10 places to extend your ski season this spring and summer

10 places to extend your ski season this spring and summer

FEATURED IMAGE • Christopher Newett | LOCATION • Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood, Oregon


We’ve officially hit the one-year anniversary since the U.S. first shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Resorts nation-wide shut off their lifts without warning and arguably some of the best skiing of the season—soft, slushy corn—was left unharvested last spring. To make up for lost time, FREESKIER has compiled a list, below, of 10 U.S. ski areas to visit this spring and even extend your ski season well into the summer. Pack your mask, give those planks a fresh wax and enjoy everything spring skiing has to offer at places like Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge and Woodward Copper in Colorado; Mount Hood Meadows and Timberline Lodge in Oregon; Crystal Mountain in Washington; Snowbird in Utah; Mammoth Mountain and Squaw Valley in California; and Beartooth Basin in Montana. 


PHOTO: Richard Hallman

Mt. Hood Meadows

Closing Date: May 1, 2021

One of three ski areas on Mt. Hood, Mt. Hood Meadows offers the most variety, in terms of terrain, to skiers of all styles and ability levels. With closing day not until May 1, there’s still plenty of time to take advantage of the seemingly endless glade runs. If you’re itching for a little air time, Meadows’ park is the place to be for a slushy good time. Note: Day tickets must be purchased in advance online.


Crystal Mountain

Closing Date: May 9, 2021

Just a short jaunt from Seattle, Crystal Mountain offers Washington skiers 2,600 skiable acres to sink their skis into. A summit elevation over 6,800 feet means the average 468 inches of annual snowfall sticks around a little longer, which is why Crystal plans to run its infamous Chair 6 until May 9—weekday skiing will wrap up on April 18 with three bonus weekends after that. Take advantage of the unique car-camping culture at Crystal Mountain and park your van for a week or two this spring.


PHOTO: Courtesy of Snowbird

Snowbird

Closing Date: May 31, 2021 (Tram and Little Cloud)

Nestled in Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City, Snowbird will operate daily through May 14, then transition to weekends only—plus Memorial Day—through May 31. Be sure to catch the Little Cloud lift to enjoy all the splendors that the Wiggle and the Wave have to offer in Little Cloud Bowl. If you’re really trying to go big this spring, The Cliff Lodge has your accommodations covered. Bonus: Adult day tickets are just $90 after May 14.


SKIER: Chris Benchetler | PHOTO: Peter Morning

Mammoth Mountain

Closing Date: May 31, 2021

With one of the longest seasons in North America, we’d be remiss to leave Mammoth Mountain off the list. Open through Memorial Day, Ikon Pass holders do not need a reservation but daily ticket sales are limited, so don’t think about it for too long. If rails and jumps are your jam, Mammoth’s perfectly manicured terrain park is not be missed. For a spicy on-piste experience, take a ride up Chair 23, you won’t regret it.


PHOTO: Ryan Salm/Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley

Closing Date: May 31, 2021 (Subject to change)

With an average annual snowfall of 400 inches, Squaw Valley is often open long into the summer months. For this reason, it claims the longest season of any ski area in Tahoe and offers the best of spring skiing—soft snow, lots of sunshine and good vibes. Cut your teeth under the KT-22 chair before hitting the ski area’s infamous pond skim. And thanks to California’s sunshine and long spring days, après on the patio can happen at a safe social distance.


PHOTO: Courtesy of Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge

Closing Date: May 31, 2021

With plans to operate through Memorial Day—weather and snow conditions permitting—Breckenridge is a haven of spring corn skiing for Epic Pass holders. Starting April 19, skiing will be based out of Peak 8 and terrain access will be intermediate-to-advanced. Home to the highest chairlift in North America—the Imperial Express—and a base elevation of 9,600 feet, skiers can access high-alpine terrain through the entire month of May.


PHOTO: Courtesy of Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin

Closing Date: June 1, 2021 (Subject to change)

A Front Range favorite for good reason, Arapahoe Basin plans to serve skiers as much spring-time corn as possible with an estimated closing date of June 1. Dependent on conditions, the ski area may be able to stay open later, but it’s best to get those East Wall hikes in sooner rather than later for a rowdy good harvest. Once all is skied and done, there’s no place for an après quite like The Beach, A-Basin’s infamous slope-side parking lot.

PHOTO: Erin Spong

Beartooth Basin

Closing Date: July 4, 2021 (Subject to change)

At the top of Beartooth Pass in Montana, it’s commonplace to see hundreds of skiers sliding down the steep walls of the basin and riding a bio-diesel-powered Poma back to the top. Beartooth Basin is a summer skiing paradise, not opening until June 1 and usually closing at the beginning of July—depending on snow conditions. Having sold out 80 percent of their days last year, it’s smart to plan ahead and purchase your tickets online before you get there. Camping at the bottom of the pass is your best option, so don’t forget your sleeping bag.


PHOTO: Chip Proulx, Courtesy of Woodward Copper

Woodward Copper

Closing Date: August 15

Summer camp is cool and all but have you ever gone to summer ski camp? With camp programs running from June 6 to August 15, anyone—boy or girl, experienced or not—between the ages of seven and 17 are eligible for Woodward Copper’s On-Snow Summer Camps, which are on sale now. Campers have the opportunity to learn from pros like Josh Christensen and Josh Karcher on the slopes, as well as access to a massive indoor training facility with trampolines and foam pits to practice in a safe environment. Note: Woodward Copper will not be open to the public this summer.


PHOTO: Christopher Newett

Timberline

Closing Date: September 6, 2021

For over 80 years Timberline Lodge has provided guests with one of the most unique ski experiences. Situated high on the shoulder of one of the most iconic peaks in the Pacific Northwest, Timberline is able to offer 12 months of skiing. From perfectly manicured terrain features to soft, playful groomers, there’s so much skiing to be had at Timberline and a $175 spring season pass gives you unlimited access, seven days a week, from March 15-May 31. Open until Labor Day, book your stay at the infamous Timberline Lodge—access to the lodge is currently restricted to overnight guests only. If you’re ballin’ on a budget, Government Camp is your ticket to paradise.

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