Ultimate Guide: Snow Vacations in Washington

Last updated on November 10th, 2022

When the snow falls in the Pacific Northwest, there’s no better winter family vacation than a trip to the snowy mountains. Bundle up with a nice hot cup of cocoa, play in the snow, sled down some hills, and hit the slopes on a nice snowy family vacation.

We’ve rounded up the best winter vacation spots for families in Washington for fun in the snow.  Also find our winter vacation packing list!

Suncadia | Cle Elum, WA

3600 Suncadia Trail, Cle Elum, WA 98922

Suncadia is a winter wonderland, just over an hour drive from Seattle. Kids love the tubing hill, the ice-skating rink, heated pool in the snow, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and strolling through the snowy walkways. Winterfest at Suncadia runs from Thanksgiving through the new year. Activities include visits from Santa, elf wakeup calls, elf deliveries, and Santa’s Workshop (with ornament decorating, craft kits, bear factory, and cookie decorating). Rent a house, a condo, or a room at the lodge for a perfectly cozy getaway.

Leavenworth | Leavenworth, WA

820 Front St, Leavenworth, WA 98826

Holiday lights at Leavenworth the Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains, in central Washington
Photo by Natalia Bratslavsky / Shutterstock

Entering Leavenworth in the winter is like stepping into a storybook with the quaint Bavarian Village set among snow-covered mountains. In December, the holiday lights make this place even more magical. Rent a vacation home or hotel room and fill your days with fun in the snow. Head up to the Leavenworth Ski Hill for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Find a hill and bring your sled. Rent snowmobiles. Bring snowshoes and explore the backcountry. Hop on a whimsical sleigh ride. Stroll the town and don’t miss the year-round Christmas shop.

Snoqualmie Pass | Snoqualmie Pass, WA

1001 WA-906, Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068

Just over an hour away, spend your day on the slopes at Snoqualmie Pass. Rent a vacation home at the base or a room at the Summit Inn to get ski-in access. Take a break from the slopes and enjoy a session of tubing or hit the trails on some snowshoes.

Mount Baker | Deming, WA

Mt Baker Hwy, Deming, WA 98244

Photo By Cascade Creatives / Shutterstock

Up for a longer winter road trip? Head over to Mt. Baker, just over an hour east of Bellingham. Rent a vacation home for a relaxing and low-key snowy vacation. Hit the slopes of Mt. Baker. Bring a sled and find a hill for some thrills. Go snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sipping a hot beverage next to a cozy fireplace. 

Crystal Mountain | Enumclaw, WA

33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd. Enumclaw, WA 98022

Photo By Sveta Imnadze / Shutterstock

Crystal Mountain is a picturesque mountain resort about two hours from Seattle. Spend the day on the slopes and warm up in one of the many onsite lodging options. Hop on the gondola for a breath-taking view and a bite at the Summit House Retreat. Silver Skis Chalet and Crystal Chalets provide convenient ski-in access which is key for family vacations!

Whistler | Whistler, BC, Canada

4365 Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada

Photo By Simply Photos / Shutterstock

Take your winter vacation internationally with a road trip (just over 4 hours) to Whistler in B.C. Canada. Make it a busy winter vacation or a relaxing one. There are so many options for the whole family. Hit the slopes of Whistler Blackcomb. Stroll through the vibrant Whistler Village with more than 200 shops and restaurants. Try your hand at the bobsleigh and dog sledding. Get an adrenaline rush with the winter zipline and bungee jump. Take a snowcat tour on the backcountry. Hop on a relaxing sleigh ride. Find the Olympic Rings for a photo op. Take a ride on the Excalibur Gondola. Play in the snow. Head inside for rock climbing and indoor ice skating. Immerse your senses at Vallea Lumina, a multimedia night walk with a stunning light show.

What to Pack

Unless you’re a winter travel pro, it’s easy to forget a few things that you end up needing. In addition to your typical day-to-day needs, don’t forget:

~ Snow Jacket and Pants for the snow play and the slopes. With kiddos outgrowing clothes and shoes so often, we love a good set for boys and girls that comes together (snow bib + jacket).

~ Thermal Base Layer for extra warmth.

~ Beanie to keep that noggin warm. 

~ Neck Gaiter for added warmth. 

~ Wool Socks to keep those toes toasty. 

~ Snow boots for walking around.

~ Goggles for the slopes. 

~ Sunglasses for every day.

Gloves – for the slopes and every day.

Hand and Feet warmers

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