Uphill Travel Policy

Travel Restrictions, Rules, & Guidelines

Considering hiking, snowshoeing or touring at or around our ski area? There are specific rules and restrictions for uphill travel, so be sure to read our policy before you make plans. The following uphill travel rules were developed in partnership with the United States Forest Service.

Uphill Access Update - 5/22/2020:

Starting May 22, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (MBS) will begin a phased reopening of trailheads, day-use areas, and other developed recreation sites. Following such, all Summit areas including Alpental, are open for access as of May 22. Before you choose to get outside please be informed, respectful, and #RecreateResponsibly.


For All Areas At The Summit

  • Uphill users must travel on the sides of trails, avoid the primary downhill path, and maintain visibility so downhill users can avoid them.
  • If uphill users are a contributory cause to a collision or incident, they may be held liable.
  • Be open and courteous to ski patrol and staff. Their job is to keep everyone safe, including you.

Specific To Alpental

At Alpental during the operating season uphill use is allowed only when the area is open to lift-accessed guests. When Alpental is closed to customers, it is closed to uphill travelers. This means that if no Alpental chair lift is open to guests, you may not travel uphill; including periods when lifts are delayed or on standby, Mondays, at night or any other period of closure during the operating season.

Outside of the operating season, Alpental is open for uphill access.

  • The operating season starts when there is sufficient snow cover for workers to begin winter activities. This is communicated via the posting of signs in base facilities, notification on social media, and this website. End of season is communicated through the same means.

  • Before heading uphill, you must first make contact with patrol staff to determine whether a route can be approved for that day and time.
  • This policy applies to all terrain, including the Back Bowls area. 
  • When traveling to areas beyond the boundary such as Chair Peak or Snow Lake, always stay climbers right and off of any path or resort return trail. Uphill travel is not allowed for any terrain on the South side of the Alpental Valley until you reach Source Lake. 
  • From Source Lake the distinct drainage known as Great Scott trends south and up to the Tooth and Pineapple Pass. These areas are outside the resort boundary and open to ski touring and other forest users, but please do not travel east into the Alpental ski area permitted terrain.

Snoqualmie Mountain Control Warning

The southwest slopes of Snoqualmie Mountain (including The Phantom) can occasionally pose an avalanche threat to the road and parking areas during times of significant weather and snow pack events. Please be aware that those slopes are target zones for avalanche explosives delivered via artillery or helicopter. Avalanche control activities and the closure of those slopes are always communicated in advance. A map and sign in the main Alpental parking lot contains additional information.

Parking For Hiking & Touring

Parking lots at the ski area are either leased or privately owned for use by guests of The Summit & Alpental. Please do not use ski area parking lots on weekends or holidays. This is especially so at Alpental. If you are not a patron of the ski area, park in the "Lower Lot" as seen on the trail map. The lower lot is located just below the Alpental foot bridge and the first parking lot on the left as you travel up Alpental road. Consider carpooling whenever possible and be sensitive and respectful to ski area guests, the ski area and their parking policies & signs.