The Story Of An Abandoned Washington Ski Area


The Washington ski industry is having trouble keeping up with increased demand. While many improvements are happening, the lack of major ski resorts near Seattle results in huge crowds. With a lack of resorts near Seattle, paid parking has even been implemented at ski resorts like Crystal. It’s clear that other ski resorts are needed.

Enter Mount Pilchuck. In Skier72’s latest episode of The Lost Resorts, he broke down the history of the abandoned Washington ski area.

First opened in 1957, the ski area originally featured a day lodge and some rope tows. A double chairlift was installed in the early 1960s, and a lower mountain chairlift was installed later that decade. A third chairlift was planned for above the tree line, which would’ve given them a terrain pod with reliable snowfall. A lower elevation compared to other mountains led to less snowfall, meaning they struggled to stay open. When they tried to renew the lease in 1979, the applications were denied by the US Forest Service, and the ski area closed for good. You have to wonder if Pilchuck would be still around if they prioritized adding an upper mountain lift rather than doing the beginner chairlift, which featured minimal snowfall.

While this may not be the number one place to consider building a new ski resort in Washington, it should at least be considered. The video from Skier72 is below, and you can watch more of his The Lost Resorts series here.

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Image/Video Credits: Skier72,

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