October to April is just not enough for some of us. When you’ve got that itch to keep skiing or riding, no amount of mountain biking, hiking or countless other warm-weather distractions are gonna cut it. Assuming chasing winter down to South America, New Zealand or Australia isn’t in the cards (or budget), there are still options to sate the hungriest of patchy corn cravings long after the last pond skim swan song echoes through the hills, signaling the beginning of the end of another ski season.
Instead of hanging those skis up in defeat, plan to check out one of North America’s solid ski resort options for the best reliable summer skiing, often stretching into the 4th of July.
With a bespoke chairlift dedicated only to operating in the summer months (too snowy, windy and dangerous during winter), Timberline Lodge boasts the longest ski season in North America and summer glacier skiing at its finest. Open daily June-September, skiers and riders lapping Palmer Snowfield, located on the south face of Mt. Hood, may be sharing the slopes with Olympic-caliber athletes in training. Mountain operations grooms several lanes across Palmer Snowfield, which is used primarily for summer camps, but the above-treeline terrain always includes at least one lane for public use where intermediate and above level skiers and riders are welcome.
Though it will take you a ride on the Whistler Gondola on over to the Peak-to-Peak Gondola followed by a shuttle, another chair ride and then a T-Bar to get to, Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier may be worth it for the views alone. This popular destination for skiing in the summer is typically open in June and July. Despite the good snow year, owner Vail Resorts decided to keep Horstmann closed this summer because of the lingering effects of the pandemic. Hopefully, things will be better in 2022. Similar to Timberline, portions of the slopes are reserved for ongoing summer skiing camps with a public lane for advanced to expert skiers who will be treated to terrain park feature access. The Euro-style Horstman Hut will serve as the hub for all your needs throughout the day—bathroom breaks to a refueling pit stop.
Most years, skiers and riders can count on Mammoth Mountain as a long-time lingerer that hangs on into the summer months. This year, Mammoth’s ski season will prevail until at least the 4th of July and potentially then some after a nice couple of storm cycles brought more than 15 FEET of fresh snow during the month of February, which wasn’t even half over when they made this announcement.
Perfect for a multi-sport 4th of July weekend, Mammoth Mountain is open for mountain biking, golf and often for skiing. Depending on conditions, Mammoth’s mountain operations typically tend to shift after Memorial Day to focus on the terrain accessible from the Main Lodge area. Mammoth’s award-winning Unbound Terrain Parks are another summertime on-snow option with well-maintained features coming off of the USSA training in the spring.
For those who love warm-weather skiing the most, you’ll get a second season/wind at Colorado’s longest-season-boasting, A-Basin (where we’ve personally experienced a legit powder day in the middle of May). Typically opening among the first in North America in October, ski season at The Legend usually ends in June, but has also been known to rage all the way to the 4th of July and beyond thanks to the mountain’s especially high altitude. Enjoy laps on the mellow terrain accessible via Arapahoe Basin’s lower-mountain lifts between parking lot cold snacks.
A special shoutout is also in order for the following ski resorts that are typically open later than the average mountain (closing dates are projected and subject to change):
- Palisades Tahoe in California tends to close in late May/early June, but did keep it going until mid July to cap off an incredibly snowy 16/17 ski season.
- Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor plans to close this year, conditions permitting, just shy of Memorial Day on May 26, 2019.
- Ditto on late May (Sunday, the 26th) for Killington, Vermont as of this publish date.
- With a still TBA closing date, Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon will typically run into at least the beginning to middle of May.
- Boasting the longest season in Utah, Snowbird is also TBA at this point, and with the snow they’re currently seeing, we’re guessing it will extend beyond the mid-May estimation based on last season’s close.
- Beartooth Basin is as remote as it gets in Montana and doesn’t even open until summer. It lies at the border of Montana and Wyoming and was established in the 1960s by Pepi Gramshammer, Anderl Molterer and Eric Sailer as a summer race training site. There is no lodge or warming hut, so be prepared.