It might be out of the way, but ski-bums flock to Mt. Baker Ski Area (56 miles east of Bellingham on Mt. Baker Hwy., tickets 360/734-6771, ski report 360/671-0211 or 206/634-0200, www.mtbakerskiarea.com, $43 adult, $38 senior, $33 children, $32–43 ski rentals) for its premium powder.
The geography and elevation of the ski area enables it to run the longest seasons in the state, typically keeping the lifts running from early November through April.
Eight chairlifts (two of these are quads) put 1,500 vertical feet of slope underski, from machine-groomed intermediate runs to open powder bowls. Other facilities include a big day lodge, child care, ski school, rentals, restaurant, and bar.
Cross-country and backcountry skiers will find plenty of trails to keep them happy in the area around Mt. Baker. For rentals, contact Glacier Ski Shop (9999 Mt. Baker Hwy., 360/599-1943, $25–35 Nordic, $30–40 alpine), which offers both Nordic and alpine skis by the day.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition