The Best Ski Resorts in North America for Spring Skiing

Newsroom Best Of Topics The Best Ski Resorts in North America for Spring Skiing

Spring skiing means different things to different people and different destinations. For some, spring skiing is only in March, while in other destinations, the spring ski season can go into May and beyond. If you’re lucky and time it just right, you may even have a spring powder day. Just remember to layer up, and sunscreen up, as the spring skiing sunburn can be vicious. And, arrive as early as possible so you can get as much of the good snow as possible.

While it’s easy to make a list of the best spring skiing destinations in North America full of the major ski resorts, we’re taking a slightly different approach. We’re leading off with some of the bigger, more renowned ski resorts for spring skiing, while also including a few ski resorts that may not be on your spring skiing radar.

Ski resorts where spring skiing is legendary

Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Arapahoe Basin, or A-Basin as it’s often called, features some of the best spring skiing and riding in North America virtually every season. A-Basin’s ski terrain offers what is essentially two back-to-back bowls oriented north and south. That means lots of skiable terrain with 145 trails. Spring snow comes in all sorts of quality packages and you’ll likely find it all here. A-Basin is Rocky Mountain High, with its top lifts reaching more than 13,000 feet. Additionally, you can hike up to some of the higher points before pointing downhill, as we discussed in our round-up of Colorado ski resorts with hike-to skiing terrain. It all makes for some of the best late-season skiing in Colorado. Don’t miss spending some time on the Beach. It’s a section of the Early Riser parking lot in an ideal location to take a break, relax and grab some rays between runs.

» Check out spring lodging options at Arapahoe.

The Best Spring Skiing Destinations in North America.
©Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Alta, Utah

Alta, located in Utah’s iconic Little Cottonwood Canyon, is about as good as it gets in winter considering how much snow it receives (903″ during the 2022-23 season and a deep snowpack this season). Spring, too, is nice as long as it lasts. However, you’ll have to get your sunny days in early since Alta doesn’t stay open as late as some other Western ski resorts. Alta typically closes daily ski operations in mid-April, but when conditions are good, there’s often a closing weekend shortly after daily ski operations cease. Bonus: You may even get a powder date in late March or early April.  Check out Alta’s spring discounted lift tickets online, as well as discounted season passes that are good for that sun-splashed spring ski season.

» Check out spring lodging options at Alta Ski.

Endless Utah Ski Options for Families: Four Itineraries to Get You Started, Alta.
©Scott Markewitz/Alta Ski Area

Snowbird, Utah

Snowbird historically has the longest ski season in Utah, often open until Memorial Day, conditions permitting. While most North America ski resorts have closed by late-April, the skiing and riding often continues for another few weeks at Snowbird.  Skiers and riders can kick off the day enjoying the south-facing, steep terrain of Mineral Basin, before hitting some cruisers as the day warms up. The Wave, a natural jump off Little Cloud, is a fun place to head on spring days as skiers and riders catch serious air. Cap off the day with aprés at any number of Snowbird’s great patio restaurants and bars.

Snowbird spring skiing, Utah, view of mountain side, bluebird day.

Killington, Vermont

The Beast of the East can often offer skiing up to around Memorial Day Weekend in May. Don’t expect a full mountain adventure, but there will be some limited terrain toward the end of its season. However, that typically means that there isn’t much beginner-friendly terrain. When there’s a freeze at night (this is Vermont after all) and sunshine in the morning, there’s some corn snow fun. Killington regularly offers a spring pass good from mid-March until the end of the season. Killington’s spring pass is also good at neighboring Pico,

» Check out spring lodging options at Killington.

Killington Winter Fest spring skiing party.
©Everett/Killington Ski Resort

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Spring skiing in Whistler is a must-do for anyone looking for smooth runs, bluebird days, and sun-soaked après-ski in Canada. The season typically goes until around mid-April at both mountains, while the season often continues into May at Blackcomb. According to Whistler Blackcomb, “Runs like Whistler Bowl, Spanky’s Ladder or Glacier Bowl are great in the morning, whereas you can save Sun Bowl and the front side of 7th Heaven for the afternoon to get the prime conditions – the snow will be much softer from a full day of sun exposure.” Watch to see if Horstmann Glacier will offer skiing this summer.

» Check out spring lodging options at Whistler/Blackcomb.

Spring skiing at Whistler, lodge.
Spring skiing at Whistler Resort @Shutterstock

Sunshine Village, Alberta

We can’t talk spring skiing in Canada and not mention Alberta’s SkiBig3 ski resorts. While Mt. Norquay typically closes by late-April, Lake Louise and Sunshine Village are open into May. Lake Louise typically closes in early May, while Sunshine continues ski operations until about the third week of May. The Banff Sunshine Slush Cup and Slushine Rail Jam are among the fun events happening as the Banff ski season comes to a close. Spring is such a great time in Canada, too, because of such longer days. Skiers and riders can get in a few hours of laps on soft snow before exploring all that Banff has to offer. Bonus: You can combine a spring ski trip to SkiBig3’s ski resorts with adventures around Canada’s first national park, Banff National Park.

Bluebird day at Lake Louise Ski Resort in Alberta

Telluride, Colorado

The spring ski season in Telluride kicks off with the arrival of March and continues into early April. Although that’s just about a month of spring skiing, it’s so worth it. Plus, spring is prime après-ski season in Telluride. Head to Gorrono Ranch, conveniently located by the Misty Maiden ski run, for live music and a brew or cocktail on the deck. Alternatively, lounge on the sunny patio at Tomboy Tavern, at the bottom of Lift 4, with a local brew and nibbles.

» Check out spring lodging options at Telluride.

Telluride Resort spring apres restaurant cafe.
©Telluride Resort

Mammoth Mountain, California

Skiing takes place at Mammoth Mountain long after many ski resorts have closed. Mammoth’s ski season typically extends through May, and sometimes even into the summer months. Mammoth Mountain has the benefit of the highest lift-served terrain in California, with a summit at 11,053 feet, and a ski season that typically sees at least 300 inches of snow. If you time it right, you may be treated to an April or even May powder day. After skiing in the morning, hit any one of the nearby hot springs. Then head to The Village at Mammoth for patio drinks and dinner.
» Check out spring lodging options at Mammoth.

Patrol pooch takes a break in the sun on a Mammoth spring day.
Patrol pooch takes a break in the sun on a warm spring day ©Peter Morning/Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Palisades Tahoe, California

It’s impossible to talk great spring skiing and not talk about Palisades Tahoe, considering it’s the self-proclaimed Spring Skiing Capital, boasting the longest ski season in Lake Tahoe. Here, skiing typically goes all the way through spring, and often into summer. Palisades Tahoe was open until July 4th Weekend during the 2022-23 ski season, with skiing happening at Alpine over the last few weekends of the season. While the spring ski conditions are about as good as you’ll find, so is the aprés-ski experience and events. Spring brings fun events like the annual pond skim, Alpine’s annual Snow Golf Tournament, the Made in Tahoe Festival, and live music in The Village at Palisades Tahoe. After a morning on the slopes, head to any number of great nearby biking trails around Lake Tahoe, or simply soak up the sun and warmer weather on North America’s largest alpine lake.

Skier holding American flag up while catching air
©Palisades Tahoe

Ski resorts you may not be thinking of for spring skiing

Whiteface at Lake Placid, New York

While spring plants and flowers are pushing up through the dirt in much of the Northeast by the time mid-March arrives, Lake Placid makes for a great few weeks of spring skiing until Whiteface closes, typically in mid-April. Spring can often combine for the snowiest and sunniest time of the season here, thanks to Whiteface’s elevation at almost 5,000 feet. Think of spring skiing here as skiing on mashed potatoes, both heavy and soft. You will have worked for that post-ski hot tub session.

Spring corn snow is generally found higher up on steeper terrain, where the snow’s surface begins to break up into little kernels. You can go fast but still hold an edge for some cool carving. Take a break in the mid-day sunshine at Whiteface’s Midstation Lodge, where you can make some new friends on the deck while enjoying a mid-day snack and drinks. On the way to or from Whiteface, drop in at Gore Mountain, Whiteface’s sister resort, for some spring turns.

» Check out spring lodging options at Whiteface or at Gore Mountain.

The Highlands, Michigan

Why yes, you can find some spring skiing in the Midwest. The Highlands (formerly known as the Boyne Highlands) in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is often a good bet into April. However, the waning weeks of March are a bit safer on your calendar. The Highlands will host a “Ring In Spring” weekend March 15-17 with its popular Slush Cup, and featuring wine tasting and plenty of live music. Additionally, the resort will often extend lift hours during the spring ski season and keep the lifts running late into the day. While you’re at it, early spring skiing is available at nearby Nubs Nob and Boyne Mt.

Boyne Mountain hotel Highlands.
@The Highlands Resort

» Check out spring lodging options at Boyne Highlands or at Nubs Nob.

Wolf Creek, Colorado

Wolf Creek, near Pagosa Springs, often boasts of getting the most snow in Colorado. Skiing and riding on that blanket of snow in spring brings the added fun of a bunch of events like Local Appreciation Days (in which everyone is a “local”), College Days, Fun Races, and a Costume Contest. Per tradition, the Easter Bunny will visit and host an egg hunt at Wolf Pup Hollow on Easter Sunday. Grab a tasty lunch or beverage during the extended season from either the Wolf Creek Lodge or Continental Espresso Bar. Wolf Creek typically closes in mid-April, but keep an eye out on their website and social media channels for updates.

» Check out spring lodging options at Wolf Creek.

Spring skiing at Wolf Creek ski area, CO.
©Scott DW Smith/Wolf Creek Ski Area

Sugar Bowl, California

Spring skiing at Sugar Bowl, a venerable resort 10 miles west of Northstar on Donner Pass, can easily be bypassed for the bigger Lake Tahoe names. But don’t sleep on the great spring skiing that’s found here. Spring skiing at Sugar Bowl goes until about mid-April, and means finding corn snow skiing in that warm California sun. Softer, more forgiving snow, also can mean it’s a great time to make progress on your skills. You can expect spirited après-ski on the patios outside of both lodges. Events include the Mini-Pipe Meltdown and Tiki Pond Skim.

» Check out spring lodging options at Northstar.

Sugar Bowl on a bluebird day, female skier.
@Cath Howard/Sugar Bowl Resort

Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

While Oregon doesn’t come with the warm spring sun of California, it comes with a long ski season at many ski resorts, including Mt. Bachelor. One of Oregon’s higher peaks, Mt. Bachelor has a long ski season that can go into late May. And as one of the largest ski resorts in North America, it has a lot of terrain. After a morning of skiing, head to the Clearing Rock Bar, at the West Village Lodge, and soak up the sun with unbeatable views of Mt. Bachelor. Once your day is wrapped up on the slopes, head into Bend, which is chock-full of craft breweries, alley bars, and waterfront patios. For an even longer ski season, check out Timberline Lodge, which is open for skiing through the summer.
» Check out spring lodging options at Mt. Bachelor or at Timberline Lodge.

Summer group friends apres ski Mt. Bachelor.
©Brian Becker/Mt. Bachelor Resort

Fernie, British Columbia

Fernie Alpine Resort in British Columbia, Canada is about a 3-hour drive from Calgary, featuring a friendly mountain and ski town in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The resort, typically open until mid-April, has an abundance of powder stashes, bluebird days, and après-ski fun on patios overlooking the ski runs. When you’re done skiing for the day, historic Downtown Fernie is dotted with shops, cafes, restaurants, brewpubs, and spas that makes it one of the best ski towns in North America.

» Check out spring lodging options at Fernie.

Fernie, British Columbia, snowboarder.
Fernie Ski Resort @Shutterstock

More Spring Skiing Reading

Header image: Timberline Lodge

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