Getting to the mountains, 2013 edition

UntitledThis post is a quick update on last year’s collection of public transport routes to ski areas. It’s heavily biased towards my own needs (i.e. central Seattle pickup locations). Please let me know if there are any I’ve missed!

To Steven’s Pass

Greasebus is sadly no more. I will miss it.

Steven’s Pass Shuttle

Runs every day

Picks up from Luna Park Cafe in West Seattle at 6:15am

Picks up from Hotel Deca in the University District at 6:45am

Sounds like they may be amenable to a downtown stop since that’s on the way between those places

Also has later pickups in Monroe and points along US-2.

Cost: $35 roundtrip; $20 one-way, and if you pay cash you can get the lift pass bundled in at a $15 discount.



Picks 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 will add locations for 3 or more passengers Cost: $40

Bainbridge Island Parks & Rec also runs a ski bus, picking up at the downtown Seattle ferry terminal, but it sounds like they may require registration too far in advance to be useful to the casual rider.

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

Snow Bus

Saturdays, Sundays, MLK Day & President’s Day

Picks up from [6th & Cherry] at 6:45am13

Also has pickup points in Green Lake, Bellevue & Auburn, and another bus serving the Tacoma area

Cost: $35, with some discount on the lift ticket

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


Departs 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 $176 for a return seat when I checked for next 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.

This entry was posted in Seattle and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.