Not only will there be skiing and snowboarding at the end of the season, but these mountains will be going all out this spring with music, food, festivals and competitions.
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gGet out your t-shirts and sunscreen because spring skiing is back. After the 2020 ski season was cut short by the onset of the pandemic and 2021 remained muted by health and safety protocols, this ski season can finally end with all the live music, skimming of ponds, grills and gifts you can imagine. From the vernal equinox (March 20) to June in some cases, mountains from east to west across the United States host some of the most epic parties under the sun.
The country’s best spring ski and snowboard spots, from Mt. Bachelor to Killington, each bring back their own brand of spring vibes. Whether you’re soaking up the sun by the slopes, tailgating or camping in the parking lot – ski in mashed potatoes, corn snow or spring powder after a lucky break in April – get ready to shed a few layers, sport those tan goggles and bomb down the hill like you’re in a 1990s ski movie.
Here are our top picks for spring skiing in 2022, both for the driest, deepest conditions and the liveliest afternoon events to keep you entertained throughout the season.
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Estimated closing date: June 1
Arapahoe Basin, the first post-World War II ski area opened in Colorado by a soldier of the 10th Mountain Division, became known as “The Legend” for its terrain as steep as the Alps. Now owned by Toronto’s Dream Unlimited Corporation, this renegade resort – which dared to divorce Vail Resorts a few years ago – is still thriving with Colorado’s longest ski season, until July. At ‘A-Basin’, Continental Divide weather racks up immense snowfall in April and May, especially under the famous Palivaccini chairlift, or ‘Pali’, named after a similarly shaped terrain on the highest peak in Austria. The parking lot turns into “the beach” to heel all spring, and skiers and snowboarders won’t want to miss swimsuit day on May 28, when everyone on the mountain is invited to ride in their best poolside duds and show off their front flips and rail tricks during a rail traffic jam. This year, A-Basin found one more excuse to party: his 75th birthdayfor which he organizes music, a mogul event and a treasure hunt, from April 1 to 3.
Where to stay: It’s chic and affordable to Buffer in Silverthorne, a hostel built last fall inside shipping containers laid out in front of the mountain.
Big Sky, Montana
Estimated closing date: April 24
big sky is a thriller (and not just ABC’s hit show). In Montana, wind patterns dictate powder deposits for unbeatable backcountry lines. There is plenty of tree skiing and a northern exposure means the best snow shows up later in the season. Breathtaking views on some of the biggest drops in the country give every skier or snowboarder about two acres to themselves. So this spring in Big Sky, you probably won’t have to wait in line for long, but at its core, it’ll still be raging with after all day. Check 14th edition of the Big Sky Big Grass fest from March 31 to April 3, featuring artists like Sam Bush Band, The Travelin’ McCourys and Keller Williams. There will also be the International Freeskiers Association North American Junior Invitational Championships April 6-10. With plans for multi-year expansion with a new base-to-summit lift system, more mountain restaurants and a new learning center, the party is just getting started.
Where to stay: Alpine chic meets slopeside comfort Summit Hotel.
Estimated closing date: May 23
They don’t call him “the king of spring” for nothing. With a drop of 3,050 feet, Killington boasts the highest vertical drop in the East and offers unsurprisingly the best spring skiing in New England. Resort typically stays open later than any surrounding ski resort – answered by spring pass with unlimited nearby access Mount Pico, too. This spring, local bands will be playing and fresh local Vermont food and beer will be served at the Wobbly barn and at the base of Bear Mountain Lodge. Delight in endless mountain entertainment, starting with the Vermont Brewers Festival on March 19. Even the demolition (before a reconstruction) of the K-1 Base Lodge will be an excuse to celebrate this year during the K-1 Teardown Party on March 20 with live music scheduled and a wall of memories of sweet ski nostalgia on display. Other events this spring include the Bear Mountain Bump Challenge April 2 and Dazed and defrostedwith live music, demos and merrymaking on April 16.
Where to stay: Keep it personal and cozy up in one of Vermont’s adorable hostels, The snowy inna mile and a half down the road from Killington.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Estimated closing date: May 30
Simply, mammoth mountain is sublime in the spring. The wide-open corduroy stretches over one of the thickest snowpacks in North America, making it a magnet for spring skiing. At 11,053 feet, Mother Nature brings her nighttime frost that softens in the beating sun 300 days a year. Southwest wind cliffs cut through the Sierra Nevada like a natural snow groomer for bouncy, bindable snow until the last slush. See you at the spring ball for all ages, Woolly’s Dance Party organized weekly at the base lodge. Choose between Canyon Lodge’s sun deck for the afternoon or a high-altitude ski climb of up to five climbs for the Mammoth Caldera Burn ski mountaineering (aka ski mo) event on April 16. Or you can watch runners and pros go head-to-head in track biathlon and other races at mammoth invite fundraiser on April 3.
Where to stay: Soak up the slopes in the historic pool Mammoth Mountain Inn.
Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Estimated closing date: June 1
Mt. Bachelor brings great views and brews. Who wouldn’t want to drink a winter beer 1,700 feet above the tree line overlooking snow-capped layers of volcanic lava and tephra? Right in the middle of Oregon, just a half-hour drive from the state’s brewing capital, Bend, the dormant volcano that is Mount Bachelor rages all spring, complete with skiing. Backcountry dreams live on at this off-limits ski resort, with bowls, snowfields and a thick snowpack that melts into some of the best bead-like “corn” snow. Chase the southern sun around the cone of the mountain and descend into post-concert series, pro snowboard competitions and brewing events (even a mini keg hunt on the mountain). the Subaru Winterfest April 15-17 will feature music from Trampled By Turtles and others. board, bike, shuffling May 28-29 will bring skiers, snowboarders and cyclists together for the last party of the season, complete with food, beer, music and pond foam. Mt. Bachelor will also host the 2022 Woodward Peace Park Championships From April 20-24, an invitation-only pro snowboard competition, coinciding with a West Village base area festival called Go Van which pays homage to camping and #vanlife.
Where to stay: Surround yourself with peaks, lakes, meadows and a state forest in a rustic and relaxing setting Seventh hill stationjust outside of Beer Lovers Bend.
Palisades Tahoe, California
Estimated closing date: May 23
Few views of the lake rival that of the top of Tahoe Palisades 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 United States”. This popular Sierra Nevada spot has become an end-of-season draw for high-flying spring music festivals like the Bluegrass and Roots Festival, winter magic grass, April 1-3, headlined this year by Billy Strings, and also returning to Colorado and Vermont next year. The mountain feels fresh with a new name and logo (formerly Squaw Valley), but the vintage gear will still be around. So pull out your old school duds for the return of the Classic McShlonkey Pain fundraiser on March 26, an annual tribute to legendary freeskier Shane McConkey. And don’t miss pond skimming and lap racing during the the mothership classic where competitors in skinny skis, retro snowboards, monoskis and snowblades earn money for the most laps around the iconic KT-22 chair, rated the best chairlift in North America for unbeatable access to cliffs, chutes and slopes on the famous free- riding trails.
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