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What to Expect for the Winter 2021-22 Season

The stoke is high for this winter. While some Covid precautions remain in place, the upcoming season is looking a lot more like those of years past. Many resorts have already released their operating guidelines. We’ve gone through all of them to provide an early preview of what to expect and how to get ready for this season.

We also have the latest on projected opening days, click here to view.

Getting ready for a day on the mountain. Image courtesy of Revelstoke

Resorts have relaxed most restrictions including the need for reservations, expanded indoor food and beverage operations for vaccinated visitors, resumed full lift capacity and more.

Last Updated: November 18, 2021

Winter 2021-22 Key Operating Guidelines for Ski Resorts

Reservations to Access Resorts

Whats new? Reservations will not be required to access most destinations this season.

What we know. Most major resorts are not requiring reservations — Jackson Hole and Taos are notable exceptions.

What to do. Continue monitoring reservation policies as the season approaches. Always check your destination’s policy in advance of your trip.

Show those smiles this Winter. Image courtesy of Sun Valley Resort.

Face Coverings/Masks

What’s new? Guests will no longer be required to wear face coverings outdoors. Masks will still be required indoors at all Vail resorts.

What we expect. Other resorts including Alterra and partners are likely to announce a similar policy.

What to do. Always have a mask handy – you may not always need it, but it will make things easy if you plan to go indoors.

Vaccinated travelers will be able to enjoy indoor dining. Image courtesy of Snowbasin Resort.

Vaccination Requirements

What’s New? Guests of Vail resorts (ages 12 and over) will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to dine indoors. Vail Resort employees will also be required to be vaccinated.

What we expect. Other resorts have yet to announce their vaccination policies, but are likely to take a similar approach.

What to do. If you are vaccinated, make sure to carry your vaccine card and/or have the necessary app to show your status. If you are not vaccinated, get vaccinated ASAP and before ski season! Make sure to check the policy of the specific resort you are visiting before traveling.

Lift Capacity

What’s new? Vail Resorts has announced that lifts will operate at full capacity, meaning shorter wait times and more efficient operations.

What we expect. Other resorts will likely follow suit, leading to shorter wait times and more efficient operations.

What to do. Spend more time skiing and riding and less time waiting!

Group lessons for younger children will be widely available. Image courtesy of Snowbasin Resort.

Group Lessons

What's new? Resorts are resuming more ski and ride school programs this season including more lesson offerings for younger children. Children ages 12 and up will be required to show proof of vaccination to participate in full day group lessons.

What we expect. Policies are likely to vary by resort, but lessons will be more available, particularly for younger children, than they were last season. Private lessons will still be an option for younger children.

What to do. Checking your destination’s lesson options and make sure to book well ahead of time, group sizes may be smaller and have more limited availability. Things can change quickly, including the potential for vaccinations for kids 5-11 years old, so make sure to check back with the resorts for the latest rules.

International Vistitors

What's new? International travelers will be able to visit U.S. ski resorts. Come November, the United States will lift the ban on most travelers from the European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India, as long as they can show proof of vaccination and a negative coronavirus test.


Checklist to prepare for Winter 2021-22

This season will feel more like a normal year, but we’re not past the pandemic quite yet. We will still feel some of the effects of Covid-19 at resorts this year and advanced planning for ski trips will be paramount. Use our checklist to to be prepared:

  • Check your destination’s reservation (and parking) policy well in advance of your visit. Reservations are not likely to be required, but things can change quickly.

  • Check federal, state, and local travel/quarantine regulations when traveling internationally or even to another state. There are currently no interstate travel restrictions in the U.S. Those traveling to Canada will need to provide a negative Covid test and proof of vaccination. Those traveling to Europe will need to provide vaccination status or a negative test.

  • Always have a mask handy – you may not always need it, but you likely will if you plan to go indoors or ride a gondola (at select resorts).

  • Be prepared to show proof of vaccination – many resorts will require it for indoor dining.

  • Get your season pass now! Early deadlines have passed, but mid-October deadlines, which still offer good value, are rapidly approaching. We have all of the details in one place. Visit our season pass tracker or get a personalized pass recommendation.

As long as you check these boxes, your ski trips should go smoothly. Better to have and not need, than to need and not have!


Projected Opening Dates

Last Updated: November 18, 2021

Below are projected opening dates for resorts across North America (weather permitting). Pro tip —check the resort link for all of the insider details for the resort.

British Columbia

WhistlerBlackcomb – November 25 Revelstoke – November 27


Mammoth – October 29

Palisades Tahoe – October 29, then closed, new date TBD

Heavenly – TBD - Coming Soon

Northstar – TBD - Coming Soon

Mt. Rose – TBD - Coming Soon

Sugar Bowl – November 26 (tentative)

Kirkwood – December 3

Diamond Peak – December 9


Arapahoe Basin – October 17

Keystone – October 22

Breckenridge – November 12

Vail – November 12 Winter Park – November 17

Steamboat – November 27

Crested Butte – November 24 Beaver Creek – November 24

Aspen Mountain – November 25

Snowmass – November 25

Telluride – December 3

Copper Mountain – November 30

Aspen Highlands – December TBD Maine

Sunday River – November 18

Sugarloaf – TBD

New Hampshire

Loon – TBD (mid-November)

Wildcat – November 19

Attitash – December 3

Bretton Woods – TBD (mid-November)

Waterville Valley – TBD

Sunapee – November 24 New Mexico

Taos – November 25

New York

Hunter Mountain – November 19

Gore Mountain – November 23

Belleayre Mountain – November TBD

Whiteface – November 26

Pacific Northwest (ID, OR, WA)

Crystal Mountain (WA) – TBD - Coming Soon

Sun Valley (ID) – November 25


Park City – November TBD

Solitude – November TBD

Alta – November 24

Snowbasin – December TBD

Snowbird – December 1

Deer Valley – December 4 Vermont

Killington – November 5

Stowe – TBD - Coming Soon

Mount Snow – TBD - Coming Soon

Okemo – TBD - Coming Soon

Sugarbush – November 20 (tentative)

Stratton – November 24

Smugglers' Notch – November 26

Jay Peak – November 27


Grand Targhee – TBD - Coming Soon

Jackson Hole – November 25


For the latest updates, exclusive giveaway access and top tips to make the most of your ski season, subscribe to the Avant Ski mailing list!

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