Best spring skiing in US and Canada

As people started to take out their bathing suits, winter storm Stella reminded all Northeasterns that this skiing season is not over yet! We still have time for some good spring skiing, but what makes for a great spring destination? Christopher Steiner at ZRankings identifies three key elements:

Quantities of north-facing terrains become more and more important as the season goes on”

“Higher elevations, as an extra 1,000 feet of elevation usually means temperatures about 3 degrees Fahrenheit cooler”

“The last ingredient, though not necessary if the previous two are present in abundance, is latitude”

Check out our personal spring skiing favorites in North America! Please remember that all information are updated as of the date of this post: always check with your destination directly for any time sensitive information.

And don’t miss our favorite spring skiing resorts in Europe too!

Best spring skiing in US

Snowbird, UT

Skiing in Snowbird (Photo by Tony Harrington and Visit Salt Lake)

Snowbird (Photo by Tony Harrington and Visit Salt Lake)

Why: year after year, this resort publishes no official closing date
Open Until: until conditions permit (usually end of May)

Thanks to the abundance of north-facing slopes, Snowbird offers winter conditions well into spring. In fact, according to ZRankings both Snowbird and neighboring Alta rank at the top for snow quality throughout the season. The area receives most of the spring snow storms in North America, averaging 60 to 70 inches of April snow and making this a preferred destination for powder hunters. Snowbird usually runs through Memorial Day: comes May, though, several lifts start to shut down and Mammoth or Mt Bachelor become a better alternative in terms of extension and diversity of available terrains.

Mammoth, CA

Why: one of the longest ski seasons and highest percentage of north-facing terrain in the country
Open Until: Mammoth already confirmed the extension of their 2017 season through July 4th

Mammoth is widely regarded as one of the best spring skiing destinations in the country. The resort usually runs through Memorial Day, but it remained open through July 4th for 10 out of the past 30 years. Mammoth has good elevation (8-11,000 ft), one of the highest percentages of north-facing terrain in North America (65%) and impressive backcountry skiing options. The lively resort offers ski and snowboard events during the weekend, music, lots of dining options, hiking and biking terrains for afternoon activities and easy access to the numerous artificial and natural hot springs in the area.

Arapahoe Basin, CO

Spring skiing - Arapahoe Basin Spring Fun (Photo by Dave Camara)

Arapahoe Basin, fun at The Beach (Photo by Dave Camara)

Why: tons of spring powder storms and… The Beach
Open Until: mid June

Arapahoe Basin is blessed with a very unique weather pattern that brings tons of extra snow in the spring. The resort has the highest foot base elevation in North America (10,800 ft), an outstanding 12,500 ft summit elevation and over 55% of north-facing terrains. This is usually the last ski resort to close in Colorado, running through mid June. What makes A-Basin an even more unique spring skiing experience is… well, the experience! Park your car at The Beach (aka the base parking lot) and enjoy daylong parties, hot dogs, BBQ and dancing after hitting the slopes.

Lake Tahoe, CA

Spring Skiing In US - Lake Tahoe High Camp Squaw Valley

High Camp at Squaw Valley (Photo squawalpine.com)

Why: swimming pool and a giant hot tub at 8,200 ft (Squaw Valley High Camp)
Open Until: usually May. For 2017, Lake Tahoe announced some resorts will stay open through June and possibly July 4th

With one of the highest concentration of ski resorts in the country, although at a lower altitude than Mammoth, Lake Tahoe area offers consistently good spring skiing conditions. Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood and Havenly usually run well into May, all offering spring deals on lift tickets. The giant pool and hot tub at Squaw Valley (High Camp) is a must-do for spring skiers in the area: enjoy panoramic deck views and a good drink while soaking in hot water at 8,200 ft.

 Mt Bachelor, OR

Skiing in US Mt Bachelor Trailmap

Mt Bachelor – Trailmap

Why: “Springtacular” conditions and great deals
Open Until: end of May (Memorial Day)

Generally speaking, the active volcano of Mt Bachelor delivers an even better skiing experience in spring than it does in winter. Winter winds often blast at over 60 mph, causing lift closures and freezing conditions. In spring, slopes offer amazing conditions and are usually in full operation through mid-April, with the North-facing front of the Summit often running through Memorial Day. Frequent Fliers of the area should check out the “Springtacular” Season Pass, offering special rates for April and May: the pass pays out in just 3 days, and you can then enjoy some free spring skiing!

Best spring skiing in Canada

Whistler, BC

Whistler Blackcomb: Heli-Skiing (Photo by Erik Graham)

Whistler Blackcomb – Heli-Skiing (Photo by Erik Graham)

Why: spring and summer skiing on the Blackcomb Glacier
Open Until: Blackcomb is currently scheduled to close in the second half of May and reopen for June and July skiing on the glacier

Whistler slopes are in great spring conditions through May, and the skiing season is prolonged well into summer with June and July glacier skiing. Your ski days are complemented by the lively après-ski scenery and a range of outdoor activities like mountain biking, rock climbing and hiking. Whistler also unique heli-skiing opportunities, with an impressive 32,000 acres of big mountain terrain that includes 173 glaciers and 475 runs. Enjoy sunny backcountry explorations and longer spring days to fit in additional rides!

Banff, AB

Banff area - Lake Louise (Photo by Chris Moseley)

Banff – Lake Louise (Photo by Chris Moseley)

Why: good spring skiing options for intermediate skiers
Open Until: May

All three ski resorts around Banff tend to keep most of their rides open into May, with Sunshine Village usually closing last at the end of the month. Sunshine Village is known for excellent snow preservation; the resort experiences spring cool temperatures at a lower elevation than other areas in this list, which also makes it a good spring option for intermediate skiers. Lake Louise offers breathtaking spring panoramas, with the snow melting and revealing the turquoise blue lake. For the perfect après-ski activity, hit the hot springs around Banff and relax the sore muscles.

Check out our favorite spring resorts in Europe as well.

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Spring Skiing North America Best Resorts

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