The upshot of western Washington’s penchant for precipitation is deep, reliable powder in the backcountry. Once you touring the wilderness in winter on a set of skis, it is hard to go back to resort slopes—even if backcountry skiing means having to actually work for your downhills, rather than just riding up the lift.
The possibilities for backcountry skiing around Steven Pass are nearly infinite. A good spot for those who are new to the backcountry lies within a 45-mintue hike from the road to Skyline Ridge. Other good spots nearby include Lichtenberg, Jim Hill, Lantham Lakes, and Rock Mountain.
The slopes of Washington’s most famous peak, Mount Rainier, also offer fun options for backcountry skiing. For an awesome full day, skin up to Camp Muir at 10,080 feet, where you will encounter extraordinary views of the Tatoosh Mountains and of Rainier itself. Then, comes the best part: making sweet turns back down Rainier’s flanks.