Top 5 Ski Resorts In North America For 2022 Thanksgiving

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

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We’ve been watching the weather reports like a hawk, and the storm track this early season has trended further north. In fact, pretty much the entire Western US and Canada has decided to join in on the fun and have already been PUMMELED with snow. So, based on what we’ve seen, here’s the best places to ski in November for Thanksgiving.

Top 5 Ski Resorts In North America For 2022 Thanksgiving

Banff Sunshine Village – Image taken by: Richard Rothery

Wolf Creek Ski Area

49″ snowfall – 90 percent open

Wolf Creek Ski Area
Leaping for joy on an insanely good start – Image appears courtesy: Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek has been having an EPIC 2022. As usual, they were one of the 1st to open in Colorado AND it was on NATURAL snowfall. Secondly, the storm train has been aimed at this mountain for early season with another decent sized storm predicted the week of Thanksgiving. If there’s a ski resort to visit for turkey day, it would be Wolf Creek. Nearly five hours away from Denver and throw in some severe mountain passes, you’ll keep most people away. You can then finish off your day in the world-class Pagosa Hot Springs to soak those sore muscles. 

Banff Sunshine Village

68″ Snowfall – 25″ base with 8 / 12 lifts

Best ski resorts for Thanksgiving 2020
Best early season conditions in Canada – Image appears courtesy: Banff Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village typically has the longest non-glacial ski season in Canada, but this early season is extra special. Sunshine was the 1st in Canada to open and has already gotten 68 inches of snow to date. Since it’s located in the great white Canadian north, the snow also stays nice and dry. Translation – more than 56 runs are open! 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.

Mammoth Mountain

60″ Snowfall – 48″ base with 10 lifts

Aerial shot of snow covered Mammoth Mountain at sunrise
Photo taken on November 11th 2022 – Image taken by: Samantha DeLeo Sammy DeLeo – Image appears courtesy: Mammoth Mountain

While Mammoth has one of the longest ski seasons in North America, typically it’s their snowmaking that kicks it off. Not this year. Instead, November has been a blessing with more than five feet falling. This allowed them to push their opening up a full week early. Even without additional snowfall, they already have over 97 of their 175 trails open. At over 63% open, they now have the MOST terrain open by far in North America. If there was a season to head to Mammoth Mountain, this is the one!

Grand Targhee

91″ snowfall – 82% Open

skier enjoying deep powder at Grand Targhee Resort in Alta Wyoming
Image appears courtesy: Grand Targhee Resort – Photo taken by: Fred Marmsater

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 triple digits by then. With nearly 91″ of snow already fallen, 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. Opening day on November 18th featured four out of five lifts running servicing 76 out of their 93 runs!

Mt. Baker Ski Area

Chair 1-7 is open

Opening day at Mt Baker Ski Area for 2020 - 2021 ski season
Opening day at Mt. Baker back in 2020 – Image appears courtesy: Mt. Baker Ski Area

The snowiest resort in North America opened its doors on Friday, November 18th for the season. While in past winters the snowpack this year’s opening day features a bit thinner coverage than normal but things can change quickly. The meteorologists are predicting a moderate to strong La Nińa winter. If last year’s La Nińa was any inkling… receiving 647″ of snowfall with 25% of their days open getting more than 6″ of fresh, this winter might blow this door right 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 always be pointed at Baker. All we have to do is hope that the snow levels stay low enough.

This is a great reminder that the ski season is here and soon all ski resorts are going to be running at full capacity. If you want the scoop on the best places to visit by month, learn what gear to bring, and read about unheard of resorts that you can find powder days or weeks after a storm, check out our in-depth guide: Ski Trip Planning – Plan The Best Ski Holiday Ever!

Early season is about keeping your eyes focused 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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