Mt Spokane is a large ski area located just a short hour’s drive north of Spokane. This resort is located on the eastern side of the mountain and covers 1425 skiable acres. Peak elevation is 5889 feet, and the base lodges rest at 4400 feet. The lowest lift serviced altitude however, is at the base of chair 4 at 3818 feet. This gives the front of Mt Spokane a vertical of 1489 feet and the backside a vert of 2071 feet. Snowfall at Mt. Spokane is dense with the ten-year average being 300 inches (7.6 meters) per year. With the altitude and the park’s position on the lee means that the mountain gets snow that’s softer and drier. That’s good news because that’s the best type of skiing powder.
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The Lifts and Trails
Mt Spokane has 45 named trails (16 of which are open for night skiing) with a mountain reported difficulty blend of 26 percent novice, 60 percent intermediate, and 14 percent advanced. In reality, the blend is more 23/32/45 split between green, blue and black. There are five double chairs that service the mountain with a capacity of 4920 skiers per hour.
For expert skiers, the entire south and back of the mountain is your playground. Steeps, wide-open cruisers, chutes and one hellacious steep (Geronimo) make up the fun. Geronimo actually has a novice cut off called Bail Out about halfway down the 2071-foot descent if you think you need it. The backside also hosts the two freestyle parks, half hitch and Lamonga Pass. Lamonga is a little flatter than the Hitch, but both have multiple lines through the boxes and rails.
Novice and intermediates are going to want to stick to Chairs 3 and 5. Chair 5 exclusively deals with the ski school and a mandatory slow zone called Egg Flats. This is where you’re going to find people who are still practicing pizza turns and getting a feel for their boards. Chair 3 will take you up to the terrain parks and some fun intermediate chutes that lead into some easier groomers.
The Rest of It
Let’s be honest. Mt. Spokane will never be known for their apres-ski events. However, with their location only a half hour from Spokane, they don’t need to be. The base lodge has basic food service and a cozy atmosphere to warm up between runs. At the summit, Vista House is a great place to stop and warm up in front of the fire before you head back down the mountain. Mt. Spokane is in the middle of a huge renovation and upgrade that will add a new chair and seven runs spread out over 80 acres. With a top-notch ski school to help kids and adults learn their way around, this is also a good place for families to spend the weekend skiing.