Ski Resort Life

Summit at Snoqualmie East

The Summit at Snoqualmie has a long history dating back to the 1930’s when, what is now Summit West started up its first rope tow. A few years later Summit East, known then as the Milwaukee Ski Bowl was also opened by a separate company, followed in the late 1940’s by the opening of Summit Central by yet another company, followed by the opening of Alpental in the late 1960’s by a fourth group! Yikes! Luckily, they all merged in the 1980’s and are now one resort known as The Summit at Snoqualmie. Even still, each mountain has its own distinct feel and terrain. Alpental is known as the advanced mountain with its steep and challenging terrain and backcountry possibilities. Summit East is the “weekends only” area. It is the smallest of the four with some nice glade runs and tends to have the fewest people skiing or riding on it. Summit Central is the mid-intermediate mountain; the superpipe and tubing park are located here as well. And finally, Summit West, which is considered the beginner mountain with a vertical drop of about 765 feet and The Summit Learning Center to help newbies get started. Not only can you choose your area based on your skills, you can also choose it based on your schedule. The Summits are one of the largest night time ski areas around!

As you may have figured out, the terrain here varies depending on which part of the area you go to. Beginners should definitely start out on Summit West which is totally geared towards learning to ski or snowboard. The trails are wide open and typically well groomed and even though there are a lot terrain rated blue and black here, most advanced-beginners or early-intermediates should be able to handle much of it with relative ease. As your skill level progresses, head over the Summit Central and, if it’s open, Summit East. Here you can start to work your turns on tighter slopes with a bit more pitch, and even head into the glades if you’re ready. Once you are at that advanced level though, you are going to want to stay on Alpental for the most part with its great steeps, cliffs and glades. For on-site dining there is the Timberwolf Bar at Summit West, Rodeo’s BBQ at Summit Central and Backcountry Bar at Alpental. There are also a number of lodging options nearby with the closest being The Summit Lodge right across the street from the mountain.

Off-slope Fun
There is a network of over 50km of cross-country trails and the Summit Nordic Center at Summit East offers a variety of services from lessons to rentals. Like the rest of Summit East the Nordic Center is only open for weekends and holiday periods. Snowshoeing is also allowed on the cross-country trails. Tubing fun can be had on the weekends as well at the tubing area on Summit Central. Finally, Seattle is only about 52 miles away for shopping and nightlife.