8 Best Resorts for Spring Skiing
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 1:27:13 AM America/Denver
Just because spring is here doesn’t mean ski season is over — in many places around the country, this is quite the contrary. Instead of suffering through those freezing cold temperatures and blustering winds, spring skiing means enjoying the sunshine on a bluebird day. But don’t get the impression that this equates to powering through mush and slush — there has been plenty of snow this year to tide you through the warming months and in some places, big dumps are still to come. You just need to pick the right destination for your spring skiing endeavors, so we’ve compiled a list of the best places to go. Looking for some new gear before the end of the season? Check out the deals going on at UtahSkis.
One of the great things about Utah? Consistent high quality snow — and Alta ranks at the top of this list. The resort’s unique microclimate results in over 500 inches of snowfall annually. Alta receives snowfall through April and is typically open into May. A high concentration of north facing terrain ensures that you won’t experience much melt — so not only does Alta receives dumps of champagne powder late into spring, you can be assured it’s there to stay awhile.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Mammoth serves as one of the reigning spring resorts in the Sierra range due to its relatively high elevation. Mammoth receives an average of about 350 inches of snowfall and while this might not seem like a lot, the area’s terrain is 65% north facing — making it one of the highest percentages of north facing terrain on the continent. In addition, its projected closing for this year isn’t until the end of May.
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Arapahoe Basin is the place to go for spring skiing in Colorado. The first reason is its high elevation — the base sits at more than 10,000 feet while the summit tops out above 12,000. A higher elevation generally means a longer ski season — and this holds true for Arapahoe Basin, which is not expected to close until June of this year. On top of that, more than 50% of the terrain faces north, making for an ideal spring skiing destination.
Alta’s neighbor receives just a little less snow but features steep, north facing slopes. These slopes preserve the quality of the snow, even late into the season. The area has received plenty of snowfall through the month of March and isn’t projected to close until mid June — leaving you lots of time to plan your trip to Utah.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Located in the Cascade Range of central Oregon, Mt. Bachelor offers deep spring snowpack and many springtime snow dumps. Central Oregon’s dry climate ensures lovely weather conditions on the mountain and plenty of sunshine. The area receives over 450 inches of snowfall and isn’t projected to close until the end of May.
If you’re an East Coast skier looking to stay close to home, you’re in luck — Killington is projected to be open through the end of May. Its often referred to as ‘The Beast of the East’ and its proximity to major cities makes it an accessible spring skiing location. Although low in elevation, this part of the country is known for its ferocious spring snow storms — and this year is no exception.
Grand Targhee, Wyoming
The reason that Grand Targhee is so great for spring skiing is less about what it has, and more about what it doesn’t have. Boasting a moderate elevation and limited north facing terrain, it has a huge amount of west-facing terrain — which is second best to north facing terrain, regarding snowmelt — but most importantly, no east facing terrain at all. East facing terrain experiences the highest rate of snowmelt in spring. Other than Alta, Grand Targhee gets more snow than any other Rockies resort. It’s projected to be open until the end of April.
Winter Park, Colorado
This local favorite comprises more than 3,000 skiable acres stretching across two different mountains. Winter Park receives higher than average snowfall for the state of Colorado and with an elevation of 12,000 feet is sure to maintain good ski conditions. In addition, more than 50% of Winter Park is north facing — making for an optimal spring destination. Winter Park is projected to be open through the end of April.
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