Which Ski Resorts Are Still Open in the Spring?Published on 07/27/2022 · 7 min readLooking to get some end-of-season turns in? Check out these six ski resorts that stay open well into May and some years—if the snow permits—all the way into June!
Photo by Camron Zavell
Let’s face it, there is nothing like spring skiing. America is home to some of the greatest ski resorts, and a handful of them stay open into the springtime. How can you beat being able to shred while flowers are blooming? T-shirts, hoodies, light pants, sunshine, warm chairlift rides, and good vibes are what we’re after. We’ll be going over resorts in the U.S. that have exceptionally long seasons, some of which last until August.
1. Sun Valley, ID: Best for Nostalgia
Sun Valley is an adorable little town in Idaho. Having opened in 1936, this gem was the first destination resort in the country, which is why we have it at the head of the list. It is comprised of two mountains to meet all skill levels: Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain. At the base rests the cutest village you’ll ever see, and it’s the heart of the resort. Bald Mountain is 3,400 vertical feet of intermediate to advanced trails, and Dollar Mountain is the mellow, beginner’s slope. The resort receives an average of 102 inches of snowfall each year.
One of the cool things about Sun Valley is the terrain parks. The resort is home to several parks, which vary by experience level. So, if you’re new to jibbing, you don’t have to wonder which features are too advanced, and you can be sure that the whole park you’re in is fit for your expertise.
The resort village also offers myriad lodging options. You can choose from condos, townhomes, and nine different styles of cottages with major '70s vibes.
Sun Valley is also a great place to visit in the springtime because, besides skiing, riding, and mountain biking at the resort, there is a ridiculous amount of other cool things to do in the town, like:
- Guided outdoor activities
- Fitness and yoga
- Tennis and pickleball
- Ice shows
- Horseback riding
- Sport shooting
- Fly fishing
- Summer skating learning
- Lake activities
2. Mammoth Mountain, CA: Best for Bikini Skiing
If you imagine bikini skiing, you’re probably picturing Mammoth Mountain. Sunshine, smiles, bright colors, freedom. Showing off both of California’s sides, Mammoth is the place to be for skiing in spring. It’s the highest lift-served summit in California and receives an average of 400 inches of snowfall a year. At 11,053 feet, Mammoth is the first resort to open and last to close in the country with a season from November to June (sometimes August). Nordic skiing and snow tubing are also available. There are 25 lifts, 3,500+ acres of skiable terrain, and seven terrain parks.
There are a ton of other cool things to do in the spring and summertime at Mammoth, such as hiking, mountain biking, scenic gondola rides, adventure center exploration, guided rock climbing, and Red’s Meadow, which is accessible by shuttle only.
Surrounding the resort are golf, motocross, trail running, and the Mammoth Lakes basin. In so many words, Mammoth is worth adding to your resort bucket list.
3. Breckenridge, CO: Best in Colorado
Next on the list, we have Breck! Not only is Breckenridge Colorado’s finest resort, but it’s also home to North America’s highest chairlift, toting guests up 12,840 feet! With 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, five peaks, three terrain parks, and 187 trails, it’s the place to be if you’re riding in Colorado. The season typically concludes at the end of May, so you can go right from winter fun to summer sun. Breck has something for everyone, including:
- Mountain biking
- An Alpine coaster
- A cement alpine slide
- Mini golf
- Bungee trampolines
- Wall climbing
- An Alpine challenge course
- Scenic trail lift rides
There are also cool things to do outside of the resort in the town of Breckenridge, like the historic downtown area, hot springs, and even dog sledding tours! What are you waiting for? Ski Breck!
4. Palisades Lake Tahoe, CA: Best for Experts
Palisades Lake Tahoe is the place for vet skiers and riders, touted as one of North America’s best ski resorts with world-class terrain. As host of the 1960 Winter Olympics, Palisades receives about 400 inches of snowfall yearly, which is typical for the west. Whether you’re an expert looking to shred the deep stuff, or you’re brand new to winter sports, you can find plenty of fun at Palisades Tahoe. The late season makes it a great place to ski in the spring if you’re not ready to hang up your trusty skis and gear just yet.
The spring season also features music festivals. Who doesn’t love those? A place to shred and also catch a festie sounds like the place for me. Palisades Tahoe features 3,600 acres of skiable terrain and two legendary ski lifts: KT-22 (coined the best lift in North America) and Siberia. Just like the other resorts on the list, the fun doesn’t stop on the slopes. You can visit the village for lodging, coffee shops, wine bars, and gear stores.
Other activities available at Palisades include:
- Scenic aerial tram rides
- Hiking and walking
- Disco tubing
- Kids’ adventure camp
- Bike rentals
- Roller skating
- Olympic museum
- Disc golf
- Ropes courses
- Via Ferrata
- Cross-country skiing
5. Jay Peak, VT: Best on East Coast
As a native of the northeast, it is an honor to include Jay Peak on our list of ski resorts open in spring. Jay Peak is easily the best resort on the East Coast and receives the most snow. Averaging about 359 inches of snowfall a year, Jay Peak is the east’s crowning glory. Jay features 81 trails, 385 acres of terrain, a 3,968-foot summit, and 100+ acres of glades terrain. There are nine lifts and four terrain parks as well. Growing up in New Jersey, I never had the chance to experience backcountry riding, but that’s what Jay Peak is for. Pow isn’t a thing in Jersey, so we have to travel north to feel the soft stuff. The season at Jay Peak typically ends sometime in May, which is a whole two months longer than Jersey’s seasons. If a late season in the east is what you want, look no further than Jay Peak.
6. Mount Bachelor, OR: Best for Long Trails
Mount Bachelor is actually a volcano, but that doesn’t stop anyone from riding its slopes. And that large patronage is for a key reason. Receiving an average of 462 healthy inches of snowfall a year, Mount Bachelor is the sixth largest resort in North America. The summit sits at 9,065 feet, and there are 4,300+ acres of skiable terrain. Bachelor features 12 lifts, one terrain park, and the longest trail is four miles! The season typically ends around the end of May or the beginning of June. Nordic skiing is available as well.
In the summertime in the town of Bend, Oregon, other activities like whitewater rafting, raft and brew events, paddleboarding, and river tubing are fun options to check out!
While this list obviously doesn’t cover every single resort in North America that stays open into the springtime, it does provide a good selection to choose from if you don’t want winter to end. We all feel the end-of-season blues, but if you visit one of these resorts, you can put them off a little longer. Whether you’re an expert or not, each of these resorts has something for you. Some other resorts that are open in the spring are:
- Killington, Vermont
- Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
- Timberline, Oregon
- Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia (not the USA but still a worthy North American nod)
- Vail, Colorado
- Heavenly, California
Make the next season your longest season yet! If you’re ready to hit the slopes at any of the places above or elsewhere but don’t know the most proper ski gear fits, let alone resorts, you can reach out to any Curated Ski Expert who can guide you through the best choices.