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8 places Seattle families can go cross-country skiing



Ian Coble / Stevens Pass photo

Cross-country skiing is a delightful way to spend a day in the snow. It’s a pleasurable, gliding movement through stunning winter environments. It’s an easy skill to pick up – easier than downhill skiing or snowboarding. Only snowshoeing (best described as laborious walking) has less of a skill barrier (details here). You can easily go out without a lesson, provided there’s an adult around who can give you pointers. It gives you a chance to explore serene and beautiful places, all while getting your heart pumping and your cheeks flushed.

Here are some cross-country destinations that are not too far from Seattle. All have a variety of groomed trails. A few of them come with their own instructors and rental shops. If you’d like lessons, you should also check out the Mountaineers.

If your destination does not have a rental shop, you can rent skis at the Seattle REI  location, 222 Yale Ave. N., at Ascent Outdoors, which has locations in Ballard and Redmond, or Seattle Ski in Shoreline.

Before you go, check the conditions. West Cascades skiing has its ups and downs at the best of times and many cross-country ski trails are low on the mountain. Drive-time estimates are based on leaving Seattle at 8 a.m. on a Saturday. (And if you're more of a downhill skier, read: Bring on the snow! Best ski areas you can drive to from Seattle.)

 

Summit at Snoqualmie

Driving time from Seattle: 1 hour

Conditions: summitatsnoqualmie.com/conditions

Elevation: 2,610 feet

Prices: $27 for a full day or $23 for an afternoon, ages 13-61; $22 for a full day or $21 for an afternoon ages 7-12, 6 and under ski free.

Rentals: Available onsite. Skis, boots and poles are $33 for a full day and $25 for a half-day for ages 13-61, $25 for a full day and $19 for a half-day for kids aged 7-12 and $12 for kids 6 and younger.

Lessons: Available onsite. New to Nordic packages, which include rentals, trail fees and a 90-minute group lesson, are $79.

Other activities near site: downhill skiing and snowboarding, tubing.

 

Hyak

Driving time from Seattle: 1 hour

Conditions: Recorded message line 509-656-2230

Elevation: 2,560 feet.

Fees: Each vehicle needs either a Discover Pass with a daily Sno-Park permit, or a Seasonal Sno-Park Permit with a Special Groomed Trails Permit.

Rentals: no

Lessons: no

Other activities near site: tubing hill and designated snow play area.

 

Cabin creek

Driving time from Seattle: 1 hour

Conditions: posted on Kongsberger ski club website

Elevation: 2,430 feet

Fees: Every vehicle needs a Seasonal Sno-Park Permit with a Special Groomed Trails Permit.

Rentals: no

Lessons: no

 

Suncadia

Driving time from Seattle: 1.5 hours

Conditions: here

Elevation: 2,250 feet

Fees: none.

Rentals: $25 for two hours or $40 for 24 hours.

Guided cross country ski tours start at $165

Other activities: skating rink, rope-tow equipped tubing hill, snowmobile tours, fishing

 

Stevens Pass

Driving time from Seattle: 2 hours

Conditions: here 

Elevation: 3,300 feet

Ticket prices: $24 for ages 16-69, $15 for ages 7 to 15, 6 and under free.

Rentals: $35 for a full day or $20 for a half-day ages 13 and up, $19 for a full day or $12 for a half-day for ages 7 to 12.

Lessons: First-day packages, including one-day pass, equipment rental, and a one-hour group lesson: $65 for classic cross-country and $80 for skate-skiing.

Other activities: downhill skiing and snowboarding, snow play area

 

Lake Wenatchee

Driving time from Seattle: 2.5 hours

Conditions: call Lake Wenatchee State Park 509-763-3101

Elevation: 1,875 feet

Fees: Each vehicle needs either a Discover Pass with a daily Sno-Park permit, or a Seasonal Sno-Park Permit with a Special Groomed Trails Permit.

Rentals: no

Lessons: no

Other activities near site: tubing hill and designated snow play area.

 

Leavenworth Ski Hill

Driving time from Seattle: 2.5 hours

Conditions: skileavenworth.com/conditions

Elevation: about 1,500 feet

Fees: Adult aged 18 to 74, $19 for a full day or $15 to start after 1 p.m., youth aged 6-17 $15, children aged 5 and under free

Rentals: The ski hill itself does not provide them, but there four different places in Leavenworth to rent cross-country skis. Here’s the list.

Lessons: One-hour group lessons for ages 12 and up are $30 for regular cross country or $35 for skate-skiing. Private one-hour lesson, for any age are $55, but the price goes down if you add another one or two to the group.

Other activities near site: downhill skiing and snowboarding, tubing, fat biking

 

White Pass

Driving time from Seattle: 3 hours

Conditions: skiwhitepass.com/snow-report

Elevation: 4,500 feet

Fees: Adult 17 to 72, $20 for a full day or $15 to start after 1:30 p.m., Junior 9 to 16, $14 for a full day or $10 to start after 1:30 p.m. Child 8 and under free.

Rentals: $27 for a full day, $19 to start after 1:30 p.m.

Lessons: Group and private lessons available. Call 509-672-3101 (option 6) to reserve.

Other activities near site: Downhill skiing and snowboarding, tubing, fat biking.

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