After a week of hiatus—chalk it up to some warmer weather—we’re back with our weekly flight deals here on Wanderlust.
Winter came rolling into Houston in full force this week, with near-freezing lows and windswept overcast days where even one layer might not do. You might have even found yourself pining for some snow of mountainous adventures.
So what better time to continue our skiing theme? We’ve already shown you the hotspots of the Northeast and the Appalachians, so now let’s crisscross the country and hit up the Pacific Northwest.
While it might not have the famous slopes of its Rocky Mountain neighbors just to the east, these Cascades resorts have thick powder and long snow seasons, which means you can be flexible in your planning. Also, with several large cities within range of the ski areas, you can find flights with relative ease.
Here’s a head start on some options for your Pacific Northwest ski trip planning.
Houston to Seattle, from $337
Obviously, Seattle has a lot going for it, but you can’t ski the Space Needle. No worries, though, as The Summit at Snoqualmie sits an hour outside of town. Though often crowded—the slopes can accommodate 34,000 people per hour—it’s worth it for the resort experience and proximity to Seattle. It also features four different summits and routinely shows up on Best Of lists for its snowboarding runs.There’s a ski and snowboard school for beginners, tubing lanes for the young (or young at heart) and over 500 acres of lit terrain for night runs. BONUS: Snoqualmie Falls is nearby, and a must visit for any aficionados of the TV show, Twin Peaks, which famously featured the falls in its early 1990s run.
Houston to Portland, from $326
One state south, the skiing is no less fine. The Pacific Northwest may be known for its milder weather but don’t count Mount Hood Meadows in that. The resort, located just 70 miles east of Portland, has a peak elevation of 7,300 feet, with the maid lodge a mile above sea level. So it gets cold and stays cold here. Even better for the powder, as any skier knows. There are over 80 trails, 65 percent of which are for beginners or intermediates. The Meadows still feature a slew of challenging black diamonds and nine miles of Nordic terrain to satiate the enthusiastic experts. In between runs, check out the sun-soaked side of the Cascade Express, which gives way to views “halfway across Oregon.” Though there is no lodging on-site, the nearby Hood River is a “Top Five American Ski Town,” according to Skiing Magazine.
Houston to Vancouver, from $351
You don’t even technically have to leave town to do some skiing in Canada. The Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in West Vancouver, a mere half-hour drive from downtown. The ski slopes are technically comprised of two mountains, though neither reaches even 5,000 feet. But with 53 runs, gentler slopes and night skiing, it’s a more urban experience. Don’t let that fool you into thinking there’s no challenge here. After all, the area hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic events, and the cold can be downright chilling. There’s two warming huts on site for the often frigid temperatures on the mountain, which you might need after exploring the more than 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails. For family fun, there’s even a magic carpet conveyor belt and tube park for the kids. And given its proximity to the city, you can still explore Vancouver by night.