Mountaineers Sells Historic Snoqualmie Pass Property

The Mountaineers has sold our 77-acre Snoqualmie Lodge Property. The sale agreement will bridge Summit West and Summit Central and provides for Pacific Crest Trail relocation in the future.
Geoff Lawrence Geoff Lawrence
March 29, 2016
Mountaineers Sells Historic Snoqualmie Pass Property
PCT Trail. Photo by Michael Telstad.

The Mountaineers has closed on the sale of its historic Snoqualmie Pass property. The former site of the Snoqualmie Lodge has been sold to Boyne Properties, which manages the Summit at Snoqualmie. The agreement allows the ski area to connect Summit West and Summit Central, while also allowing for a potential easement for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

More than 500,000 skiers visit Snoqualmie Pass each year, and the Snow Lake Trailhead at Alpental is among the most popular Forest Service trailheads in the Cascades, and can be used to access the PCT.

The Mountaineers first established themselves at Snoqualmie Pass at Lodge Lake in 1915. The first lodge served as a base camp for ski touring, climbing and socializing until it burned to the ground in the summer of 1944. Undeterred, The Mountaineers built a second lodge, 500 feet down the mountain, on a piece of property acquired from the Northern Pacific Railroad. They cleared a small ski slope, built a rope tow, and the second lodge continued to serve as a social center to several generations of Mountaineers.

The 77-acre Snoqualmie Lodge property sits between Summit West and Summit Central. The Mountaineers acquired the property in 1948 and ran a small ski hill and other club events on the site until the lodge burned down in 2006. For 35 years, The Mountaineers also has leased a crossover trail to the ski area, providing a connection between ski run networks, as well as administrative access for the resort.

Possible PCT Re-route

In completing the sale, The Mountaineers and the ski area agree to work together to finalize the location of a trail corridor that would meet the standards of a National Scenic Trail. This would then be memorialized in a trail easement that balances ski area improvements with scenic and conservation values.

In 2013, the USDA Forest Service completed an Optimal Location Review for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail at Snoqualmie Pass. The agency identified the undeveloped Mountaineers property as the best possible location for the trail as it approaches from the south. The PCT currently follows the ridgeline through Summit West, crossing under multiple chairlifts before crossing I-90. A route through the Snoqualmie Lodge property would bring hikers down through a more forested environment, better segregate snowshoers and skiers, and provide a safer path for hikers across SR 906 and I-90.

“This sale agreement has the potential to preserve the best route for the Pacific Crest Trail by relocating it through undeveloped property, which would greatly improve the quality and safety of the trail experience," said Liz Bergeron, Executive Director and CEO of the Pacific Crest Trail Association. “However, there is still work to be done. PCTA looks forward to working with the ski area, the U.S. Forest Service and the Mountaineers on a plan that will ensure that the PCT is not only protected in this area, but that it is improved to the standard that Congress intended for National Scenic Trails.” 

A word from the ski area

“Some of my earliest memories of Snoqualmie Pass were skiing and staying at the Snoqualmie Lodge as a kid,” said Dan Brewster, General Manager for the Summit at Snoqualmie. “I’m thrilled we’ve found a way for skiers to continue to use this property. In the near future, we look forward to dramatically improving the connection between Summit Central and Summit West, as well as working together with The Mountaineers and others on a new route for the Pacific Crest Trail that will provide a better experience for all recreational users – summer and winter.”

A word from our Board President

“Mountaineers were among the first to ski at Snoqualmie Pass,” said Geoff Lawrence, President of The Mountaineers. “One hundred years ago, you had to take the train up in the winter, get off at a whistle stop and hike more than a mile up the mountain to get to the old lodge. Times have changed, but people still love the outdoors. With this sale complete, the Snoqualmie Lodge property can continue to bring people to the mountains for another hundred years.”

Proceeds of the sale will be held in a reserve fund managed by the Board of Directors to benefit future advancement of The Mountaineers mission.

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Mark Glidden
Mark Glidden says:
Mar 30, 2016 02:08 PM

We need to push hard to use the funds from this to purchase another real property. Like for like. Wouldn't it be great to have a lodge at Mazama or in Icicle Creek. There was one for sale recently at the mouth of Icicle Creek that we could have purchased. Let's start looking.

Peter Hendrickson
Peter Hendrickson says:
Mar 31, 2016 08:45 PM

How about a dedicated capital fund with a view towards huts between White Pass and Snoqualmie Pass? We remain hopeful that the White Mountains will not be a singular U.S. hut system. The European model is a powerful draw for hikers, trekkers, climbers, back country skiers... We might then be able to negotiate reciprocal member benefits in Europe.

Lowell Skoog
Lowell Skoog says:
Apr 01, 2016 01:14 PM

The potential re-routing of the Crest Trail through the Mountaineers property doesn't make sense to me. Seems like a significant detour. If the trail continues to run west of the Cascade Crest past Lodge Lake and Beaver Lake it would have to take almost a 180-degree detour to cross the old Mountaineer property. Huh?

Geoff Lawrence
Geoff Lawrence says:
Apr 04, 2016 04:26 PM

Mark, Peter – Thanks for your feedback.

The process of deciding to sell this property was a decade in the making and involved lots of voices and perspectives both within and outside of our organization. In 2014 The Mountaineers Board of Directors decided to seek a buyer for what has long been an underperforming asset, with the intent that proceeds from the sale would be held in a reserve fund managed by the Board of Directors to benefit future advancement of The Mountaineers mission. If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact me directly and I can get you involved in the appropriate planning committee.