Ride the Crystal Mountain Gondola to Washington's highest elevation restaurant.
The Crystal Mountain Gondola is 2 hours south of Seattle at the Crystal Mountain Resort, with panoramic views of Mt Rainier and the Cascades from the Summit House Restaurant.
Both the Crystal Mountain Gondola and Summit House Restaurant are open in summer and winter, but closed during shoulder seasons.
5 best things to do at Crystal Mountain Gondola
1. Ride the gondola in both summer and winter!
Crystal Mountain is no longer just a destination for skiers, and is equally popular with foot passengers wanting to see fantastic views, and enjoy a meal at the Summit House Restaurant. It's open summer and winter, but closed during shoulder seasons.
Foot passengers on the Crystal Mountain Gondola should always dress in warm clothing, even in summer! There are no sheltered areas at the top of the mountain aside from the Summit House Restaurant, and on a windy/cold day you will be very exposed at the top of the summit. It's also a good idea to slip on some shoes with decent tread, because you'll be walking through snow.
2. Take a thrilling 10-minute ride up 2,400 vertical feet to the summit!
The 10-minute Crystal Mountain Gondola ride travels from the base of Crystal Mountain's Ski Area, to the Summit House Restaurant.
Step onboard the Crystal Mountain Gondola, and get whisked up to the top!
Enjoy gorgeous 360 degree views!
Peer down at the skiers in this winter wonderland.
The Crystal Mountain Gondola docks at the summit, transporting both sightseers and skiers together in the same cabins.
3. Enjoy a meal at the Summit House Restaurant, with glorious views of Mt Rainier (there's also a snack bar).
At 6,872 feet, the Summit House Restaurant is Washington State's highest altitude restaurant. Always call ahead to make advanced reservations and check opening times, events and package deals.
If you want something more casual, there's a small snack bar below Tower 16 at the Crystal Mountain Gondola, to purchase a coffee or hot dog.
Savor a fine dining experience at the Summit House Restaurant, with stunning views of Mount Rainier. It's also the perfect place for an engagement or romantic meal.
Check out those amazing views of the southeastern face of Mt Rainier from the Summit House Restaurant!
4. Take photos from the open viewing platform at the top of the Crystal Mountain Gondola.
Step off the Crystal Mountain Gondola, and start clicking away over the rooftop of the Cascades!. The views don't get any better than this.
5. Stay overnight at Crystal Mountain.
If you'd prefer to stay on the mountain at Crystal Mountain Resort there are hotels and condos available. Crystal Mountain Hotels operates the Alpine Inn, Village Inn and Quicksilver Lodge.
There are also two condos. The Crystal Chalets (condos) are on a hill overlooking the base area. The Silver Skis Chalet (condos) is as the base area and also has a heated outdoor pool.
Luxurious cabins and chalets are also available 15 minutes from Crystal Mountain at the Alta Crystal Resort, which also has a heated outdoor swimming pool and spa.
Stop by the Austrian inspired Snorting Elk Cellar at Crystal Mountain.
This is the day lodge near the Crystal Mountain Gondola, with ski rental, lessons, restaurants, and ticketing.
Always check road conditions up to Crystal Mountain.
The only access to Crystal Mountain in winter is along Highway 410 East from Enumclaw. Always check road conditions before leaving, as you might need to fit tire chains during certain weather conditions.
Enjoy the scenic drive along Highway 410 up to the Crystal Mountain Gondola.
What other attractions are near the Crystal Mountain Gondola?
Sunrise at Mt Rainier is 1 hour and 20 minutes away and has a day lodge with snack bar. It has stunning views of Mt Rainier and Emmons Glacier, and there are also plenty of trails to explore. Sunrise is usually snowed in and is only open a few months every year. Please check the status of Sunrise Road before leaving.