Family Ski Holiday: Hit the Slopes at Washington State’s Mount Baker

A short trip from Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, Mount Baker Ski Area’s supreme powder and laid-back atmosphere make it an ideal kid-friendly winter getaway.

Nov 7, 2014
Mount Baker Ski Area near Seattle, Washington
With a range of kid-friendly and beginner lessons, plus ample black diamond and back-country options, Mount Baker offers skiing fun for all ages and abilities.
Photography Kelly Iwona

If you and the kids like winter sports, consider timing a visit to Washington’s edgy Emerald City and Four Seasons Hotel Seattle to include a few days for family fun in the snow at Mount Baker.

An easy three-hour drive from Seattle, Mount Baker Ski Area lies at 4,200 feet (1,300 meters) in the Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest. Home to the “world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season” (1,140 inches/30 metres in 1998–99), the area is uncrowded, unpretentious and nestled in a spectacular valley surrounded by glaciers.

If you want a glam, alpine village resort experience, head north to Whistler, but if it’s low-key you’re looking for, try Mount Baker. This remote area provides a relaxing, decidedly non-commercial feel, particularly in the peeled log–style lodge full of flannel-wearing locals. It’s an appealing ski location for families: Beginners and intermediate skiers fare well on the slopes here, and for advanced skiers, back-country and black diamond options are available.

If you go, be sure to:

  • Start with a traditional breakfast at Bob’s Burgers & Brew in Sumas, at the U.S.-Canada border. The kids can ogle the stuffed moose head, wild turkeys and wolverine while settling into a cosy upholstered booth in the sunroom. The Country Breakfast (hash browns, eggs, choice of meat, and toast) washed down with coffee is essential for parents, and the kids’ menu is great too.
  • Have a relaxed family dinner out at Graham’s Restaurant, an authentic bar/restaurant near the ski area. Rustic and big on character—with live music and a pool table in the back—this bustling spot produces tasty, locally sourced fare (lamb burgers, pulled pork, pizza, sweet potato fries, homemade pie) with pitchers of local brew and serve-yourself fountain pop.
  • On the ski hill, spend some time warming up in the Raven Hut lodge. It’s airy and mountain-stylish—perfect for hot cocoa by the giant stone fireplace. If it’s sunny, enjoy your snack on the front deck.

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