07 Apr Stevens Pass Ski Resort
Stevens Pass has been on my list of places to ski since moving out west. Located in the Northern Cascades, 82 miles east of Seattle, at the crest of Stevens Pass, the access road includes a section of the Cascade Loop on Route 2, a scenic byway. The road is well-traveled but in good shape making for an easy trip; the final ascent up the pass is well maintained and visually stunning.
I skied in early March after a recent snowfall. The mountain itself is quite spread out with the majority of terrain facing north but I chose to spend most of my time on the back side, known as Mill Valley, with a lot more skiable options. I wanted to sample as much of the mountain as possible. Notably, the area also has night skiing Wednesday through Sunday.
Stevens Pass offers something for everyone. With a vertical drop of 1800 feet, you will find steep terrain designated “black”, a great selection of more moderate “blues”, and unique areas suitable for beginner to intermediate skiers and boarders. The conditions on the day I skied, a moderately sunny day, were about as appealing as a mountain resort can offer, sans fresh powder. Beautifully groomed corduroy, and soft snow. Most of the runs are not the longest available across the diversity of U.S. ski areas, but covering 1,125 acres of skiable terrain, including 52 major runs and numerous bowls, glades, and faces, you are going to find this place fun and diverse enough to keep your interest while taking in the bonus of beautiful views of the surrounding Cascades.
The area infrastructure is modern with a contemporary base lodge, rental and retail shops and maintenance facilities, transport vehicles, and high-speed lifts, mostly quads. On a weekday there were plenty of skiers and boarders but I skied without lift lines anywhere. On the mountain, there was plenty of room to maneuver and I never felt in danger of collision. The off-piste here is plentiful and challenging and I saw tracks in places I couldn’t believe were possible. All in all a memorable day. I plan to return to continue exploring, hopefully on a powder day.