Getting to the mountains

BlackcombNow that we’ve finally had some decent snowfall, I’m hankering for some of this. Since the last time I checked, several new bus services to the nearest ski hills seem to have been launched. I found it a bit of a hassle tracking down the information, so here’s a list for my own future reference and as a public service:

Practical ways to go skiing from central Seattle without a car

To Steven’s Pass


Saturdays & Sundays

Picks up from Snowboard Connection, 263 Yale Ave N at 8am and returns around 6pm

Also has a pickup point in Fremont

Cost: $20

Bonus: biodiesel powered!



AlpentalPicks up from the old MOHAI site,  2700 24th Ave E at 7am and seems to return around 6pm

Also has a pickup point in Kirkland and might pick you up from Monroe on request

Cost: $40

To Snoqualmie Pass

Seattle Ski Shuttle

Saturdays & Sundays

Picks up from the Grand Hyatt, 7th & Pine at 7:45am and returns around 6pm

Also has pickup points in West Seattle and Bellevue

Cost: $35

Only drops off at Snoqualmie Central, but the resort has a free shuttle for Alpental access

To Crystal Mountain

Seattle Ski Shuttle

Mondays, Thursdays & Fridays

Picks up from the Grand Hyatt, 7th & Pine at 7:30am and returns around 6:30pm

Also has pickup points in West Seattle and Auburn

Cost: $40

To Whitefish, Montana

Amtrak Empire Builder


BlackcombDeparts King Street Station at 4:40pm and gets you to Whitefish early the next morning.

Return train departs Whitefish after dinner and gets you back here at 10:25 the next morning.

Cost: varies; was $158 for a return seat when I checked for this weekend, but bed reservations almost double that.

Bummer: Amtrak won’t let you reserve just a bed like European sleeper trains – you have to reserve a 2- or 4- bed room, which makes this needlessly expensive for solo travelers or groups of 3.

To Whistler/Blackcomb


3 trips a day

Takes about 7 hours, including a very efficiently run transfer at Vancouver train station.

Cost: varies; around $60 each way.


I’m sure I’ve missed something. Leave a comment if you know of any other options.

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