Have not booked your ski journey but? Listed here are the very best locations to seek out snow proper now

The 2023-24 ski season is off to a rocky begin in a lot of the U.S., regardless of an El Nino climate sample having promised one other snowy winter.

At California resorts, a lot of December seemed extra like spring than winter, with T-shirt climate and an absence of snow dominating the panorama beneath 8,000 ft. Colorado and Utah began with barely below-average snowfall, whereas New England was buried by snow early earlier than a number of historic rainfall occasions decimated any current snowpack.

Fortunately, the season is popping round, with nearly each a part of ski nation anticipated to get hit with vital snowstorms throughout the first half of January.

After all, situations and forecasts are continuously altering, however there are just a few resorts early-season skiers and snowboarders ought to take a look at due to pure snowfall, spectacular snow-making efforts or a mixture of each.

New England


When an early December storm left a lot of northern New England buried in as much as a foot of snow, skiers and riders on the Japanese Seaboard have been optimistic for the banner yr forecasters had promised. However back-to-back storms in mid-December introduced report rainfall and extreme flooding to the area, melting away any indicators of a robust early ski season.

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“I used to be even capable of ski within the timber firstly of December with out damaging my skis for the primary time,” Charlie Peachey, a climate observer and analysis specialist on the Mount Washington Observatory, informed TPG in an e mail. “However above-average temperatures produced two vital rain storms nearly every week aside that decimated the snowpack. I suppose, in true New England trend, slushy, crusty and grassy trails are higher than no trails.”

The rain and flooding brought on an uphill battle for New England resorts simply forward of Christmas, however most have been capable of get not less than a few of their terrain open.

Cranmore Mountain Resort, New Hampshire

Cranmore, positioned in North Conway, has struggled this season as a consequence of heat temperatures at low elevations. Nonetheless, a chilly streak simply forward of Christmas allowed the resort to make sufficient snow to get the mountain going earlier than the push.

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“We used to say Christmas is the primary quarter of the soccer recreation, nevertheless it may be turning into even lower than that,” mentioned Ben Wilcox, Cranmore’s normal supervisor. “We hope to have a robust January and February, and if March cooperates, we are able to nonetheless have a very good ski season regardless of having a marginal Christmas.”

Wilcox hopes the mountain can be not less than 50% open for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend.

At the moment, the mountain is 34% open, with an unimpressive season whole of 24 inches. Nevertheless, a major snowstorm guarantees so as to add to the bottom depth earlier than switching to rain earlier than the vacation weekend. Wildcat Mountain, which has one of many highest base space elevations within the state, can be a very good early-season wager when lower-elevation areas are getting rain.

Jay Peak Resort, Vermont

If there’s one mountain on the East Coast that tends to fare higher whereas others wrestle, it is Jay Peak. With a whopping 143 inches to this point this season, which exceeds that of even many western resorts like Park Metropolis, Jay’s skiers and riders nonetheless have purpose to be optimistic.

Sadly, it could not avert catastrophe when rain drenched New England forward of Christmas — it is nonetheless solely reporting a 30-inch base depth and fewer than 40% of the mountain open. However with snow forecast by way of the week resulting in MLK weekend, skiers and riders can anticipate extra skiable terrain within the coming days.

Sugarbush Resort, Vermont

With 75% of its terrain open, Vermont’s Sugarbush at the moment has extra skiable terrain than most different New England resorts. To this point, the resort has recorded a season whole of 86 inches of snow and a 36-inch base, which is a far cry from Jay Peak’s whole, however due to current chilly temperatures and spectacular snow-making efforts, it has been capable of push to get terrain open.

Mountain states


Like the remainder of ski nation, resorts throughout Utah, Colorado, Idaho and Montana have been off to a sluggish begin, with rain occasions and below-average snowfall dominating the headlines.

In accordance with On the Snow, which tracks situations at ski areas all over the world, Colorado is barely at 75% of its common snow depth, Utah is at 64% and Idaho is at 55%.

Till the primary week of January, ski resorts throughout Idaho have been struggling notably badly, however the potential for heavy snow within the coming days guarantees to show their season round.

“We stored getting these heat storms that introduced rain as an alternative of snow — folks have been having to take their skis and boards off to go round mud spots,” mentioned Steve Stuebner, the Idaho forecaster for OpenSnow. “However impulsively, we’re in a state of affairs the place it’ll be epic, with 50 inches within the forecast. It needs to be one hell of a pow week that’ll be remembered for the remainder of the season.”

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Schweitzer, Idaho

Whereas Schweitzer does not have fairly as a lot terrain open as among the different Idaho resorts like Bogus Basin and Pomerelle, it’s reporting one of many deeper snowpacks within the state so far.

That is prone to change, with Bogus Basin forecast to get practically 5 ft of snow within the coming days, however to this point, Schweitzer has had first rate situations when in comparison with another Idaho resorts. And with 92 named trails on practically 3,000 acres of terrain, Schweitzer nonetheless has extra skiable terrain out there than most different resorts within the state.

Snowbasin Resort, Utah

To date, Utah’s ski season hasn’t seemed fairly the identical as final yr’s, when a number of resorts smashed their annual snowfall data — however most areas are nonetheless doing moderately properly in comparison with different components of the nation.

Snowbasin, which has a 60-inch base depth and 92% of its terrain open, is faring higher than many different main U.S. resorts. Alta and Powder aren’t far behind, although. In accordance with OpenSnow, a lot of the Wasatch Vary is forecast to stand up to 4 ft by way of MLK weekend, giving Utah skiers and riders a lot purpose to be optimistic for the remainder of the season.

Steamboat, Colorado

In Colorado, many resorts have acquired sufficient snow to get the vast majority of their terrain open regardless of experiencing below-average snowfall.

Resorts like Wolf Creek and Vail are totally or practically totally open, however Steamboat is reporting one of many deeper snowpack depths within the state — and it has a formidable 86% of its terrain open.

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A lot of Colorado, together with Steamboat, is forecast to obtain a number of extra ft of snow within the coming days, including to its 146-inch season whole to this point. Keystone additionally deserves a notable point out, with its brand-new Berman Specific raise providing entry to most of Bergman Bowl for a complete of 2100 open skiable acres.


A big crowd of skiers at Mammoth Mountain ski resort wait in line at a chairlift. GEORGE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES

California’s season is proving to be a stark distinction from final yr — as of December, many skiers and riders had but to place their mountain bikes and path trainers away. However just a few current, smaller storms have not less than begun to push the season in the best route.

“The mountains above 8,000 ft did okay by way of December however have been nonetheless bony in spots,” Bryan Allegretto, OpenSnow’s California forecaster, informed TPG in an e mail. “We struggled on the decrease mountains as a consequence of not solely below-average snowfall however warmer-than-average storms with loads of rain.”

In accordance with Allegretto, early January storms lastly have the mountains filling in, and he anticipates them to be in a lot better form by MLK weekend.


Kirkwood tends to get much less media consideration than bigger resorts like Palisades Tahoe and Mammoth, however this season, they’re doing higher than a lot of the different ski areas within the state.

Because of 84 inches of pure snow mixed with snowmaking efforts, Kirkwood has been capable of open practically all of their terrain forward of MLK weekend. Sadly, they have not acquired any of the “basic” multi-foot storms California’s ski areas are identified for they usually do not have something vital within the rapid forecast.

However as each California skier and snowboarder is aware of, it is nonetheless early within the season!

Mammoth Mountain

Within the brief time period, Mammoth Mountain is not anticipated to get the identical snow as Bear Valley and Kirkwood — each of that are forecast to obtain over 2 ft over the subsequent handful of days.

However with a mean base depth of as much as 47 inches and 64% of its 3,500 acres of skiable terrain at the moment open, it is nonetheless a reasonably protected wager for these seeking to ski and journey in California this winter. Mammoth additionally boasts the highest-elevation lift-accessed terrain within the state, so it may be a dependable resort when decrease elevations are getting rain.

Pacific Northwest


This yr, the Pacific Northwest has been struggling greater than different components of the U.S., with common snowfall at the moment at lower than half of what it sometimes is that this time of yr. Many resorts barely have 20% of their terrain open, though there are just a few which might be doing considerably higher than the remainder of the area.

Stevens Move, Washington

With a 72-inch base depth, a season whole of 132 inches to this point and a number of ft of snow forecast to proceed falling into the MLK vacation, Stevens Move is seeking to have a way more promising season than different resorts within the Pacific Northwest.

And whereas it’s getting extra snow and anticipated to have higher situations than different resorts within the space, it is vital to notice that the resort is basically a day-use ski space — there isn’t any on-site lodging or in depth restaurant choices like at different Vail-owned resorts, comparable to Park Metropolis and Breckenridge.

Because of the pure snowfall acquired to this point this season, Stevens Move has been capable of open over 80% of its named pistes, and that may seemingly improve over the subsequent few days.

Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon

Regardless of a sluggish begin within the Pacific Northwest, it has lastly began snowing at Mt. Hood Meadows and it does not appear like will probably be stopping anytime quickly.

At the moment, the mountain has roughly 75% of its named runs open, due to the a number of ft of snow that fell this week. With a number of extra ft within the forecast, situations on the resort will solely enhance.

To this point, Mt. Hood Meadows has acquired 74 inches for the season, which is considerably beneath common for this time of yr. However now that the snow has lastly begun, skiers and riders heading to Mt. Hood Meadows have a lot to sit up for.

The underside line

A lot of ski nation within the U.S. (save for Alaska, which just about all the time does properly) has began slowly, with difficult situations plaguing resorts from coast to coast. However with snowstorms lastly hitting many mountainous areas, issues are taking a flip for the higher.

The East and West coasts are nonetheless struggling essentially the most, though current storms are lastly filling in a lot of the terrain. At the moment, skiers and riders will seemingly discover the very best situations at ski areas in Colorado, Utah and Idaho. However with situations continuously altering, it is vital to test forecasts and snow stories earlier than committing to plans.

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