Best Ski Resorts Near Walla Walla
I can already smell the board wax, and goggle cleanser... that can mean only one thing... ski and snowboard season has begun! There is snow in the mountains and the lifts have started moving; people all over the state are getting geared up to hit the slopes. We recently did a poll on what you think the best places to ski are in the Northwest, and it seems that Anthony Lakes is the biggest hit with 56% of the votes.
Personally I've never been to Anthony Lakes, but I have been skiing for years and have a few recommendations for the best resorts.
White Pass Ski Resort is only about a 2 and a half hour drive from the Tri Cities, and well worth it. Since their expansion a few years ago, this resort now has two lodges on the mountain where you can grab a bite to eat, relax, or fix your equipment if you're having problems. Staying for a night or two there is awesome because the Village Inns are right across the street, and each comes equipped with a full kitchen, a balcony, and access to a heated outdoor pool. In this kind of paradise you might be enticed to stay for more than just one weekend.
Crystal Mountain Ski and Summer Resort is boasting 136" of snow so far this year! It's a bit of a longer drive, but it makes staying longer even more worth it! Crystal has a ton of trails and the longest run is 2.5 miles. There are a few restaurants within the resort as well as the usual lodge eats. There are also three options to stay the night, the coolest being the Alta Crystal Resort right at the base of the mountain that you can literally ski into! All of the rooms come with a fireplace, satellite T.V. and access the recreation lodge where you can swim, play foosball or just relax. Sounds like skiing in luxury to me!
Just 54 miles outside Walla Walla atop the Blue Mountains is Bluewood. This resort offers 24 runs and 3 terrain parks. Their picturesque lodge offers lunch and a lounge area, as well as a rental and repair shop for both skiis and snowboards. Since Bluewood is never as crowded as bigger resorts they boast no lines at the lift. Imagine not having to wait to hang out on nearly solitary slopes... Bluewood is one of Washington's best kept secrets!
About the same distance away from here as White Pass, you can find the ski paradise of Stevens Pass. Here, the skiing is out of this world, and they understand that in this world it's important to be environmentally sustainable so they have made a commitment to environmental responsibility so the Pacific Northwest can thrive for years to come! They are also very conscious of of the safety risks on the mountain, so they offer avalanche classes as well as lessons to beginners.
This last place is the farthest to travel to, but also the very best for skiing, eating, staying, and sightseeing! Nestled in the Idaho mountains, Sun Valley is a historic town with two fabulous ski resorts right next door to each other. One, called Dollar Mountain, has on display the first ever ski lift- and it looks quite primitive so I'll be sticking to the modern equipment! The other is called Bald Mountain and they have a gondola that will take you all they way to the top of the mountain where you can dine at an old-timely french restaurant. The town offers a few hotel options as well as weekend house rentals right next to the mountain. I would recommend Sun Valley to both the beginning skier and the experienced.