Spring is that special time of the ski season for corn snow, sun-drenched après-ski and fun events at ski resorts. While ski resorts in the east don’t stay open as long as many of the ski resorts out west, spring skiing in the east is a good time. Just don’t forget your sunscreen. When you head east for spring skiing, plan on some wonderful sunny ski days in which the mornings can sometimes be icy and afternoons slushy. Like much of skiing, timing is everything. We’ve picked a few of the best ski resorts in the east for spring skiing. For our broader list of the best resorts for spring skiing across North America, head to this article.
Great ski resorts in the east for spring skiing
Any list of the best spring ski resorts should include Killington, the “Beast of the East,” located up the hill from Rutland, Vermont. Killington often offers skiing and riding as late as Memorial Day in May. Just don’t expect a full mountain adventure. Nonetheless, even at the end, there will be some limited terrain. When there’s a freeze at night and sunshine in the morning, there’s some corn snow fun. Note that late-season skiing and riding at Killington will be more for intermediate and advanced skiers. Killington regularly offers a spring pass good from mid-March until the end of the season that’s also good at neighboring Pico, conditions permitting. (See our list here of some of the best spring ski passes.)
Whiteface at Lake Placid, New York
Spring has sprung by the time mid-March arrives in the Adirondacks at Lake Placid. It often makes for the combined snowiest and sunniest time of the season thanks to Whiteface’s elevation at almost 5,000 feet. Think of Whiteface a little bit like skiing on mashed potatoes, both heavy and soft. Spring corn snow is generally found higher up on steeper terrain. Your leg muscles may burn, but that’s when you can treat yourself after a day of skiing at Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa. Whiteface often closes by early- to mid-April.
Snowshoe Mountain, West Virginia
Snowshoe is consistently blasted by snowstorms and lake effect snow from its opening day until March, resulting in an average of 180 inches of snow per season. That, combined with intensive snowmaking efforts, means the mountain will typically have many of its trails open until late March when it closes. It may be spring-like in Washington, D.C., but count on it still being winter high in the mountains of West Virginia. The crowds mysteriously disappear into summer mode, so you often can ski or ride directly up to the lifts.
Stratton Mountain, Vermont
Head to Stratton, where you can ski and ride all morning, and then when the slush begins to set in, drive down the hill to Manchester, one of the best shopping and dining villages in all of the Northeast. Spring skiing at Stratton is relaxed, and you can enjoy a later start, letting the icy slopes soften up a bit. Stratton has excellent late-season lift ticket and lodging deals, and, if you purchase your pass for next season, you can get an even better deal. Closing day is typically in mid-April.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
When spring arrives at Stowe – the Grande Dame of Eastern ski resorts – pay attention and enjoy the softer snow in the mornings and warmer weather in the afternoons. Warmer weather arriving in Northern Vermont brings some fun events including the Mount Mansfield Ski Club’s Sugar Slalom. Junior racers and some members of the U.S. Ski Team ski in costumes, and you can enjoy music and a post-ski barbecue in the parking lot. Stowe typically closes in mid-April.
Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire
Cannon is the highest ski area in the Granite State, taking skiers and riders up to 4,078 feet high. Mornings can be a little icy for skiers, while the sunny, corn snow afternoons are always fun. Cannon’s plunging Front Five attracts spring experts, and particularly on the slightly softer springtime moguls on Paulie’s Folly. Book early to stay at the Franconia Inn, a charming inn dating back to 1853. Cannon, like most New Hampshire ski resorts, closes by early- to mid-April.
Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Bretton Woods, along with its historic Omni Mount Washington Resort, makes a perfect pair for a last gasp spring weekend. The ski area itself is New Hampshire’s largest ski area with 464 acres of skiing and snowboarding, and home to the state’s only 8-passenger gondola. Bretton Woods typically stays open until early- to mid-April. Don’t miss the all-new Rosebrook Lodge at the top of the gondola, which offers up panoramic views of the Presidential Range. Bonus: Spring often means great deals at the hotel (which also owns the ski area).
Cranmore Mountain Resort, New Hampshire
Cranmore is where it all took off for skiing in North America, making it a good place to enjoy some low-key spring skiing. This New Hampshire ski resort features one of the most popular spring events in the East, the Hannes Schneider Meister Cup in March. The races are fun and can be intense at top levels, but the event features a full slate of weekend activities including a welcome reception and buffet, opening ceremony, an ice carving contest, a silent auction with a variety of items for skiers, the popular wear-your-own vintage skiwear show, and a ski history presentation. It’s all in honor of the famous Austrian skimeister who put skiing on the American psyche. Cranmore typically stays open until the end of March.
Wachusett often operates until early April. That gives you several weeks of good spring skiing. The best weekend is closing weekend, when Wachusett hosts their annual pond skimming event. While night skiing may not have the same feel and vibe of spring skiing, Wachusett has some of New England’s best night skiing in March. (See our list of the best North America ski resorts for night skiing.)
Jiminy Peak, Massachusetts
Jiminy Peak, as the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England, is a fun ski resort for the entire family, and like Wachusett, also has night skiing. One of Jiminy Peak’s most unique spring events is in early March when STRIDE Adaptive Sports welcomes regional Wounded Warrior rehabilitative sport and mentorship programs. Warriors and their families enjoy two days of skiing and snowboarding activities. With the support of STRIDE’s adaptive equipment and teaching methods, the veterans learn how to overcome the challenges of injury and enjoy independence and freedom through sport. Historically, the resort closes in late March or early April.
More Spring Skiing Reading
- The best of spring skiing in North America
- Where to go spring skiing in the West
- Where to go spring skiing in the Midwest
- Where to go spring skiing in the Rockies
- Where to go spring skiing in Canada