North America's Best Spring Skiing

Springtime is a moment for fresh flowers, tender green leaves, thick mud and … skiing? Yep, while everyone else is rhapsodizing about the daffodils, in-the-know skiers are heading to the hills for the ski season’s last hurrah.

You may be looking at your local ice- and mud-covered slopes and wondering what the fuss is all about, but truly the snow is there if you just know where to look. Quick before the snow melts, drop your gardening tools, pick up your goggles and head to these 10 resorts to find out what spring skiing is all about:  

Whistler Mountain [Whistler, British Columbia]

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Whistler-Blackcomb, British Columbia | Looming Blackcomb Glacier and high altitudes keep snow on Whistler-Blackcomb until late in the ski season. Leave the spring flowers behind in Vancouver and take the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway deep into the mountains. If the skiing at Whistler was good enough for the Olympics, it’s good enough for you. 

Reduced crowds, spring prices and longer daylight hours are all reasons to rejoice. If you can, spring is an awesome time to try heli-skiing. The snowpack is usually quite stable by this time of year and the increased number of daylight hours mean you can be out in the wilderness longer. Plus, by April, heli-skiing is frequently discounted. 

Mammoth Mountain [Mammoth Lakes, California]

Mammoth, Calif. | California brings the sunshine and by April, you’ll be basking in it while still being able to ski. Lucky for you, most of the crowds will be far away at the beach and you’ll have to enjoy this mountain with other hardcore skiers and party animals who come out for April fun. 

Since its ski season can often run as late as the 4th of July, Mammoth makes springtime special. If you’re into it, spring break on the slopes is filled with live music, competitions and even a pond skim. Free music, ski-in/ski-out bars and late-night entertainment are also a lot of fun.  

Snowbird, Utah | Snowbird stays true to its snowy name basically all spring long. Utah’s longest running resort is scheduled to close down at the end of May, snow depending. Snowbird is a great option for skiers who don’t want to spend the entire day burning their quads. The resort is only a 45-minute drive from Salt Lake City, which means you can ski in the morning and enjoy the city at night. If you stay at Snowbird, restaurants, bars and resorts run year round. There’s nothing better than sinking into an outdoor hot tub after a long day of spring skiing.  

Continental Divide at Loveland Pass [Colorado]

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Loveland, Colo. | Loveland is on the eastern side of the Continental Divide and the wind blows hard across at the 10,800 foot base elevation. If you’ve arrived on a windy spring day, stick to glad skiing. Besides offering a beautiful challenge, the rows of hardy fir trees will protect you from the weather. Even if the weather gets a bit fierce, you’ll be able to enjoy discount rentals, lift tickets and lessons. Be sure to pack your goggles and a face mask and get going.  

Mount Bachelor, Ore. | Mount Bachelor’s Springtacular makes spring skiing fun with concerts, competitions, special parties and even a beer bus. Arrive on Easter Sunday for the Easter Keg Hunt and a pre-ski brunch. Even with all the activity, there’s still plenty of time (and snow) for skiing. At 9, 065 feet above sea-level, Mount Bachelor doesn’t melt for a while. Fresh snow, dwindling crowds and rock bottom prices make this a good time of year to go on a crazy skiing adventure. 

Timberline Lodge [Mount Hood, Oregon]

Timberline, Mount Hood, Ore. | Timberline is the only ski resort in Oregon to be open year-round. Just to make that clear, the winter season actually runs to Memorial Day. Summer skiers relish their ability to zip down through albeit crunchy snow and the snow is so consistent that U.S. Ski Team trains on Mt. Hood when there’s snow nowhere else.  

Part of the joy of Timberline is its famous skiing lodge. This massive building of wood and slate is the work of Depression-era WPA builders and craftsmen who designed and built the lodge mostly by hand. During the spring and summer ski season, you’ll find the lodge’s cozy bunks are much more affordable and its giant fireplace is still crackling.   

Crested Butte Mountain [Colorado]

Chris Segal | Public Domain
Crested Butte, Colo. | You have to go a bit off-the-beaten path to get to Crested Butte, but the trip is worth it, especially in the spring. Bluebird days, well groomed trails and not too many crowds make it a fantastic place to ski into April. During the freeze and thaw cycle of springtime, it’s a good idea to ski in the afternoon when the ruts and rivets of the previous day’s skiers have thawed into mush. Once it gets too liquidy, you can retire to the bottom of the mountain for beer and sunshine. 

Sunshine, Banff, Alberta | Since Sunshine’s snow can be a bit iffy some springs, it’s fantastic that you’ll have Banff National Park to fall back on – if such a thing has ever been said about Banff. Cash in on the discounted skiing options, enjoy the less-crowded terrain parks and when the snow gets bad towards the end of the day, you can hike, take scenic drives or even go for a rock climb in the area’s lower elevations.  

Mid-season skiing at Araphoe Basin Ski Resort [Colorado]

Arina P Habich | Shutterstock
Arapahoe Basin, Colo. | A-Basin, as it is known fondly, is a great place for spring skiing in Colorado. The season lasts into May as long as you don’t mind skiing on the midday slush or some crazy ice grooves during the morning freeze. During spring break, skiers tailgate on “the beach” at the bottom of the mountain. Bring your coolers, barbecue and lawn-chairs for a leisurely lunch with some skiing afterward. 

Killington, Vt. | East coast skiers usually don’t have the luxury of late-spring skis. This year might be different with record snowfalls up and down the eastern seaboard, but usually it’s just Killington hanging in there as the last resort to close on the east coast. Spring passes, lodging discounts and festive events run into May. Work up your pond skimming skills and come party. 

If you’re looking for spring skiing, you might also be interested in 6 Spring Break Trips No One Else Knows About.  

 


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Carmen Fifield

The delight of finding an unknown park, a captivating history museum or a fantastic desert means exploration is never far from Carmen Fifield’s mind. Carmen’s favorite travel memories include biking to historic sites on the island of Guernsey, huffing and puffing up the stairs to the Great Wall of China and eating the most delicious crab cake ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Carmen’s Favorite Travel Tip: Say goodbye to airplane food and tuck some fruit and your favorite sandwich into your carry-on.

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