Be the first on the snow!
The cooler weather has some people missing the long, lazy days of summer. But not die-hard ski fanatics! If you’ve missed the slopes these last few months, the only sunshine you want is the glare bouncing off the fresh powder. Winter can’t get here fast enough, right?
No need to press the fast forward button, you guys. Because there are some slopes that are already open. Grab your gear and head over to one of these for some uncrowded early season snow!
Arapahoe Basin, CO
Arapahoe is usually the first ski resort to open in Colorado—and sometimes in the country. Talk about reliable early season snow! With its high elevation and huge investment in snow making, Arapahoe has quickly become the go-to for skiers who just can’t wait another month.
A-Basin, as the local snow lovers call it, is open 7 days a week for top to bottom skiing and snowboarding. The mountain is legendary for its big mountain runs and small slope vibe, where camaraderie reigns supreme and everyone is welcome.
Bonus: If you’re a newbie to the slopes, lessons at the slopes will have you up to speed in no time.
The so-called “Beast of the East” is known for its minimal downtime; they’re usually the first slope to open and last to close on the East Coast. And if you want to check it out, we highly recommend the early season snow, when lift passes are up to 50% cheaper than mid-season. Score!
Sure, Killington is amazing for skiers and snowboarders. But if you have some less athletically-inclined travelers in your crew, there’s plenty for them to do, too. Their gondola will take you to the top of the mountain for the spectacular view. There are also snowshoe and snowmobile tours to enjoy the fresh air (and fresh powder!).
Oh, and if your muscles get sore, head over to the Killington Grand Spa. Their signature Black Diamond Sports Massage will soothe away the soreness!
We love Loveland! This resort bills itself as Colorado’s Winter Wonderland, and it’s easy to see why. They’ve got over 1,800 acres of remarkable terrain, 2,210 feet of vertical, and an average of 422 whopping inches of fresh snow per year.
Are you stoked yet? Here’s the kicker: Loveland offers free snowcat skiing. An 18-passenger Cat will drop you off at the Continental Divide for an exhilarating ride.
And did we mention that it’s just 53 miles outside of Denver? Easy flights in and out, and plenty to do around the city when you’re done skiing. Breweries, anyone?
Mammoth Mountain, CA
It’s no surprise that the highest ski summit in Cali (11,053 feet) is also the first to open. They’ll rely on man-made powder to get the season started, but you can count on plenty of help from Mother Nature throughout their long season.
Want to save your vacation days? Mammoth is especially suited to digital nomads. Private spaces for Zoom calls and resort-wide free WiFi makes it easy for you to stay connected on the mountain.
Pro Tip: When you’re planning your ski trip, try to hit Mammoth mid-week for major savings on lift tickets and lodging.
Palisades Tahoe, CA
If you’re daydreaming of skiing or riding the white stuff into the Olympics, here’s your chance to show ‘em what you’re made of. Check out Palisades Tahoe, formerly Squaw Valley, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics.
You’ve actually got two mountains here: Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows. Olympic Valley is the larger of the two, with almost 3x the uphill capacity. Alpine Meadows has more elbow room, with plenty of blue runs that make it ideal for intermediate skiers. So, which mountain will you hit this season?
Stoked for early season snow? Make your trip smoother than fresh-fallen snow (sorry, we had to!) by shipping your skis to your Airbnb or ski resort with LugLess. No worries about lugging them around the airport or waiting at baggage claim. Because we know it’s been a while, and you want to hit the slopes yesterday!