Mount Baker Ski Area in Washington is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to the Mount Baker Ski Area, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsThe Mount Baker Ski Area is nestled at the end of State Route 542 in the heart of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Glacier, Washington. Snowbirds flying into the Seattle airport should prepare for a drive of more than 2 1/2 hours. The Bellingham Airport is a bit closer, sitting a little more than an hour from the resort. The resort offers a variety of trails as well as a terrain park to satisfy skiers and snowboarders starting at age 3. The resort opens in mid- to late November and stays open through April, weather permitting.
The MountainThe main ski areas are located between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. The resort offers two base areas: White Salmon at 3,500 feet, and Heather Meadows at 4,300 feet. The resort boasts a vertical rise of 1,500 feet, with the highest skiable elevation at 5,089 feet. Mount Baker Ski Area benefits from the light, powdery snow common on the West Coast. The average annual snowfall is 701 inches, eliminating the need for any snowmaking machines.
Trails And LiftsThe resort offers 38 trails, covering 1,000 acres of skiable land. There are 11 beginner trails, 16 intermediate trails, seven advanced trails and four trails for expert skiers only. The White Salmon trail is the longest at 1.75 miles. There are 10 lifts, including eight quad chair lifts and two handle tows.
In The NewsThe Mount Baker Ski Area holds the world record for snowfall, set in 1998 to 1999 with 1,140 inches. Since 1985, the resort has hosted the Legendary Banked Slalom, snowboard competition in which the winners receive the coveted Duct Tape Trophy and Carhartt jacket. The resort also holds a film festival and features pictures with Santa in December. Mount Baker's Pro Patrol was featured in the October 2011 issue of Powder Magazine.
CostWeekday adult lift tickets run $46, with weekend lift tickets costing $52. Children 7 and up are $35 on weekdays and $38 on weekends. The resort has a special program for fifth-graders, who can receive free lift tickets. Season passes start at $200 for children and run up to $745 for adults. Mount Baker Ski Area offers a variety of lessons, starting at $20 for children. Adult private lessons are $90. The basic rental package for snowboards runs $36, including the board, boots and bindings. The basic rental package for skis is $36 for adults including skis, boots and poles. Helmets are an additional $9.
Apres-SkiThe resort's White Salmon Lodge offers a variety of food choices including hand-cut french fries and man pies, which are similar to chicken pot pies. Although sledding and snowplay aren't allowed in the ski areas, many guests play in the snow in other areas of the surrounding National Forest. The resort doesn't have on-site accommodations, but the surrounding area offers many lodging choices including the Mount Baker Resort, Glacier Guest Suites and the Dislodge at Mount Baker. The Inn at Mount Baker, a European-style bed-and-breakfast, is 30 minutes from the ski area and has been featured in Sunset magazine and Best Places Northwest.
WATCH: Mount Baker Ski Area
The Mount Baker Ski Area offers trails for novice and experienced skiers and snowboarders.