Crystal Mountain Resort Gondola

You would think with all the mountains in Washington State, and the high numbers of visitors that there would be more tourist gondola rides. But with the weather so often foul, and a strong environmentalist movement, there are very few have ever been built. The main exception is the Crystal Mountain Resort, which offers a ride up to the highest restaurant in Washington (Summit House) at 6,872 feet. Along with a scenic meal, you can hike roads and trails to nearby points along the ridge. A disc golf course is also available if you want to have some fun hiking down throwing a Frisbee. The gondola runs from around 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. so there is plenty of time to meander around. The summit has picnic tables and slingback chairs. Crystal Mountain has a webcam so make sure the weather is good before coming and paying the cost to ride up to the summit.
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Gondola ride up through low clouds into the sun
Crystal Mountain base area
Crystal Mountain ski area near the parking lot
Base area
Summit House
Event area
Looking over to the summit house while walking the ridge
Close up of Mt. Rainier
Lunch in the Summit House
Slingback chairs
Looking East
Looking North from nearby knob
Looking Northeast from nearby knob
Peaks in Mount Rainier National Park
Crystal Mountain Trail Map