You read that right. Summer.
Every year when the warm weather arrives, we skiers start longing for snow. We lament the weekends we didn’t hit the slopes or those powder days we just couldn’t get off work. How could we have taken all that snow for granted? In a normal year, most people just do their best to enjoy the summer and wait out the season. Some can’t take the wait. They chase snow in the southern hemisphere, on glaciers in the alps, or on high altitude backcountry lines in places like Alaska. And while those trips sound incredible, they fall more into the adventure-of-a-lifetime category than the realistic-summer-snow-fix one. Luckily for all of us, though, this is not a normal year.
After a few years of troubling season snow totals around the country, this past winter, Mother Nature played catch up. Resorts, both East and West received more snow than they have in decades, and in some places, it hasn’t slowed down much, even as we get closer to June. If you’re like me, you dream of skiing every single summer. But also, if you’re like me, you don’t really have the time or the money to put together weekend trips to Chile or Switzerland. Well, this summer might just be our chance to live out those summer snow dreams a little closer to home.
Here’s a list of major resorts that still have snow and plenty of lifts turning.
The Beast of the East is still going strong. They have the least remaining snow and fewest lifts running on this list, but hey, snow is snow, and who can pass up an opportunity for warm, sunny skiing in Vermont. They are currently slated to remain open for the entire month of May on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They say they’ll be open until the snow melts, so cross your fingers that there is still some white on the ground deep into June. Given the limited terrain, you’ll find excellent discounts on both lodging and lift tickets, and take it from me (an eastern-born skier), you may never have weather like this on a Vermont mountain again.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor is consistently one of the snowiest resorts in America, but this year was special. A storm that hit May 17 pushed their season total at mid-mountain over 600 inches! Closing weekend will be May 27-28, and until then, there are still more than 2,000 skiable acres accessible and snow-covered. This recent barrage of spring storms has brought an extra dose of good news along with literal feet of snow – the mountain will be open on July 4th for skiers and riders of all levels. If you’re in the area, this is a party on skis I wouldn’t want to miss. As an added bonus, Mt. Bachelor is just a few miles from Bend, OR, beautiful in the winter or summer, and the best beer town in the best beer state in the country.
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
Traditionally one of the first Colorado resorts to open each year and almost always the last to close, Arapahoe basin received significant snowfall as recently as May 19. Unseasonably cold weather has kept that snow firm, and thanks to A Basin’s extremely high altitude, that trend may continue into June. Right now, the projected closing date is in mid to late June, but A-Basin likes to push the limits, so don’t be shocked if they make it until July 4th. Take advantage of the discounted lift tickets, and before you go, don’t forget to reserve your spot at The Beach! Those are not normally words you write on a ski blog…
Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, California
These side by side alpine paradises on the northern shores of Lake Tahoe are still reporting snow depths of more than 200 inches at their summits. They’ve also each committed to staying open until July 4th, and depending on the weather between now and then, it could be even later. All of this just a few years after Tahoe resorts had to shut down in February due to warm weather and lack of snow… Whatever you all did to please the Tahoe snow gods this year, please, do it again next year.
Lake Tahoe is one of those rare destinations that is a breathtaking recreational paradise in both winter and summer. For those that don’t live nearby, it can be difficult to decide which season to visit, but this year the decision has been made for you. Enjoy a full day of skiing on some of the wildest lift access terrains in the world, then head to the shore and watch Independence Day fireworks explode over a shimmering Lake Tahoe. What did we do to deserve this?
Mammoth Mountain, California
Mammoth Mountain still has more than 300 inches of snow sitting on its summit. This is great news for the California water table and to all of us dreaming of catching a tan and carving turns at the same time. Like those Tahoe resorts a few miles north, Mammoth will be open until July 4th. This mountain might just be the sunniest ski experience in the world, even during the winter, so you’ll definitely want to bring the SPF if you decide to make a trip this summer. Not that you’d consider taking a day off, but there’s plenty to do off the slopes in Mammoth, too. With the Mammoth Jazz Festival, 4th of July weekend events, and a summer movie series all happening in the next few months, it’s hard to imagine a better time to visit.
Timberline Lodge and Ski Area at Mt. Hood, Oregon
This is the only resort in the country that stays open all 12 months of the year. This means they know how to stretch their snow out, even if they won’t need to do much of that this year. Lifts run all summer, allowing you access to the steep, permanent snowfields that drape the high flanks of Mt. Hood. Come for the skiing, but stay for the surreal views from high on this stratovolcano that soars above the surrounding sea of deep green trees. Horror movie buffs will recognize Timberline Lodge as the eery, mountain hotel from The Shining. The food and service inside the lodge, though, is anything but frightening.
I hope all this summer skiing becomes a trend, but just in case this year is once-in-a-lifetime, get out there and take advantage of it. Happy skiing!