Ski season officially begins this month across many of North America’s top ski spots! While ski enthusiasts might be polishing up their skis to make first tracks, opening days aren’t just for the avid skiers. Fun opening day festivals, smaller crowds and better pricing on lift tickets and vacation home rentals make it an ideal time for families and friends looking for some seasonal ski vacation ideas too. To help you plan, here are current opening dates for some of North America’s top ski destinations:
*Note dates may change based on weather:
NOVEMBER 7, 2018
Keystone Ski Resort – Colorado
Not only does Keystone offer more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain across three peaks, but it caters to its youngest skiers too. The mountain’s Kidtopia has an action-packed, kid-friendly itinerary every day, from parades and evening fireworks to building snowmen and launching snowballs.
Breckenridge Ski Resort – Colorado
Breckenridge features five huge peaks spanning 2,908 acres (with all trails groomed nightly). For an unbeatable view, North America’s highest chairlift, the Imperial Express, takes skiers up to the high alpine bowls. But don’t worry; Breckenridge has four different terrain parks – one for every skill level.
NOVEMBER 16, 2018
Vail Mountain Resort – Colorado
Vail Mountain is Colorado’s largest ski resort with more than 5,200 acres of ski and snowboard terrain and seven Back Bowls spanning seven miles. With impeccable grooming and a commitment to mountain excellence, the resort continues to make upgrades to its lifts and on-mountain facilities.
NOVEMBER 21, 2018
Park City Mountain Resort – Utah
The largest ski resort in the U.S., Park City has over 300 trails and 7,300 acres of mountain to explore. The Park City Base Area and the Canyons Village both celebrate Opening Day on the 21st. Download the mountain’s EpicMix app to access real-time lift line waits and to download and share photos.
Beaver Creek Resort – Colorado
Perks of planning an opening day ski getaway to Beaver Creek? Skiing the over 1,800 acres of terrain and being there for the mountain’s 15th Annual World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition. Finalists will serve up their creations and crowds will decide which cookie takes this season’s title. (The event sees 5,000 cookies devoured in approximately 20 minutes!)
Steamboat Resort – Colorado
With its trademarked Champagne Powder, Steamboat is actually a complete mountain range encompassing six peaks and offering 2,965 acres of terrain for all abilities. For a different view of the mountain, Steamboat offers night skiing across five trails including beginner, intermediate and advanced levels.
NOVEMBER 22, 2018
Aspen & Snowmass – Colorado
Aspen Snowmass puts four incredible mountains on one lift ticket and two amazing towns at your feet. The legendary winter playground ranges from the expert terrain of Burnt Mountain Glades, High Alpine and the Cirque to impressive beginner facilities for newcomers. The Treehouse Kids Adventure Center at the base of Snowmass is a favorite among families. Aspen and Snowmass Mountains open on November 22nd, followed by Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk on December 8th.
Sun Valley – Idaho
Sun Valley kicks off its 83rd winter season on Bald and Dollar Mountains. Bald Mountain offers 30 acres of terrain for all levels and themed Adventure Trails for kids. Dollar Mountain is a great place to get introduced to downhill sports, with two high-speed quads, a terrain park and North America’s largest super pipe.
Telluride Ski Resort – Colorado
Telluride Ski Resort offers terrain for all levels of skiers, from refined groomed runs to challenging moguls. Even novice skiers can ride to the highest peaks and enjoy the terrain and views typically reserved for the experts, making it a unique option. You can access at least one intermediate run off of every lift on the mountain.
DECEMBER 1, 2018
Whistler Blackcomb – British Columbia, Canada
Celebrate the start of the season at Whistler Blackcomb with their Opening Weekend Party hosted by The North Face. Then hit the two side-by-side mountains that keep ski trips in Whistler at the top of the rankings of North America’s best ski destinations. You’ll also want to check out their world-famous apres, five star dining, spas, shopping and nightlife.
DECEMBER 8, 2018
Deer Valley Resort – Utah
Deer Valley has over 2,000 skiable acres – the very runs skied by Olympians during the 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games. After stretching their ski muscles, skiers of all ages and ability levels can compare themselves with one another at the NASTAR race course on Bald Mountain. Managed by the U.S. Ski Team, NASTAR is the largest recreational ski race program in the world.
Aspen Highlands & Buttermilk Mountain – Colorado
The other two mountains of Aspen Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands will open in December. Buttermilk might be known as home to the Winter X Games, but the mountain is also an easy-going place for beginners and families with uncrowded beginner terrain and The Hideout, a learning center for young skiers. Of Aspen’s four mountains, Aspen Highlands avoids the spotlight, but its quiet trails offer some of the best views.
*as of publication date