With less than a month to go before some of the resorts in North America open, and with the first real snow of the season falling in the resorts, you might be considering heading off to the slopes before Christmas for some early season turns.
Not all resorts can offer reliable early season snow, but, if like us, you can’t wait for the ski season in North America to start, you’ll want to know where the best early season snow is likely to be.
We showcase five resorts in North America that benefit from strong October and November snow records, higher elevations and great snow-making systems. There’s no way of guaranteeing where the snow will fall, but if you pick one of these resorts for your early season ski trip you’ll most likely find great coverage and possibly the occasional powder day!
Located high in the Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise enjoys some great early season snow storms that provide a great natural base. The mountain operations team are also masters at prepping the mountain and by the time the resort opens in early November the slopes are prepared to perfection. As a result, one of the first FIS World Cup race events of the season is held in Lake Louise in late November. Opening date in Lake Louise this season is likely to be November 2018.
Where to stay: The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is one of the most iconic hotels in North America. This is one of the best ski hotels in Canada and offers guests an unrivalled experience including some of the best views of Victoria Glacier and Lake Louise.
Mammoth is a great resort to look at for an early season ski trip. At 11,000ft the resort has the highest summit of any of the resorts in California. It also happens to have one of the longest ski seasons in North America; from early November to mid May. Last season the resort enjoyed well over 200 days of skiing! Projected opening day for this season is November 8th.
Where to stay: The Juniper Springs Resort is one of the best ski-in, ski-out hotels in the resort and was recently named as one of the top 50 ski hotels in North America by Conde Naste.
When early season snow storms sweep through Utah, they tend to be funnelled down through Little Cottonwood Canyon and settle in over Snowbird and Alta. Recent seasons have started with deep bases and the resorts typically receive over 40ft of powder snow every winter. Snowbird has just received their first major snowfall, so this winter looks like it could be off to a promising start. Projected opening day is 1st December.
Where to stay: Located close to the resort’s aerial tram, The Cliff Lodge is Snowbird’s signature hotel complete with rooftop pool and spa and offers ski-in/ski-out convenience.
One of the first resorts in Colorado to open every season is Keystone. Keystone is a hidden gem of a resort located next to Breckenridge and within driving distance of Vail. Of the three, Keystone is our top recommendation for an early season trip to Colorado. The resort can offer reliable early season turns due to their extensive snow making system. Keystone is part of the Vail Resorts Epic Pass, so you can stay in the resort and explore Breckenridge and Vail on the same lift pass. Keystone is a family friendly resort with a compact traffic free village – so it’s perfect for your family ski trip. Projected opening day this season is November 9th.
Where to stay: Keystone’s slopeside village is less than 250 yards from the Gondola at River Run. At the heart of the village are the River Run Condominiums which offers guests a superb location with easy access to the slopes and all the resort amenities.
If you want to ski in North America but prefer a shorter flight time, then head to one of the best ski resorts in the East. Stowe in Vermont has one of the best snow making systems in the USA; which covers around 80% of the 116 trails. The resort also receives around 300 inches of the real stuff … so you might even get to enjoy a powder day when you’re there. Stowe is one of the most charming ski areas in our collection and a holiday here combines exploring one of the oldest ski towns in the USA with some of the best skiing in the East. Projected opening date for Stowe this season is November 16th.
Where to Stay: Stowe Mountain Lodge is the resort’s signature hotel. This is the only luxury hotel in Stowe that offers ski-in, ski-out convenience and doorstep access to the ski base village.
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