Here are a few secrets about skiing and riding during the Thanksgiving holiday: Thanksgiving Day itself tends to be light on crowds at many ski resorts because it can be hard to skip out on Grandma’s mashed potatoes. November and the first half of December are still considered early season, and certainly not peak season, so ski resorts often offer reduced lodging rates. Bonus: You can avoid kitchen stress in the condo by dining out on traditional holiday meals, but make sure you have reservations. Sure, the fledgling snowpack may rely on heavy snowmaking for groomed skiing, but most of our legs could use the warm-up. Besides, Mother Nature can sometimes bring Thanksgiving surprises to the mountains.
OnTheSnow.com Chief Meteorologist Chris Tomer has some predictions for the best bets for Thanksgiving 2022 skiing: “Stay in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, the Pacific Northwest, BC, Banff.”
Considering Tomer’s predictions, here are some good choices for skiing Thanksgiving weekend.
Head north to Banff for early holiday snow. Lake Louis and Sunshine should be open and waiting for you with projected opening dates in mid-November. Lake Louise gives skiers and riders access to 4,200 skiable acres and 3,251 vertical feet of drop. Canada celebrates their Thanksgiving in October, so this weekend is business as usual.
Sunshine Village, Canada’s highest elevated resort, is a great choice and encompasses more than 3,300 skiable acres. Off the snow, soak in hot springs, twirl on ice skates, sightsee on the Banff Gondola and Christmas shop downtown. If you’re looking to fly into Banff, you’ll find many direct flights into Calgary International Airport; from there, Banff is within a 90-minute drive.
Sun Valley plans to open for skiing and riding over the Thanksgiving weekend. Sun Valley is known for its Western flair and European styling. Sun Valley Resort offers 2,054 skiable acres and 3,400 feet of vertical drop. Off the slopes, stroll through galleries rich in artistic ambiance, catch a movie or play virtual golf at the Nordic center. Good bets (get reservations) for your feast are at The Ram, Galena Lodge, Grill at Nob Hill and the Limelight Lounge.
Check out Lodging options in Sun Valley.
There’s so much room, 5,800 acres, at Big Sky that even with modest terrain for Thanksgiving weekend there will be plenty of snow-covered slopes for skiers and snowboarders to enjoy. A great choice for Thanksgiving Day dinner is the Horn & Cattle on Lone Mountain Ranch. Other fine dining choices are WOM (Word of Mouth), Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro, and Everett’s 8,500. Remember – reservations.
Check out Lodging options at Big Sky.
The Pacific Northwest is on Tomer’s radar for good Thanksgiving skiing and snowboarding, so why not spend the weekend at Washington State’s largest ski area. Those entire 2,200 acres of Crystal Mountain won’t likely all be waiting for you, but there should be plenty of runs to iron out the early season kinks. Enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings – without stepping foot in the kitchen – by heading to the Wild Tomato from 11-5 p.m. Prices are adults: $39.95; kids 7-12 – $19.95, and kids 6 and under $12.95. Be sure to call 888-581-9891 for reservations.
Killington, the aptly named Beast of the East, likes to muse that “winter is here when we say so.” By mid-October the nights are dipping down to the 30s while many parts of the country are still seeing summer-like weather. This year Killington is planning on an early November start to welcome skiers and riders. The best news for ski racing fans is the return of Women’s Alpine World Cup racing on Thanksgiving Weekend Nov. 25-27. The Killington Cup races include a Giant Slalom and slalom. The races draw between 30,000-40,000 fans to Vermont and carry national TV coverage.
Thanksgiving has already come and gone in Canada when Americans get around to it, but Whistler-Blackcomb in British Columbia has you covered. Enjoy traditional American Thanksgiving dining, all-weather fall activities, family-friendly entertainment and shopping on the Village Stroll. The resort plans to be open for skiing and riding as the snow creeps down the mountain. The Braidwood Tavern serves up brunch, lunch, dinner and turkey to go. Look for a fine dining Thanksgiving dinner at Araxi’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar.
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