Snoqualmie PassWashington State
Interstate 90 is the only road access to and through the pass, about 55 miles from both Seattle to the west and Ellensburg to the east. The traffic is usually not a problem once you pass the edges of Seattle's suburban sprawl outside Issaquah, except during major holiday weekends. Weather conditions can be a different story, particularly during the winter months when heavy fog, rain, and snow are all commonplace. During ski season, traffic is often delayed or temporarily stopped near the summit for avalanche control work. Weather conditions on either side of the pass can differ sharply; check the pass conditions before setting out. During particularly heavy snowstorms, the pass may close entirely for a day or two.
Summer driving is usually pleasant, with good conditions and sweeping forest views on the west side of the pass. The east side is undergoing road construction and widening through 2016, with routine hour-long closures in both directions on summer weekday evenings for rock blasting.
Mountains to Sound GreenwayThe corridor of I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass is known as the Mountains To Sound Greenway, and offers many sightseeing and exploration opportunities, only a short distance from Seattle. You can print out and take along a PDF "Geo-Tour" of the MTSG .
Summit At SnoqualmieWith four alpine base areas summit ski slopes that vary from beginner to advanced. Nights skiing is also available
- Summit Central Has a large terrain park and a halfpipe.
- Summit East
- Summit West
- Alpental Offers everything from beginner to deadly (quite literally) terrain. The in-bounds area at Alpental contains a several-hundred foot tall cliff that's pretty great to ski off of, but check the landing for plenty of snow first, and do this only if you're an expert skier. Pay attention to, and believe the double black diamond signs. The Alpental backcountry is quite impressive and readily accessible; make sure to obtain a Backcountry Pass from the Ski Patrol (at their Shack atop Chair 2) before exploring. Drive east on Interstate 90 from Seattle, approximately 1 hour. The road is an active interstate highway, and is therefore plowed and sanded all winter long, but snow tires or chains may be required.
HikingThere are numerous hiking opportunities around the Snoqualmie Pass area. This is not an area that much solitude will be found on the hike.
- Snow Lake A good hike from July to early October. A moderately strenuous hike, trailhead can be reached parking at the Alpental ski resort parking lot (A Northwest Forest Pass may be necessary). Traverses through forest, reaches an Alpine Lake. Stay and relax, consider a swim. Continue along the trail, go to Gem Lake, and beyond.
Iron Horse State ParkCovers over one hundred miles of trail through the Snoqualmie Forest and surrounding area, including a repurposed old railroad tunnel that cuts under the pass! Open May–October only, the 2.3-mile tunnel rarely climbs over 50°F (10°C), making it a welcome respite from summer heat. Bring a headlamp – or even two, just in case, as the tunnel is completely unlit. Trailhead parking available from I-90 exit 56 (Hyak), immediately east of the summit.
Family Pancake HouseIn the Village
The Summit LodgeAt Summit at Snoqualmie. Walking distance to slopes (shuttle also available). Ski & Stay packages from $110-$220.
Hyak Lodgeaddress: 370 Keechelus Boat Launch RdJust outside Washington State Park.
The Frantzian Mountain Hideaway Bed & Breakfastaddress: 7 Ober Strasse, Alpental
Iron Horse InnBed and Breakfast in converted train coaches. $80-$150.
Kendall Peak Lodgephone: +1 425-434-6336
phone: +1 425-434-7200Two suites (2-4 people) located at the base of Summit West ski slopes. $150-$250.
Snoqualmie CabinCozy creekside cabin, two bedrooms, 2 bath, + Loft. 30 seconds from the slopes, + Free Ski Shuttle! Sleeps 8. Beautiful Views of mountains and ski slopes. Hiking, boating, etc nearby.