Family Guide to Stevens Pass

Step 1: Planning Your Trip

There are many things to plan and consider when going skiing or snowboarding. What to wear, what to bring, where to stay, what’s available at the mountain. This part of the guide provides information for first timers on how to dress for success, plan for the weather and find lodging around Stevens Pass for a weekend getaway.

When’s the best time to visit?

We are busiest on weekends and holidays between December through February. If it is an option, we always recommend coming up during the week to take advantage of the quieter slopes. If you are coming up on a weekend or holiday day, Sundays are typically quieter than Saturdays. Plan to arrive at the resort early (prior to 9am) or later in the day (from 2pm onward) to help you avoid the crowds.

Checking the Weather

The most unpredictable part of your trip! Check out our resort webcams for real time mountain images and the weather forecast prior to your trip. Weather can change quickly, so be prepared. You can always keep extra layers in a locker or your car just in case.

What to Wear

PNW weather can range from warm and rainy, to snow storms, and sunshine days. What you wear can make or break your day, and having the right gear is essential. The best way to stay comfortable is to think warm and waterproof and dress in layers so you can add or remove them if the weather changes.

Retail Shops at Stevens Pass

Stevens Pass has two retail shops that can get you outfitted with everything you need at prices comparable to off-mountain retailers. Visit us in The Edge or Fall Line Sports for any gear needs you have.

Lodging at Stevens Pass

We work with over 40 lodging partners in the historic Skykomish Valley, Bavarian town of Leavenworth, and everywhere in between. With cabins of all sizes, quaint B&Bs, and hotels for any budget, there is something for everyone.

Additional questions? Email us at: spguestservices@vailresorts.com

Tip for Kids

  • We understand that kids come with their own checklist of things for you remember! Here’s a list of helpful tips to make their day (and yours) go as smoothly as possible:
  • Don’t skip breakfast. It can be hard when you’re leaving early, but skiing and riding requires a lot of energy and a hearty breakfast can really make the difference
  • Be prepared for the car ride. Think fluids, snacks and entertainment for the way up… hopefully they’ll be asleep on the way down!
  • Prep them first. Especially if they are new to all this. Talk about snow and what to expect or show them videos. If you are planning on them taking a lesson, get them excited about sharing that experience with other children to make that drop-off moment easier on everyone
  • Pack a change of clothes.
  • Reservations are highly recommended to guarantee a spot at the start time requested and expedite the check-in process. If you are planning a trip on a weekend or during a holiday we advise reserving as much as a week in advance as we frequently reach capacity going in to peak days. Reservations must be made online or by calling 206-812-7387 at least 48 hours prior to your visit and our cancellation policy allows folks to book ahead with confidence.

Step 2: Directions & Parking

Stevens Pass is conveniently located just 78 miles from Seattle and 65 miles from Everett at the crest of the Cascade Mountains on beautiful Highway 2. Drive with your friends or family or check out our many transportation options. For more detailed instructions on how to get here, visit our getting here page.

Transportation Options

Don't have a car, no problem! We have a variety of shuttle options to take advantage of so you can just relax and enjoy the ride. Prices and pickup points vary.

Road Conditions

Stay up to date with current road conditions and driving restrictions by checking the Washington State Dept Of Transportation (WSDOT) website for Stevens Pass Hwy 2.

Driving Safety & Tips

During the winter, we can come into contact with some difficult driving conditions. Here are some tips to be prepared for winter driving.

We strongly recommend that vehicles driving up to Stevens Pass are outfitted with Snow/Winter tires, or at least All Season tires. We also encourage all drivers to carry tire chains. Conditions can change quickly and chains are often required during storms.

The WSDOT hosts information about winter driving that can be found here.

Parking

Stevens Pass has ten parking lots nearest the base area with two overflow/satellite lots at Yodelin (one mile East) and the Stevens Pass Nordic Center (5 miles East) for use on busier days. We run shuttles to those satellite lots when main parking lots are full. For real time parking updates, follow @stevensupdates from your Twitter account.

Tip for Kids

We have two lots that we recommend for families: Lot A and Lot G. Lot A allows families to unload right at the base of the steps to our main plaza and Base Area for 10 minutes before finding a parking spot for the day. Look for the signs to parking lot A on the south side of the highway right after passing under the footbridge if coming from the west side, or right before the footbridge if coming from the east. Preferred parking is also available in this lot on a first come first served basis. It is free to park in on Off-Peak Days and if you have 4+ people in your car on Peak Days. It is for a daily fee of $20, or FREE with 4 or more people in the vehicle. to park on a Peak Day if you have less than 4 people in your car.

Our newest lot G on the north side of the highway, just across the pedestrian bridge, is a family favorite. It is free to park in on off-peak days and if you have 4 or more people in the car. There is a $20 fee to park on Peak Days if you have less than 4 people in your car. Families find this extremely convenient due to its proximity to the foot bridge and plaza area.

Keep an eye out for our friendly Mountain Hosts. They wear blue jackets and are always more than happy to assist you!

Step 3: What to do when you get here

The Best Deals

We offer daily lessons for all ability levels for ages 3 and up. You can purchase the lesson only, or a package which includes rental equipment and a lift ticket at a discount. If you are new to the sport, the package is the way to go. Pricing for packages varies based on the day you are visiting with Peak Days being the most popular. The most affordable options exist on Off-Peak days when the resort is less busy, or in the evenings for ages 13+. To explore all our lesson programs check out our Search & Book page. 

Making Reservations

Reservations are highly recommended to guarantee a spot at the start time requested and expedite the check-in process. If you are planning a trip on a weekend or during a holiday, otherwise known as Peak Days, we advise reserving as much as a week in advance to ensure you get a spot. Our Teen and Adult Beginner Group Lessons start on snow at 10am and 1pm everyday, with additional and more affordable evening lesson times of 4pm and 6pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and select holiday dates. Saturdays and Sundays at 10am and 1pm are the most popular times. If you have flexibility, we suggest considering the alternative start times or coming mid-week to avoid the weekend crowds.

Those with a reservation will receive a confirmation email with more detailed information specific to their booking. Reservations must be made online or by calling 206.812.7387 at least 24 hours prior to your visit and our cancellation policy allows folks to book ahead with confidence.

Lodges

Skiing and riding consumes a lot of energy! We have nine restaurants and food outlets on mountain, ranging from snacks and espresso to fire-side dining and full-service bars.

We offer designated areas for brown bag lunches in all three of our main lodges. Each of the lodges are also equipped with restrooms, lockers, retail locations and TVs.

Safety

Advances in ski and snowboard equipment and instruction have made skiing and snowboarding significantly safer sports to learn and participate in. It is however, important to understand some of the basics and your responsibilities as a skier or snowboarder.

Be sure to review the Mountain Safety information prior to your visit.

Tip for Kids

For kids 3-12 years, our Youth Programs Facility is our dedicated learning center and offers lesson packages (Lift Ticket + Rental Equipment + Lesson + Helmet Rental) for all ability levels. The facility is located in the Ski and Snowboard School Building, on the south side of the Base Area, at the foot of the mountain. Reservations are not required but are strongly recommended. If you are planning a trip on a weekend or during a holiday we advise reserving as much as a week in advance as space in our programs fills up frequently.

Private Lessons are also a great option to keep kids or family members together in their own group, or if they span different age ranges that would be separated by our standard group lesson structure.

Sledding is not permitted at the resort for safety reasons. For little ones who are not going to ski or snowboard, Stevens Pass does not currently have any designated indoor or outdoor space for general play and we do not offer a daycare service. However, during mid-week, non-holiday periods, there is more room to roam around.