People have differing points of view about Schweitzer Mountain Resort. For those accustomed to the expense and crowds at North America’s world-class resorts, Schweitzer is often described as a “hidden gem.” To many locals passionate about skiing for skiing’s sake, Schweitzer is a pretentious, overpriced Sun Valley wannabe.
There are several things about Silver Mountain that make it unique. Instead of driving up a winding mountain road, you ride a gondola to the top. Up there, the world turns upside down – you descend from the lodge and ride a lift to get back. Plus, you can slide on snow up above all day and soak in 83-degree tropical ambiance in the water park down below at night.
In the past decade 49 Degrees North has increased its skiable acreage by nearly 50 percent by expanding to Sunrise Basin to the east and Angel Peak to the west. The resort competes neck and neck with Crystal Mountain in the Cascades for the title of largest ski area in Washington state.
Mount Spokane’s snow-capped peak looks close enough to touch the morning after a winter storm. The mountain’s proximity allows for powder turns in the morning and work in the afternoon – if you can get away with such things. The short drive also makes spending an entire day there with the family easier. But Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park has a lot more to offer than convenience.
Early and ample snow is the main attraction at Lookout Pass Ski & Recreation Area. For those of us who can hardly wait to get started, Lookout Pass is probably where we will kick off our 2016-17 snow sports season.