Higher elevation ski resorts in the Northern Rockies of Montana and Wyoming are planning to open over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Big Sky Resort intends to lead the pack in opening for the season with Grand Targhee Resort and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort following.

Big Sky Resort plans to start up its lifts flanking Lone Peak on Thanksgiving Day. A mid-November base depth of 20-30 inches set the resort up well for opening day with another series of snowstorms forecasted before lifts open to the public. Food, beverage, rentals, and retail operations will open, too. Lodging is available around Big Sky, but the resort's hotels will delay opening until Dec. 9. Skiers and riders will not be able to access adjoining Moonlight Basin until Dec. 10-11.

Grand Targhee is scheduled to open Nov. 26. The resort saw its first snow of the season Sept. 1 and accumulated 63 inches of snowfall between Oct. 1 and mid-November. A solid three-foot base has attracted plenty of hikers slogging up the hill for pre-season turns.  

Jackson Hole plans to follow, starting up lifts Nov. 27. The new Stash Parks are ready for skiers and riders to check out the features, several which have been cloaked in mystery during construction. Jackson's summit measured 70 inches of snowfall by mid-November with more snow predicted before opening day.

Other resorts in Montana and Wyoming are hoping to open as soon as possible. Great Divide Ski Area has been running a rope tow for free skiing and riding on Sunday afternoons while making snow on other slopes.