6 Mountains Perfect for Skiing Around the U.S. This Spring
The weather is turning warmer, the birds are chirping, and the flowers have already sprung. All these signs of spring mean one thing: It’s time to go skiing.
This year may be the best spring skiing conditions mountains coast-to-coast have seen in years. Mammoth Mountain in California, for example, has had more than 650 inches of snowfall at its summit, while Stowe Mountain in Vermont still has 86 trails open with a base depth between 40-70 inches.
Grab your skis, boots, goggles, and a very light sweater because it’s time to head to the slopes. Here are a few of the best places to catch a blue-bird day across the country.
Stowe Mountain, Vermont
“We’ve had a banner snow season with over 350 inches of natural snow. Right now there’s still over 100 inches at the snow-stake on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak,” Jeff Right, Marketing and Communications director at Stowe, said. “The mountain is 100 percent open still. Base depths and surface conditions on our key season-long runs will be steadfast way beyond closing day.”
The quaint Vermont town is perfect for a quick weekend getaway from New York or Boston. Upcoming events include the Stowe Parks Session on Saturday April 15, along with Sunrise Service and Egg Hunt Sunday, April 16. The mountain’s closing celebration takes place Sunday, April 23 with live music and tailgating in the Mansfield Parking Lot.
Thanks to its northern location, Sugarloaf Mountain is still getting the occasional spring snowstorm. As of April 6, the mountain is still maintaining 1,156 skiable acres with 149 trails, but with temperatures in the 40s there’s no need for your usual winter down jacket.
Sugarloaf, which has been called “King of Spring,” will also be hosting a ton of late-spring ski events including its Peace, Love and Reggae fest from April 6-9 and the East Coast pond skimming championships on April 15. The mountain hasn’t announced its closing date just yet but will likely stay open throughout most of May if the conditions continue to hold up.
“Spring ski season has been beautiful and sunny with a fresh dusting of powder – a foot of snow fell in the last seven days,” Jessie Vandenhouten from Vail Resorts, said. The park remains 85 percent open with a base depth of nearly 50 inches of snow. The mountain will remain open through Sunday, April 23 and there are plenty of events to take part in between now and then including the annual Spring Back to Vail bash on April 14-16. The event will include the World Pond Skimming Championships, live music, an on-mountain luau, après parties, giveaways, and more.
Following record amounts of snow, spring skiing around Lake Tahoe is phenomenal, especially at Northstar. “The deep snowpack enables the trails to be groomed at Northstar California daily, so beginner and intermediate skiers can expect amazing corduroy conditions,” Vandenhouten said.
The mountain is nearly 100 percent open, with 13 lifts and 99 skiable trails. And for those looking to throw a few tricks, all 8 of Northstar’s terrain parks remain open with 228 features to jump, spin, and flip off of. The mountain plans to stay open until April 23. Oh, and don’t miss Northstar’s CANtina: A Canned Craft Beer Tasting happening on April 8. “With more than a dozen craft selections and live music on the platform, this mountainside fiesta epitomizes spring in Tahoe while remaining environmentally conscious,” Vandenhouten explained.
Park City, Utah
This year, Park City saw some of its best snowfall in nearly 10 years. To date, its yearly snow total is 413 inches (the yearly average is 355 inches). But beyond the epic conditions, Park City also has some of the best events to attend on any mountain. The mountain will remain open until April 16, but get there by April 8 to catch the tail end of Spring Gruv, a 16-day series of concerts, activities and festivities in celebration of spring, and stay for the 21st Annual Pond Skimming Competition, also happening on April 8. Park City is also celebrating Easter on April 16 with more than 7,000 hidden eggs around the resort for people of all ages to find filled with prizes including the chance to win a 2017/2018 season pass.
Mammoth Mountain, California
“Historically, Mammoth has one of the longest seasons and some of the best spring conditions in the country and after the huge amount of snowfall this season, it’s going to be the best spring in decades,” Lauren Burke, Public Relations and Social Media Manager at Mammoth, said. And boy, she’s not kidding. Snowpack across the mountain varies from 150- 300 inches. The mountain has seen more than 650 inches of snow at its summit during the 2016/2017 season. Thanks to this blessed event by Mother Nature, the mountain is planning to stay open until July 4. Yes really, it’s staying open for skiing until Independence Day.
As Vandenhouten, Burke, and Right all noted, first time spring skiers should beware that spring skiing can be tricky as conditions change throughout the day, so try out a lesson if it’s your first trip to the mountain. And in case you need packing advice, Vandenhouten explained it’s OK to overpack just this once and bring along plenty of light, breathable layers so you can add or subtract throughout the day. “Sunscreen is also a must as UV rays are stronger at elevation,” Vandenhouten added, suggesting skiers apply once in the morning and again after lunch. As always, wear a helmet. Not only will it keep you warm and fashionable, but it also keeps you safe. “Finally,” Vandenhouten said, “no spring ski season is complete without some fun spring fashion – like a neon one-piece ski suit.” If she says it’s OK to be a fashion victim on the slopes then we think it OK too.