The Best Late Season Ski Resorts in the U.S.

The Best Late Season Ski Resorts in the U.S. The Best Late Season Ski Resorts in the U.S. www.gearweare.com

As we move into March, the days are getting warmer and longer, and the snow is beginning to melt. This time of years marks the end of the ski season in many areas. Those who are not quite ready to put away their skis or snowboard shouldn’t worry though, because tucked away at high elevations around the country pockets of snow persist well into the summer. Much of the late season snow can be found in the Rockies; however, the massive mountains of the Pacific Northwest and California also offer some amazing spring and summer shredding opportunities. For the East coasters out there, snow can also be found in well into May at some resorts in the White Mountains of Vermont.

Below you will find short descriptions of the six ski resorts slated to stay open for the longest period of time during the 2018 season. These resorts are all expected to be open for at least a few dates in June, and are consistently the latest to close year after year. The summertime snows found on these peaks come from high elevations and latitudes, northern exposures, intensive snow making, or some combination of these factors. Whatever the reason for the availability of snow, the opportunity to visit one any of these resorts during May and into the summer, is sure to bring fun turns, warm weather, and a general party-like attitude.

Killington, VT

Projected closing date: June 3rd

Killington is one of the best resorts on the Eastern seaboard. Reaching an elevation of 4,241 feet, this resort may be smaller than those found in the Rockies or the Sierras, but it still packs a punch. The base area is found at 2,500 feet above sea level, so the vertical gain is almost 2,000 feet, and in total the trails wind their way over 73 miles, encompassing more than 1,500 of skiable acres. The high elevation of Killington compared to surrounding New England gives it a longer snowy season, but to stretch the skiing further into summer this resort engages in intensive snow making. It is typical for Killington to stay open until the end of May, and oftentimes into the first week of June.

Arapahoe Basin, CO

Projected closing date: June 3rd

Arapahoe Basin is the home of late season skiing in Colorado. Positioned on the side of the continental divide, the tallest point on this resort reaches above 13,000 feet. This resort is set apart as being an incredible spot to find spring powder as well as slushy turns on warm days. Staying open as late as possible, Arapahoe Basin prides itself on offering skiing well into the summer, some years even keeping the lifts turning until the 4th of July. Even if the snow conditions aren’t great, the après ski scene is worth a trip to this resort. Grilling, drinking, and general merrymaking are allowed in the lower parking lot, known as “the Beach”. To really make the most of your beach party, reserve one of the spots that backs up directly to the lowest chair lifts.

Snowbird, UT

Projected closing date: June 10th

Located just outside of the adventure sports mecca of Salt Lake City, Snowbird stays open well into the summer. A visit in late May or early June therefore presents opportunities to both ski and engage in summertime activities like biking, rock climbing, or hiking. The tallest point at Snowbird reaches above 11,000 feet above sea level, higher than any other resort in Utah. This coupled with the fact that the mountain primarily faces north, and thereby gets less sun, means they can hold onto their snow for longer than any of the other nearby resorts.

Mammoth Mountain, CA

Projected closing date: June 10th

Late season skiing tends to be found at the highest elevation resorts. Mammoth Mountain, which reaches 11,053 feet above sea level at its highest point making it the tallest ski resort in California, is no exception. Close to the Pacific Ocean, Mammoth receives high amounts of moisture-laden snow late into the season, and are committed to keeping 2,000+ acres of terrain open for as long as possible. This means diversity in terrain even in May and June, including groomed trails and back bowls, and makes Mammoth ideal for a late season trip no matter how well you ski or ride.

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, CA

Projected closing date: July 14th

These two connected resorts have over 6,000 acres of skiable terrain between the two of them, making this a destination that offers some of the best snow sports adventure in the US. Situated next to Lake Tahoe, only three hours from San Francisco, both Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows are places to take in epic scenery while enjoying quintessential California sunshine. This year the resorts are slated to stay open into mid-July, making this area the perfect choice if you are looking for a 4th of July ski vacation. When you’re not hitting the slopes you’ll be able to enjoy the plethora of other adventure sports in Tahoe, kick back at one of the local après spots, or head west to the beach, to get snow and surf into the same trip.

Timberline Lodge, OR

Projected closing date: August 31st

Calling the Timberline Lodge a late season ski resort almost doesn’t seem fair. In reality, this is the US’s summer skiing destination, and the only reason they close in September is for maintenance before the start of the typical ski season. The Palmer Express opens during the spring and summer to provide access to the Palmer Snow Field high on Mt. Hood, where there is a world class terrain park and hikable, high alpine terrain. Professional snow sports athletes come here to train in the summer, but you don’t need to be a pro to participate in one of their summer training camps. Day trippers are also welcome and sure to have a great time.

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