6 U.S. Resorts with Great Spring Skiing

Not only will there be great late-season skiing and snowboarding, but these mountains are also going all out this spring with music, food, festivals, and competitions.

Two riders on a ski lift above snowy mountains

Arapahoe Basin in Colorado plans to keep its slopes open as long as possible this year.

Courtesy of Arapahoe Basin

The end of winter may be near, but that doesn’t necessarily mean ski and snowboarding season is over. Many ski resorts often stay open past the spring equinox (on March 20) and well into June in some cases. Thanks to record snowfall across the United States in 2023—most notably in the Sierra Nevadas of California, which have had 55.66 feet of snow as of March 15 and their seventh largest season of snowfall on record—it’s gearing up to be a super spring for snow sports.

With these extended dates comes spring-specific activities, parties, and traditions. Whether soaking up the sun slope-side, tailgating, or camping in the parking lot—skiing in mashed potatoes, corn snow, or spring pow after a fluke April dump—get ready to shed a few layers, sport those goggle tans, and bomb down the hill like you’re in a 1990s ski movie.

Here are our top picks for spring skiing in 2023, both for the driest and deepest conditions and for the liveliest après-ski happenings to keep you entertained all season long.

Skiiers and snowboarders hit the slopes in their best bikinis and swim trunks on Arapahoe Basin's annual swimwear day event.

Skiiers and snowboarders hit the slopes in their best bikinis and swim trunks on Arapahoe Basin’s annual swimwear day event.

Courtesy of Arapahoe Basin/Ian Zinner

1. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Estimated closing day: June 4, 2023

Arapahoe Basin, the first post-WWII ski area opened in Colorado (by a 10th Mountain Division soldier), became known as “the Legend” for terrain as steep as the Alps. Now owned by Dream Unlimited Corporation of Toronto, this renegade resort—which dared to divorce from Vail Resorts a few years ago—is still thriving with the longest ski season in Colorado, at one point even riding into July. While this year’s estimated closing date is June 4, a spokesperson for the resort said they plan to keep slopes open for as long as possible.

At “A-Basin,” Continental Divide weather patterns amass immense April and May snowfall, particularly under the famed Palivaccini, or “Pali” chairlift, named for similarly shaped terrain on Austria’s highest peak. The parking lot transforms into “the beach” for tailgating all spring, and skiers and snowboarders won’t want to miss Snow n’ Throw on May 6, a quirky, snowy disc golf tournament, or Swimwear Day on May 21, when everyone on the mountain is invited to ride in their best poolside duds and show off their front flips and rail tricks at a rail jam.

Where to stay: The Pad

It’s affordable chic at the Pad in Silverthorne, a hostel built last fall inside shipping containers dropped in front of the mountain.

2. Big Sky, Montana

Estimated closing day: April 23, 2023

With a 4,350-foot drop, Big Sky is big skiing well into spring.

With a 4,350-foot drop, Big Sky is big skiing well into spring.

Courtesy of Big Sky

Big Sky is a thriller (and not just ABC’s hit show). In Montana, wind patterns dictate powder deposits for unbeatable backcountry lines. There’s plenty of tree skiing and a northerly exposure means the best snow shows up later in the season. Jaw-dropping views over some of the country’s biggest vertical give each skier or snowboarder about two acres to themselves.

So, this spring at Big Sky you probably won’t have to wait long in line, but at the base, it’ll still be raging with après all day. In addition to weekly live music shows, the resort will also host themed après parties each Friday this spring, kicking things off with a “bring your best fur coat” theme on March 24. A multiyear expansion with a new base-to-summit lift network, more on-mountain eateries, and a new learning center is in the works, so the party is just getting started.

Where to stay: Summit Hotel

Alpine chic meets convenience at the slope-side Summit Hotel, located on the Big Sky resort.

3. Killington, Vermont

Estimated closing day: June 4, 2023

They don’t call it “the King of Spring” for nothing. With a 3,050-foot drop, Killington boasts the highest vertical in the East and unsurprisingly yields hands-down the finest spring skiing in New England. The resort typically stays open later than any ski resort around—answered by a spring pass with unlimited access to nearby Pico Mountain, too.

This spring there will be local bands playing and Vermont-fresh local food and beer served at the Wobbly Barn and at the base of Bear Mountain Lodge. Revel in endless on-mountain entertainment, starting with the Red Bull Slide-In Tour March 31–April 2. Other events this spring include the Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge on April 1 and Dazed and Defrosted, with loads live music, demos, and revelry, on April 22.

Where to stay: The Snowed Inn

Keep it personal and get warm and cozy at one of Vermont’s adorable inns, the Snowed Inn, a mile and a half down the road from Killington.

4. Mammoth Mountain, California

Estimated closing day: At least July, 2023 (exact date yet to be announced)

Skier passing under chair lifts near top of mountain

There is ample shredding to be had well into spring at Mammoth Mountain.

Courtesy of Mammoth Mountain

Simply put, Mammoth Mountain is sublime in spring. Wide-open corduroy stretches across some of the deepest snowpack in North America, making this a spring skiing magnet. Up at 11,053 feet, Mother Nature brings her nightly freeze that softens under the beating sun 300 days a year. Southwesterly wind bluffs roll across the Sierra Nevada like a natural groomer for bouncy, carvable snow until the last slush.

Ride down to the all-ages spring dance-off, Woolly’s Dance Party held weekly at the base lodge. Take your pick of Canyon Lodge sundeck for après or a high-altitude ski climb up five ascents for the Mammoth Caldera Burn ski mountaineering (aka ski mo) event on April 8. Or you can watch racers and pros compete in an on-hill biathlon and other races at the Mammoth Invitational fundraiser on April 21.

Where to stay: Mammoth Mountain Inn

Soak it up slope-side in the pool of the historic Mammoth Mountain Inn.

5. Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

Estimated closing day: May 28, 2023

 Skier near top of very steep slope

Head to Oregon for late-season skiing with a side of great brews.

Courtesy of Mt. Bachelor

Mt. Bachelor brings big views and brews. Who wouldn’t want to nurse a winter ale 1,700 feet above the treeline overlooking snow-covered layers of volcanic lava and tephra? Smack in the middle of Oregon, just a half-hour drive to the state’s brewery capital of Bend, the dormant volcano that is Mt. Bachelor rages all spring—with skiing that is.

Backcountry dreams live on in this out-of-bounds ski resort, with bowls, snowfields, and a deep snowpack that melts into some of the best bead-shaped “corn” snow around. Chase the sun from the south around the cone of the mountain and down into après concert series, pro snowboard competitions, and brew events (even a hunt for a mini keg on the mountain).

The Subaru Winterfest on April 15 to 16 will feature music by Big Gigantic, Simba Sax, and others. Pole, Pedal, Paddle on May 13 will bring together skiers, runners, kayakers, and cyclists for a multi-sport race from Mt. Bachelor to Bend, culminating at the finish line with an end-of-season bash with food, beer, and music.

Where to stay: Seventh Mountain Resort

Surround yourself with peaks, lakes, meadows, and a national forest at the rustic and relaxing Seventh Mountain Resort, just outside beer lovers’ Bend.

6. Palisades Tahoe, California

Estimated closing day: May 29, 2023

Aerial tram with view of lake in distance at Palisades Tahoe.

Enjoy the aerial tram views at Palisades Tahoe.

Courtesy of Palisades Tahoe

Few lake views rival the one from the summit of Palisades Tahoe on a cloudless bluebird day in May. Cold nights, sunny days, and April storms keep these 4,000 skiable acres soft and white—from 400 inches of annual snowfall—later than almost any resort in the country (get it while you can).

Palisades Tahoe is known as the “spring-skiing capital of the U.S.” This popular Sierra Nevada spot has become a late-season draw for high-flying spring music festivals like the bluegrass and roots fest, Winter Wondergrass, March 31–April 2, headlined this year by Trampled by Turtles.

The mountain is feeling fresh with a new name and logo (previously Squaw Valley), but vintage gear will always be in. So, dig out your old-school duds for the return of the Pain McShlonkey Classic fundraiser on March 25, an annual tribute to legendary free-skier Shane McConkey. And don’t miss pond skimming and lap racing during the the Mothership Classic on March 26, where contestants in skinny skis, retro snowboards, mono skis, and snow blades earn money for the most laps around the iconic KT-22 chair, ranked the best chairlift in North America for unbeatable access to cliffs, chutes, and steeps on famous free-riding trails.

Where to stay: The Village at Palisades

Stay onsite at the Village at Palisades Tahoe Lodging or the upscale, family-friendly Ritz-Carlton Tahoe. For a stay closer to the nearby town of Truckee, Gravity Haus is a stylish, fun, and affordable option.

This article was originally published in 2022. It was most recently updated on May 16, 2023, with current information.

Anna Fiorentino is an award-winning storyteller and freelance writer with a focus on science, outdoors, adventure, and travel. Her work has appeared in AFAR, National Geographic Travel, Outside, and Boston Globe Magazine, among other publications.
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