Avant Ski's Top 8 Resorts for Spring Skiing in the U.S.
Hopefully, you've seen our related post on 6 Reasons to Ski This Spring and you're planning a late season ski trip. So, where should you go? Our team brings you our favorite destinations in the East, West and Rockies...we even have you covered through the summer.
Killington, VT (Estimated Closing Date: TBD, late May)
“The Beast of the East”. “The King of Spring”. Killington is, put quite simply, the destination for spring skiing on the east coast. With a season that regularly stretches into mid-May and sometimes even further (closing day in 2017 was June 1st), Killington usually has the last patch of snow you’ll find in New England. The resort’s spring signature is its legendary mogul skiing (preferably in appropriate 80’s attire) on the bumps of Outer Limits and Superstar. This year, Killington is teaming up with Bud Light Seltzer to host All Out Weekend (April 10-11) – featuring live music, a retro costume contest, and all the bumps you could ever ski!
Sugarloaf, ME (Estimated closing date: April-30)
Not to be outdone by its Vermont counterpart, Sugarloaf has its own claim to the New England Spring Skiing throne. Though its season is typically a few weeks shorter than Killington’s (usually running until early May), the largest resort east of the Rockies makes up for it with legendary spring conditions and events. The crown jewel of Sugarloaf’s spring season is Reggae Fest – a three day party that mixes sunshine, soft skiing, and altogether good vibes. This season, the resort is holding a modified version of the event (billed Reggae Remix) over the first three weekends in April.
Arapahoe Basin, CO (Estimated Closing Date: June-5)
With its base area at nearly 11,000 feet, A-Basin stays at sufficiently cold temperatures to maintain snow on the ski trails well into summer. In fact, the resort has never closed prior to June for the last five years, making it a must visit destination for spring and summer skiing in Colorado (fun fact: snow depth was a ridiculous 69” on closing day in 2019). Located along I-70 and less than two hours from Denver International Airport, out of town visitors can easily snag some turns before heading to lower elevations for hiking or mountain biking in a single trip. After a day charging the slopes, head down to the infamous “Beach” (during “normal” seasons) for one of the best tailgate parties in the ski world.
> Related Content: Insider Guide to Arapahoe Basin
Breckenridge, CO (Estimated Closing Date: May-31)
Though it’s season is slightly shorter than nearby A-Basin, Breckenridge also benefits from relatively high altitudes to consistently operate well into spring. Closing dates are usually around the end of April, though this year they anticipate going until Memorial Day. The town of Breckenridge is an ideal base, with events, activities, festivals, restaurants, bars, and shopping for the days when the skiing is less than stellar. This lively, frontier town offers year-round activities like biking, hiking, and rafting when the weather warms and ski crowds thin.
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, CA (Estimated Closing Date: May-31)
While some resorts stay open with high altitude and cold temps, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows manages to keep the lifts spinning by sheer volume of snow. The resort has proclaimed itself “the Spring Skiing Capital” serving “soft bumps, coveted groomed terrain, perfect corn snow, and smooth landings.” The entire Tahoe region is legendary for getting hit by late season storms. During the 2018/2019 season, skiing and riding were going strong through the Fourth of July. The Squaw base is located at a fairly low elevation (6,200 feet), meaning you can spend the day on the slopes in a t-shirt, or even taking a dip in Lake Tahoe.
Mammoth Mountain, CA (Estimated Closing Date: May-31)
Mammoth Mountain tends to stay open through at least Memorial Day. The Panoramic Gondola is key to enjoying quality snow here late into the season — Mammoth can operate just the upper half of the mountain. Meanwhile, with one of the deepest snowpacks in the United States and a peak elevation of 11,023 feet, the snow sticks around. Mammoth receives ~300 days a year of sunshine, which means spring skiing requires being strategic in finding areas that have softened in the sun. The town of Mammoth Lakes is also beautiful in the spring and you will occasionally see the bike park open at the same time as the slopes, making for some great, two-sport days.
Snowbird, UT (Estimated Closing Date: May-31)
Snowbird has the longest season in Utah. The Bird has yet to announce a closing date, but as of March 30, snowfall for the season exceeded 400 inches with more than 40 inches of snow in March. Snowbird is known for its legendary spring dumps - in 2019, Snowbird received more than 65 inches of snow in the first half of April. Historical precedent suggests it could easily remain open through Memorial Day weekend. Meanwhile, the patio at the base is perfect for soaking up some sun while grabbing a beer at the end of the day. Have fun watching locals dress up in their favorite retro one-piece and vintage ski gear. > Related Content: Insider Guide to Snowbird
Timberline Lodge, OR (Estimated Closing Date: August 28!)
No spring skiing list would be complete without Timberline, where the lifts never close. Yes, you read that correctly: this resort is open for skiing and snowboarding 12 months a year. Located on the slopes of Mt. Hood, Timberline’s “Palmer” and “Magic Mile” lifts are built on a glacier (known as “Palmer Snowfield”) that never fully melts. Interestingly, the “Palmer” lift is actually closed during winter months because of high wind and ice accumulation.
If year-round turns sound too good to be true, there are a couple caveats. First, the majority of the resort’s 1,400 acres close around April or May, just like the other picks for spring skiing on this list. Second, from June to August, most of the Palmer Snowfield is reserved for summer camps or pro athletes in training. However, the resort does maintain at least one section for the general public. And finally, operations are very limited in September (they need to do maintenance at some point!) and only open on weekends if the weather and conditions permit.
We don’t recommend planning your annual ski vacation to Timberline for June. But if you’ve ever dreamed about bragging that your ski season was 12 months long, Timberline is one of the only places in the country you can do it.
*Resorts are adhering to the same covid operating guidelines as they have been all season. In many cases, regularly scheduled spring events are not happening this year. Please make sure to check with the resort and venues you plan to visit ahead of time.
**All closing dates with the exception of Killington & A-Basin are estimates from snowpak.com)
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