar Mountain has an uphill transporter called the Wundercarpet and a full-featured terrain park.
Throughout the years, Sun Valley has also been frequented by various celebrities, going back to Ernest Hemingway in the late 1930’s at the time when he finished writing his novel For Whom the Bell Tolls. Back in the day, celebrities such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Marilyn Monroe and the Kennedy family also visited the resort. In recent times, well-known celebrities, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffet, Clint Eastwood, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Justin Timberlake, Bill Gates and Steve Winn have all owned property in Sun Valley.
Wyoming Skiing — Jackson Hole
Snowbrains.com rates Jackson Hole, Wyoming as the top ski spot in America. It is a renowned Northwestern ski resort located in Teton Village in the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains. Two mountains called Rendezvous and Apres Vous Mountains surround Jackson Hole. The mountains offer challenging terrain, mainly for expert skiers. Half the terrain runs are rated expert, 40 percent of the runs are intermediate and only 10 percent are for beginning skiers. Jackson Hole has 4,100 vertical feet of skiing, which is the most expansive vertical rise in the United States.
You can take ski lessons and kids ski free. The Jackson Hole new tram4 that opened in 2008 is also quite impressive with its vertical rise of 4,139 feet.
The average yearly snowfall is 475 inches and inbound terrain encompasses 2,500 acres. The summit elevation reaches 10,450 feet. You can’t beat the backcountry terrain in Jackson Hole and its relative isolation does a good job of keeping crowds below the numbers that attend other resorts. Essentially, this is a dream spot for dedicated skier’s who can enjoy fantastic tree skiing and soaring down long, steep couloirs.
Montana Skiing — Big Sky
Big Sky, Montana boasts a ski resort that has more than 5,800 acres of terrain and a vertical drop of 4,350 feet. While this vertical drop is steeper than Jackson Hole’s, by comparison, it only spans 300 feet. The snowfall here is some of the steadiest in the country. You can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, zip-line and snowshoeing. Ride on the tram and climb 1,420 feet for some of the most difficult terrain at the resort. The resort is enormous and has eight terrain parks with Peacemaker and Swifty being the largest parks. Lone Peak, the highest mountain summit reaches 11,166 feet and there are a total of 150 trails on the three mountains at Big Sky.
Aside from all the winter sports, there are other amenities to enjoy as well — 20 eateries, numerous shops and a full service-spa.
Plan Your Trip and Reserve Transportation
Planning a ski trip? At US Coachways, we can provide you with the right sized vehicle and help you coordinate your group trip.
There is no safer way to travel than by motor coach, which is also the greenest mode of transportation in the country. A professional driver can ensure you arrive at your ski resort and back home safely.
Reserving a vehicle is fast and easy. With US Coachways, you can do it all online and with a few taps or clicks, we’ll provide you with a quote. Our interactive form is simple to use and within minutes you’ll be done.
However, we are also happy to answer your questions and help you coordinate your travel. A service representative can explain the amenities included in your coach, offer suggestions and help you arrange affordable and seamless plans for your group trip.
We look forward to helping you book your trip. Call our toll-free number 1-888-340-9122.