youtubeDo high fuel prices have you rethinking your RV travel plans for this summer?

Would you rather see your vacation dollars go towards fun activities instead of seeing them escape as exhaust vapors from your tailpipe?

If you are one of our many readers residing in Western Washington, consider a trip to nearby Crystal Mountain Resort. While most know the resort as a winter destination, the resort has added many fun summer activities and even offers RV spaces with electrical hookups!

Let's Take a Look

The Mt. Rainier Gondola
The gondola consists of 12 towers and 22 gondola cabins. The ride uphill takes about 12 minutes. Riders will experience spectacular scenery as they climb 2,400 feet over rushing streams, wildflowers, lingering snow fields and lush evergreens. Riders may even spot a Roosevelt Elk or two grazing on emerging shoots as the snow melts out over the summer. The view of Mt. Rainier from the top on a sunny day is stunning. Dogs are welcome too.

Disc Golf
Crystal Mountain Disc Golf features an 18-hole lower course and up to a 27-hole upper course accessible via the gondola. Given the thin air and change in elevation along the upper course, you are likely to experience some of the longest disc flights imaginable. Sturdy shoes or hiking boots are recommended.

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Crystal Mountain offers an immense network of hiking trails rated from easy to strenuous. Trails depart from the upper gondola station, allowing for leisurely downhill strolls to the base lodge. For a more calorie-burning adventure, start from the base lodge and hike up to nearby lakes, mountain streams or flower-filled meadows. The Pacific Crest Trail runs along the east side of the resort and can be accessed at several locations. Click here for a trail map.

Horseback Riding
If hiking does not register on your fun meter, let a horse provide the muscle while you enjoy the views. Guided Horseback Riding is offered through Chinook Pass Outfitters who can guide you on a peaceful journey through the solitude and magnificent scenery of the surrounding back country. Click here to view Chinook Pass Outfitters website for complete details.

Gold Panning
Try your hand at gold panning and precious stone identification at the Silver Creek Mining Sluice, which is moving to the summit ridgeline this summer to make room for construction at the base lodge. Open to treasure hunters of all ages. Those that wish to participate can purchase a bag of pay dirt at Right Angle Sports.

Top Notch Dining

Treat yourself to a meal at the Summit House atop Crystal Mountain. At an elevation of 6,872-feet it is the highest restaurant in the state of Washington. Originally built as a warming hut in 1964, the Summit House has become an upscale dining establishment, offering an unsurpassed 360-degree view of the Cascade Range and an outstanding view of Mount Rainier. Click here to view a menu, hours and list of special events .


Not only can you eat at the highest restaurant in the state, but you can also stay overnight in your RV at what are probably the highest campsites in the state with electrical hookups. Crystal Mountain offers both 30 and 50-amp hookups to accommodate you and your RV while you stay and play at the resort. Click here for more information.


Brand new in July 2022! Leave the RV at home and give glamping a try! Crystal Mountain has partnered with Under Canvas to introduce Crystal Sky Camp for the ultimate glamping experience. A few snippets from the website give a hint of what awaits, “Crystal Sky Camp is located at 6000 feet in the shadow of Mount Rainier, nestled into Campbell Basin at the foot of Crystal’s legendary King, Queen and Throne peaks. It combines the picturesque and expansive beauty of the Cascades”, “Crystal Sky Camp is designed for the adventure minded seeking an untrammeled and exclusive outdoor experience with all the comforts of a first-class resort.” Its primarily designed for corporate retreats, adventure weddings, along with friends and family escapes, and group adventures. However, they do have one special event this summer open to the public, for individual tent bookings, during the Perseid Meteor Shower August 12-14. It is a 2-night stay open to all ages. Dogs are welcome too. Click here to reserve your spot.

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Click here for a complete listing and details of all the summer activities at Crystal Mountain for 2022.

Beyond the Resort - Scenic Drives

Crystal Mountain provides a great base camp for exploring beyond the resort. Two drives worth experiencing are the Chinook Scenic Byway and the drive to the Sunrise Visitors Center in Mt. Rainier National Park.

Crystal Mountain is a scant six miles from the northeast entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park and the beginning of the scenic drive to Sunrise, which at 6,400 feet is the highest point that can be traveled by vehicle within the park. During summer, the mountain’s meadows abound with colorful wildflowers. On clear days, Sunrise offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier, its many glaciers, and many other Cascade peaks. Great views along with an excellent trail system make Sunrise one of the most visited locations in the park. Hiking options around Sunrise rate from easy to strenuous, with views abounding at every turn.

Recognized as one of the premier driving tours in Washington State, the Chinook Scenic Byway travels through the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and the east side of Mount Rainier National Park. The byway begins at Enumclaw and goes past the glacier-fed White River, dense forests, waterfalls, up and over spectacular 5,430-foot Chinook Pass and alpine meadows to the fertile valley of the Naches area. Not only will you find breathtaking scenery, but also endless opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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Have a great summer enjoying all the Pacific Northwest has to offer!

Questions, Comments? Please leave your thoughts below.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

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