Crystal Mountain is a short 2hr drive away from Seattle. It’s usually visited in the winter, for some reliable skiing. I’ve not actually ski-ed there, but most of the more advanced skiers I know seem to prefer it. But, since I suck at skiing, I did something else – I went in summer.
What’s there to see/do on a ski mountain in summer? Well, if you’re into hiking, apparently it’s awesome, as is Mount Rainier national park. But well, I don’t really have friends who’re into hiking. Most are couch potatoes. So what did I end up doing? We took the scenic gondola ($22) on a half-cloudy day, and wound up doing some reading at a very scenic spot.
If you don’t want to climb anything for a viewpoint, but want a great view of Rainier, look no further. This is your thing! If you have some extra spare Andrew Jacksons, they also have a restaurant at the top of the gondola. We packed our own lunch up. Be obsessive about checking the weather forecast for a perfect day.