Night skiing is a unique skiing experience you can’t just have anywhere. And night skiing’s history is just as unique. It dates back to post-World War I, when Clarence (Clare) Bousquet, an injured World War I veteran, turned his profitable mink farm into the small rope tow-served ski slope of Bousquet near Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Bousquet lured skiers from New York City for night skiing, with the help of then locally-based General Electric, which installed mercury vapor floodlights on the slopes.
Night skiing was born, opening up the sport to those who couldn’t play during the day time and extending the hours of those who could. It would later flourish once Webb Moffet, the owner of Snoqualmie Summit, added lights almost a decade later, giving Seattle area skiers the option of skiing under the lights.
Today, skiing under the lights has become a staple skiing experience in most North America ski regions, and continues at Bousquet many decades later. Skiers and riders can watch the sunset as the evening hours begin and the moonrise as the night continues, usually until 10 p.m. at many resorts, but sometimes later on weekend nights. Below, discover a few of the best ski resorts in North America for night skiing.
17 of the best North America ski resorts for night skiing
Cranmore, New Hampshire
Cranmore, in the White Mountain town of North Conway, is where skiing really took off in America once Hannes Schneider, the famed Austrian skimeister, made his home here. These days, or rather nights, Cranmore spins its lifts until 8 p.m. on its south slope, offering access to five beginner to beginner-intermediate trails. Note that trails open for night skiing and snowboarding are not regroomed midday, so conditions are variable. Night skiers and snowboarders here should be comfortable riding a chairlift and navigating intermediate terrain. Rental equipment is available for night skiing from 2-8 p.m.
Located an hour from Boston, Wachusett offers nighttime skiing and boarding from 7-9:30 p.m. nightly from mid-December until mid-March. Note that exact closing times can sometimes vary, so Wachusett recommends checking their snow report before arriving. A night-only ski pass is offered for $289 in 2023 for use on 18 trails and 5 lifts.
Bolton Valley, Vermont
Bolton Valley, located just 30 minutes from Burlington and Montpelier, is the only Vermont ski area offering night skiing and riding. Even better if you can play during the daytime, your lift ticket also gives you nighttime skiing, which takes places from 4-10 p.m. Night skiing runs from Tuesday to Saturday and during holiday periods (but not on Christmas Eve and Day). Views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains make this such an extraordinary New England ski experience.
Granite Peak, Wisconsin
Granite Peak started small, but Rib Mountain Winter Sports Area, as it was called then, became the first major Midwest ski area to offer night skiing in 1955. Night skiing today is from 4-9 p.m. on most of the hill, offering some variety and challenge. Granite Peak’s light source is 28 large spotlights ranging from 500 to 1,500 watts mounted on seven poles on the lower open slopes.
Boyne Mountain, Michigan
Founded in 1947 by Everett Kirchner, Boyne Resorts is now the third largest mountain resort company in North America. Night skiing at Boyne Mountain runs from December until mid-March (weather dependent), 5-9 p.m. Disciples Ridge has been added to the usable trails, while more lights have also been added. Trails are serviced by the Meadows Doppelmayr Quad. Your lift ticket gets you a free reloadable RFID Go Card as well. The Highlands, Boyne Mountain’s sister resort, offers night skiing from 5-9 p.m. on select dates. However, tickets are not interchangeable.
Paoli Peaks, Indiana
Paoli Peaks has extensive night skiing and riding with its “Ski After 3” ticket on 100 percent of its 65 acres of skiable terrain. Runs are open from 3-9 p.m. weeknights and most weekends you can join in “Midnight Madness sessions” until 3 a.m. Lifts close at 10 p.m. on weekends without a midnight session. Food, rental and lessons are available in the evenings, while some midweek dates feature a special $5 rental night. Lift tickets are not included during these specials.
Steamboat is a great example of a major destination ski resort offering night skiing. The Christie Peak Express high-speed chairlift whisks skiers to the top of Christie Peak (8,000 feet) for an evening adventure across five trails including Sitz, See Me, Vogue, Stampede and Lil’ Rodeo. All levels of skiing and riding are available with two beginner, two intermediate and one advanced trail. Cruise down 1,100 vertical feet of terrain under state-of-the-art Ultra-Tech Lighting that significantly lights up the slopes. Night skiing runs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. from mid-December until the end of March, with the exception of Christmas Eve and Super Bowl Sunday. Steamboat’s Night Skiing Combo includes a night lift ticket and rental equipment.
“Brighton up your nights,” as Brighton urges, with night skiing Monday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Brighton’s new lights at Snake Creek bring the ski resort’s total number of lit runs to 24 runs. Beginners can even take lessons at night, as Brighton offers group lessons on Thursday nights. Night Riding is available from mid-December through mid-March. However, note that night skiing isn’t available on Sundays, and Christmas Eve, Christmas Night, and New Year’s Eve.
Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
Sundance, about an hour from the Salt Lake City International Airport, opens up most of its front mountain, plus its terrain park, for night skiing a few days each week. Skiers and snowboarders at Sundance can enjoy night skiing, beginning in mid-December, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 4:30-9 p.m. Sundance’s lit runs include Top Gun, Montoya, Stampede and Maverick. Note that night skiing isn’t offered Christmas or New Year’s Eve.
Snow King Resort, Wyoming
Night skiing in the heart of Jackson Hole is available at Snow King from 4-7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It’s the only night skiing in Jackson Hole so those who ski and ride at the massive destination ski area of Jackson Hole can finish off the experience at Snow King. Snow King access is easy, too, even if you don’t have a car. Just take the START bus straight to the slopes.
Boreal, Lake Tahoe, California:
Night skiing in the Lake Tahoe area at Boreal is an iconic California skiing experience. Purchase the Boreal Night Pass and get access from 3-8 p.m, 7 nights a week, all season long at Boreal. No blackout dates or reservations are needed, and the pass is the same price for all ages. Perks of the Boreal Night Pass include a $25 Buddy Pass and one day at Woodward Tahoe, the action sports center.
Mt. Hood Skibowl, Oregon
Mount Hood Skibowl is home to the largest night skiing operation in the United States, with 36 trails spread out across 960 acres of lit territory, available 7 days a week from 3-10 p.m. All lifts, including Lower Bowl, Upper Bowl, Multorpor and Cascade lifts, are lit, and it boasts the most lit black diamond runs in Oregon. From beginner to expert runs, Mount Hood Skibowl has it all.
Summit at Snoqualmie, Washington
Located about an hour from Seattle on I-90, Summit at Snoqualmie continues to offer a huge amount of night skiing since becoming the first in the West to do so nearly eight decades ago. With Summit Central open 6 nights a week during the majority of the season from 4-9:30 p.m., there’s no shortage of mid-week night laps. You’ll also find Summit West, open 4-9:30 p.m., and Alpental open 4 days a week from 4-9 p.m. Hours are subject to change without notice because of weather conditions.
Stevens Pass, Washington
East of Seattle 80 miles is Stevens Pass, is another great major ski resort with night skiing operations. Night skiing typically kicks off at Stevens Pass in mid-December, and goes until early- to mid-March. In February, they extend the hours, opening an hour earlier, for night skiing from 3-10 p.m., Wednesdays-Sundays. Stevens Pass even offers lessons and coaching programs at discounted rates on select evenings during the winter.
Bogus Basin, Idaho
Skiers and snowboarders have been skiing under the light at Bogus Basin since 1964. Night skiing happens daily, until 10 p.m., providing 12 hours of skiing at the nonprofit ski area in Idaho. Bogus Basin’s popular Twilight Season Pass offers access to the mountain from 3 p.m. to close all winter long. It was offered at the beginning of the season at $99, making it an incredible season pass deal.
Mt. Norquay, Canada
Ski or ride at the only night skiing in the Canadian Rockies on the flood-lit runs of Mt. Norquay, off the Cascade Chair. Norquay, part of SkiBig3’s Banff area resorts, is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights from January until mid-March from 5 -9 p.m. Norquay’s terrain park is fully lit as well. Food service is available at the Cascade Lodge Cafeteria and North American.
Big White, Canada
Ski under bright lights at the largest night skiing area in Western Canada, at Big White, from 3:30-8 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. The lights on the Bullet Express and Plaza Chair give you access to acres upon acres of terrain. Big White’s night lift capacity exceeds 3,000 people per hour as the Plaza and Bullet high-speed chairs bring skiers and riders to the top of the longest vertical drop (1,955 feet from the top of the Bullet lift) of all night skiing areas in North America. Its TELUS Park is open for boarding Friday and Saturday nights.
Header image: ©Adam J Sanders/Stevens Pass