As the calendar ticks past the spring equinox, it officially brings an end to winter. Does that mean the ski and snowboard season is over? The answer to this question is absolutely not! It couldn’t be further from the truth. This is your time to find cheap plane tickets, lots of sunshine, empty slopes, and most of all some crazy parties. Here’s five ski resorts in North America to consider visiting to find the best April skiing out there.
What Makes A Ski Resort Great For April Skiing
- Majority of their terrain north-facing
- High in elevation
- Very North in location
If you want to learn the in’s & outs of skiing in April, what gear to bring, & why it’s our favorite time to go on a ski vacation, check out our comprehensive spring skiing guide.
Very North In Latitude
Always one of the first to open and last to close, Spring is primetime for Lake Louise & Sunshine Village. The extremely cold weather has retreated, and the sun has begun to shine. Don’t fret about the snow conditions though. In April, due to its northerly latitude and high elevation expect to find mid-winter powder conditions similar to Colorado’s in February. And for those looking for a party scene, Banff is only a few miles down the road. This town is filled with amazing cuisine, great shopping, and awesome watering holes featuring live music. If that wasn’t enough, the views of Lake Louise from the summit are some of the most amazing in the world.
Very North In Latitude & Lots Of Snow
Just down the road from Anchorage, this resort is packed with steep terrain, easy access to legendary heli-skiing operations, and most of all a deep snowpack that lasts well into June. During the months of December and January, the sun may only get above the horizon by 10 a.m., but by April it doesn’t set until 9:00 p.m. This means there’s more time to check out other stuff around Alaska. Similar to Lake Louise, its northern latitude makes sure the snow keeps coming even this late. Alyeska will not disappoint. There’s a reason every pro skier & snowboarder makes the annual pilgrimage up here every April.
High In Elevation & Snowiest Month Is April
What might be the BEST ski area to visit in April is Arapahoe Basin. For starters, nearly 55% of its terrain is northerly facing meaning the snow stays in great condition due to it never getting direct sunlight. While in mid-winter, A-Basin might be bone-rattling cold, but by this time of year, it has a HUGE advantage compared to other Colorado resorts. Its base elevation starts at a whopping 10,780 feet above sea level meaning any precipitation that does arrive is going to be of the snow kind. Last but not least, due to its location on the continental divide, storms seem to get “stuck” in spring in this area making April typically their snowiest month.
Big Snowfall & Northerly Facing Slopes
Snowbird is legendarily known for its expert terrain and competition is fierce from powder hounds based in Salt Lake during the mid-winter months. With that being said, by April many of these have focused their attention on other outdoor pursuits. Fortunately, even when the thermometer gets above freezing on warm spring days, it remains packed powder. This is due to nearly half the terrain being steep north facing aspects. In summary, if you’re looking for the most diverse terrain in April, skip Park City and head here instead.
No Frills, World Class Thrills
Most people zoom past as they head to one of the major resorts like Keystone, Breckenridge, or Winter Park. A no frills destination, it’s a great example of a mountain still tapped into the soul of skiing and snowboarding. The focus is all about the mountain and not about real estate. Receiving some of the most snow in the region and hugging the continental divide, this translates to a season that starts in October and lasts into May or longer. Powder days still happen often in April! By this time, the snowpack is deep enough, which will allow you to access all of the cool terrain Loveland has. This quaint mountain packs quite the punch and is highly recommended!
Backcountry Skiing… Inbounds
Although their season ends mid-April, we needed to give a nod to this true gem for the best April skiing destination. Their base starts at a hefty 10,400′ and the only lift carries you up 12,300′ with an option to hike up to a lung busting 13,487′. The San Juans in southern Colorado are known for their abundant dry snowfall and extreme terrain. This combination can be deadly and therefore you are required to have a guide to even step into its boundaries. By April, the snow’s still arriving but the spring weather is helping consolidate the snowpack a bit more. Translation: They begin to allow unguided skiing… BUT these areas are constantly shifting around the mountain based on snow safety. If you’re a little hesitant, they still offer guided skiing too.
North America’s Most Extensive High Altitude Terrain
If you haven’t noticed a pattern, skiing Colorado in April is a great idea. Especially for those ski resorts with a very high altitude. And when it comes to the ski area with the most acreage of high altitude terrain, Breckenridge is #1. For starters, it’s home to the HIGHEST quad chair ski lift in the world with a dizzying summit height of 12,998′ above sea level. What about powder? April is usually a BIG month of snowfall too. In fact, it’s the 2nd snowiest month after March for Breck. If that wasn’t enough, spring breakers typically descend on this resort in March, but in April you’ll have A LOT more elbow room. Fewer people. Bigger discounts. Almost as much snow as March. We’re sold!
Snowiest Ski Resort In April
This place should be on everyone’s bucket list for spring skiing and snowboarding. It has the highest likelihood of powder in the lower 48 this time of year. In between storms when the temperatures rise, you will find plenty of corn ripe for the harvesting. The resort is a giant dormant volcano that allows you to use it as a sundial. When the snow begins to sour in the afternoon, the après scene heats up. Being next to Bend, an outdoor mecca, there’s plenty to keep you busy. From hiking, mountain biking, kayaking or paddle boarding, you’re sure to find an activity to occupy the rest of your day. After you’ve worked up a good thirst, there are dozens of breweries with a great atmosphere to round out the day. For more about Bend and the surrounding area, check out our travel guide and if you need a little guidance about Mt Bachelor, go here.
Not enough? Read about our top 10 favorite spots for spring skiing as a whole.