Ski Season Started Early This Year—These Are the Slopes Opening Ahead of Schedule

Can’t wait to hit the slopes this winter? Now you don’t have to, thanks to a few resorts that have opened early this year.

Skiers on snowy slopes

Arapahoe Basin Ski and Snowboard Area became the first U.S. ski resort to open this year, beating Keystone Resort by one day.

Photo by Arina P. Habich/Shutterstock

To all the powder-hounds who spent the summer praying for snow—your prayers have been answered. Ski season kicked off early in the United States this year when two Colorado ski resorts opened during October, weeks before the mid-November start typical of most ski areas. Thanks to advances in making snow and ideal early season temperatures, two more are poised to open this weekend, and others are projecting earlier-than-usual start dates as well.

On Sunday, October 23, Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) in Colorado kicked off the season with its opening. Then on October 26, Keystone announced it would be opening on Friday, October 28.

Other ski areas are set to open this week, including Loveland Ski Area in Clear Creek Country, Colorado, which will open on Thursday, November 3. The resort has a reputation for some of the best early season conditions in Colorado and has been hard at work making snow for the past few weeks.

Brian Head Resort in Utah also announced plans to open on Friday, November 4, which is believed to be the earliest the ski area has ever opened. Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada, and Wolf Creek in Colorado will also open that day.

Projected upcoming openings

Breckenridge and Vail (both in Colorado), Mt. Snow (in Vermont), Ski Brule (Michigan), and Mammoth Mountain (California) are currently shooting for a Friday, November 11, opening.

Copper Mountain in Colorado plans to start its 2022/2023 season on Monday, November 14.

On Friday, November 18, Heavenly and Northstar (both in California), Park City and Solitude Mountain (Utah), Afton Alps (Minnesota), Hunter (New York), Stowe (Vermont), and Wildcat (New Hampshire) hope to start their chairlifts. The following day, Okemo (Vermont) could follow suit. Eldora (Colorado) and Stratton Mountain (Vermont) announced that they would open on November 19.

Palisades Tahoe has tentatively set its opening day for November 22. The following day, Showshoe Mountain (West Virginia); Steamboat, Crested Butte, and Beaver Creek (Colorado); and Mt. Sunapee (New Hampshire) aim to open.

And Big Sky (Montana) and Aspen Snowmass (Colorado) will open November 24 (Thanksgiving).

Of course, U.S. ski conditions and opening status can change quickly in the early season depending on temperature and weather; always check resort websites and social media accounts for the most up-to-date information.

This article originally appeared online in October 2019; it was updated on November 1, 2022, to include current information.

Maggie Fuller is a San Francisco–based but globally oriented writer driven to provoke multicultural worldviews as a multimedia journalist. She covers sustainability, responsible travel, and outdoor adventure.
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