As mentioned in our previous article covering the Bluewood Ski Area in southeastern Washington State, there are several mountainous resorts in the Pacific Northwest that are playgrounds for the skiing and snowboarding enthusiast. Perhaps the most famous among them in our state is the White Pass Ski Resort near Naches. Located some 130 miles west of the Tri-Cities, the two-and-a-half-hour drive will take you through the city of Yakima and into the heart of the Cascade Mountain Range. Once you enter the Mt. Rainier National Park, you’ll be surrounded by some of the most beautiful forest/alpine landscapes in North America.
Approximately 60 miles southeast of Seattle stands the colossal Mt. Rainier. With a summit elevation of nearly 15,000 feet, it is by far the largest and most prominent mountain in Washington State and the Cascade Range. Because of White Pass’s proximity to the northwest’s largest mountain, many of the runs provide stunning views of the snowcapped stratovolcano. There are countless viewpoints from which one can see Mt. Rainier, sometimes up to 200 miles away on clear days. However, nothing can compare to the thrill and sense of scale provided as you glance the mountain while cruising down the slopes of White Pass.
In recent years, the White Pass Resort has made extensive additions to their existing run structure. The north side of the mountain was opened in 2010 under the name Paradise Basin, essentially doubling the total acreage of the park. This addition had been planned decades ago, and upon completion, it breathed new life into the ski resort. Seasoned skiers and snowboarders were given a fresh take on the familiar mountain, and newcomers to the area can now enjoy a much larger park than in the past.
While many Tri-Citians who visit White Pass plan to go up and return home on the same day, there are options available if you are looking to make an overnight or weekend trip instead. The White Pass Village Inn allows visitors to stay on the mountain, with comfortable accommodations and access to dining at the lodge. Additionally, there are a number of cabins in the area that are available for rent via websites such as Airbnb. This option can be more appealing for groups or families, as you will have more space per person, and often multiple attached rooms for privacy and convenience.
All in all, the White Pass Ski Resort has earned a reputation as a cherished mainstay for outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, snowboarders, and explorers. With snow hitting the ground for the first time this year, there is perhaps no better time to plan a trip to the mountain. With any luck, you’ll arrive in time to catch some fresh powder on the slopes. Washingtonians will sing the praises of this longtime favorite resort, and it is sure to stick around into the foreseeable future.