When travelers think of skiing or snowboarding in the summer, thoughts of far-away destinations like Switzerland, France or Austria may come to mind. While most American ski resorts close from June-August, there are still a few places to hit the slopes for a trip with friends or a long weekend with a loved one.
If a summer ski or snowboarding adventure is on your bucket list, we’ve compiled the top five destinations for you here.
1. Timberline, Oregon
Timberline Lodge on the Palmer Glacier has the longest ski season in the U.S. and runs from June through early September (Labor Day). Located on the slopes of Mount Hood less than two hours from Portland, their high-speed quad lift takes you to terrain for public use while also servicing summer ski racing and freestyle camps. Freestyle terrain parks start in the Mile Canyon and move up to Palmer snowfield in late summer (recommended for advanced skill levels). If the weather and snow conditions hold at the glacier’s 8,540 feet, they will open three days a week in September and October as well. There are weeks in September Timberline closes for annual maintenance, so contact them in advance if you are planning your trip in the Fall months.
2. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Glacier skiing and snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb is a great way to work on your tan and your skills at the same time. Located on the Horstmann glacier, a Summer Glacier ticket includes shuttle bus service to and from 7th Heaven and access to one public lane which includes Terrain Park features. Be aware that summer slopes and terrain parks are strictly reserved for advanced to expert skiers and riders who are able to ride on T-bars in pairs. Open June through mid-July, portions of the slopes are reserved for summer ski camps. Taking a ride on the Whistler Gondola is worth it just for the spectacular views. Keep in mind that glacier skiing and snowboarding during the summer is different than regular winter slopes, so do your homework to know how to stay safe and warm.
3. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
With a total to 1,428 acres of terrain near Dillon Colorado, the Arapahoe Basin boasts a long season of skiing and snowboarding. The A-Basin sits adjacent to the Continental Divide with incredible views of between 10,780 and 13,000 feet. The ski season typically ends in June, but in a good year can extend to the 4th of July thanks to the high altitude. Don’t forget to check out the many fun activities and events to take in throughout the summer when the weather warms up.
4. Mammoth Mountain, California
Located in the Sierra Nevada of Eastern California, Mammoth Mountain has a longer season for skiing and snowboarding. The mountain usually gets so much snow in the winter months, Mammoth can potentially stay open until July 4th if the conditions are favorable. A freestyler’s paradise, there are 11 terrain parks on 3,500 acres to explore. The expert-only Hemlocks bowl boasts natural and created features on the back of the mountain. The slopes off of the Cloud 9 lift are recommended for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. For a fantastic view, be sure to hop on the Panorama Gondola for vast vistas of the Sierras 11,053-foot summit.
5. Squaw Valley, California
As the host of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley is one of Lake Tahoe’s impressive ski resorts with a season extending into early July (conditions permitting). This popular destination is located in Olympic Valley, California and attracts over 600,000 visitors per year. After joining forces with Alpine Meadows, skiers and snowboarders enjoy access to 6,200 acres, 43 lifts and over 270 trails. Topping out at 9,050 feet at Granite Chief, the area receives an average of 40 feet of snow in the winter. Squaw Valley is also famous for the only “funitel” in the United States – a cableway lift that is like a gondola but uses two arms attached to two parallel overhead cables for more stability in high winds. The area also offers plenty of activities and quaint towns full of things to do no matter what season you visit.
When enjoying skiing or snowboarding, be sure to review our tips for traveling in high altitudes. Thoroughly research your chosen destination to check on conditions, plan what kinds of clothing to pack, and find out what to expect while you’re there. After you make your first trip payment, purchase travel insurance with a plan tailored to your specific needs. Get a quote to help protect yourself, your family, and your investment.
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