Crystal Mountain is best known as Washington’s largest ski and snowboard resort. While it’s a great spot to visit during the winter months, summer at Crystal Mountain can be just as fun. With plenty of outdoor activities and a close proximity to Mount Rainier, it’s a great weekend getaway from Seattle.
If you’re not great with your geography, Crystal Mountain is located southeast of Seattle and is less than a two hour drive from the city. The resort is also right next to Mount Rainier National Park and the Sunrise Visitor Center, making it the perfect location for people looking to spend a few days exploring the park.
The star attraction at Crystal Mountain is the Mt. Rainier Gondola. The roughly 10 minute ride takes you about 2,500 feet up (to an elevation of 6,800 feet) and drops you right in front of Mount Rainier. Also at the top of the Mt. Rainier Gondola is the Summit House Restaurant. As the highest elevation restaurant in Washington the views are breathtaking. You’re surrounded by beautiful Alpine peaks and can see 5 active volcanoes on a clear day. The restaurant offers lunch daily when the gondola is open and dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Dinner reservations are strongly recommended.
Crystal Mountain is also hosting a Yoga and Wellness Festival in July that will include lots of yoga, nutritional talks, guest speakers, entertainment, guided hikes and more. They’re also celebrating everything that’s great about living in the Northwest with a Beer & Harvest Festival in September. Details can be found on the website at CrystalMountainResort.com
There are a variety of privately owned lodging options at Crystal Mountain so don’t just go for the day, it’s worth spending a few days exploring Crystal Mountain and Mt. Rainier National Park.