When it comes to skiing, many Seattle families point their skis in the direction of Snoqualmie Summit or Stevens Pass. But there’s another ski and snowboard resort that should not be missed. Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort, located in Wenatchee, offers world-class skiing, amazing views and terrain for all levels. Plus, with an abundance of snow this season, this 2,000 acre haven is providing some epic pow pow!

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photo: Shane Wilder

Washington’s Best-Kept Skiing Secret
Located just 12 miles outside of Wenatchee, on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains, Mission Ridge boasts some of the lightest, driest powder in the state along with short lift lines, a family-friendly atmosphere and spectacular views. And since this ski destination is built into a basin, it’s also sunnier than other ski resorts in our area.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography  

Plenty of Room to Roam 
There are 36 runs within Mission Ridge’s 2,000 acres of skiable terrain which equals plenty of room for your little shredders to tear it up. Four lifts get you up the side of the mountain and getting to the top elevation of 6,820 feet is well worth it. From there, on a clear day, it’s a breathtaking view down to Wenatchee. Psst! See if you can spot Mount Rainier and Mount Baker.

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photo: Jared Eygabroad

Little Flyers
Mission Ridge caters to all classes of skiers from the absolute beginner to the adrenalin seeking powder hound. The Mission Ridge Ski School offers lessons, half and full day, as well as a Flyers program for three-year-olds who want to learn to ski, but who might be too little for the lifts. An innovative new program called The Learn to Ski Freedom Pass is also available and offers skiers unlimited beginner lessons, unlimited beginner lift tickets for chair lift one and the rope tow and unlimited gear rental, all for $129.

For tykes ages 3 months to 6, the resort offers an awesome childcare program. While mom and dad cram as many runs in as possible, or enjoy a little après ski in the lodge, little snow bunnies will enjoy games, crafts and some snow play of their own.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Helping Hands
The folks at Mission Ridge know that it takes a lot of gear to get the kids out on the mountain. That’s why they offer convenient parking (right at the base of the mountain) and Mission Ridge Mountain Hosts. Moms and dads who could use an extra pair of hands can simply flag down anyone in an orange Mountain Host jacket (dragging a sled) to lighten the load. With this free service, you and your crew will be on the mountain in a matter of moments or at least as long as it takes to shove your pint-sized ski bum’s foot into that boot. Psst! Mountain Hosts will also answer questions, take family photos at the top of the mountain and give you guidance on the best downhill routes.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Working up an Appetite
Little skiers can get ravenous and let’s face it, stuffing ski jackets with snacks isn’t a great alternative. Fortunately, Mission Ridge offers several dining options to please even the pickiest palate: Chair-5 Pub, a full sit-down restaurant offers salads, sandwiches, burgers and brews; Ka-Wham Café, a cafeteria-style restaurant is where you can quickly grab a burger and seat yourself or head out onto the deck by the outdoor fireplace; and MidWay Lodge, located halfway up the mountain is the perfect place for a warm drink and a quick bite to eat.

Mountain Lore on Mission Ridge
Back in 1944, a B-24 Liberator Bomber crashed on the mountain and pieces of the wreckage remain to this day. Skiers can stop off at a piece of the bomber wing on display at the entrance to Bomber Bowl. And according to mountain lore, skiers are supposed to rub the wing, or better yet give it a quick kiss (don’t lick it!), for good luck. There’s also the tale of Propman to keep unruly kids in check. Ask any Mountain Host or Mission Ridge employee for the story, though it’s likely to vary a bit depending on who is telling the tale.

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photo: Natalia Dotto Photography

Good to Know
Mission Ridge offers a twilight snowshoe experience on several Saturdays throughout the season. Call in advance to see if it is being offered during your visit. Psst! It does include a strenuous hike and likely best for older kiddos who are used to mountain hikes.

Directions
There are two routes from Seattle. Take U.S. Hwy. 2 east to Wenatchee and follow the signs to Mission Ridge or take I-90 east to Exit #85, Cle Elum/Wenatchee (Hwy. 970). Follow Hwy. 970 towards Wenatchee. At the junction of U.S. Hwy. 97, take U.S. Hwy. 97 north towards Wenatchee.

Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort
7500 Mission Ridge Rd.
Wenatchee, Wa 98801
509-663-6543
Snowline:509-663-3200
Online: missionridge.com

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Hours: Thurs.-Mon, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Have you taken the fam to Mission Ridge? What’s your favorite thing about the resort? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Natalia Dotto

feature photo courtesy of Shane Wilder