Top 5 ski resorts in North America for 2017 Thanksgiving

We’ve been watching the weather reports like a hawk and the storm track this early season has trended further north. In fact, places like the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia and the Northern Rockies have already been PUMMELED with snow. So, based on what we’ve seen, here’s the top 5 ski resorts to visit for 2017 Thanksgiving.

Top 5 ski resorts in North America for 2017 Thanksgiving

Banff Sunshine Village – Image taken by: Richard Rothery

Grand Targhee

120″ snowfall – 59″ base – 100 percent open

Gettin’ a pow shot at Grand Targhee – skier: Eric Anderson – Photo Courtesy: Grand Targhee Resort and the Idaho Ski Areas Association

Grand Targhee is a shining example of consistency. In the past 20+ years, the WORST pre-January 1st snowfall was 76″ & typically it’s way over a 100″ by then. With over a 100″ of snow already fallen and more expected, this might be your best bet this early season. Compared to its western sibling, the moderately pitched slopes allow this area to open more terrain earlier. And, since it’s further away from metropolitan areas with most vacationers staying in Jackson across a TOUGH mountain pass, it means you’ll most likely have the place to yourself.

Mt. Baker Ski Area

33″ base – nearly 100 percent open

2017-18 opening day at Mt Baker – Image taken by: Eric Buell

The snowiest resort in North America has already opened its doors for the season. If last season was any inkling… receiving 866″ of snowfall & over 68 days with more than 5″ of fresh, this winter might blow this door off its hinges! Compared to other resorts, they don’t open unless nearly the entire resort is rockin’. And the best part? You can access some of the best backcountry terrain in the world. The storm track seems to be pointed at Baker for the foreseeable future. All we have to do is hope that the snow levels stay low enough.

Banff Sunshine Village

26″ base with 9 / 12 lifts

Banff Sunshine Village

Taken from Strawberry Face looking down over the lodge area. Goat’s Eye Mountain is on the right and the runs off of Wawa-chair on the left – Image taken by: David G. Steadman

Sunshine Village typically has the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada. Being located in the great white Canadian north, the snow also stays nice and dry. From amazing cuisine fifteen minutes down the road in Banff to awesome après activities like hot springs & epic terrain, this is a great option for any time of year including early season. Even without the entire mountain open, there’s enough trails across Banff Sunshine and its sister resorts of Lake Louise & Mt. Norquay to keep you entertained for your entire trip.

Timberline Lodge

164″ snowfall – 38 ” base

Timberline Lodge – Image taken by: Brendon Connelly

Home to the famous hotel from Jack Nicholson’s movie The Shining, this is a great option for anyone wanting a little city night-life to go along with their ski trip. Less than two hours outside of Portland and located on Mt. Hood, this resort only closes for maintenance in late September. That means you’re pretty much guaranteed a decent amount of terrain will be open. With more than 4 feet of snow forecast to hit the Cascades, it might be DEEP pow-huntin’ season in the Pacific Northwest.

Lookout Pass

100″ snowfall – 28″ base & 40 percent open

Image courtesy: Lookout Pass

The snowiest resort in Idaho has already been open since early November and with the storm track still pointed at them, it shouldn’t be long before they’re fully open. With affordable lift tickets and historic Wallace as your home base, you can go for cheap AND enjoy a unique experience to go along with your skiing and snowboarding.

Early season is about keeping your eyes peeled on the forecast. Places like Mammoth or Lake Tahoe, where storms drop FEET of the white stuff, can open the entire mountain on a whim. Happy forecast watching & early season pow hunting!

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