If the thought of fresh snow falling on the mountain doesn’t excite you, then this winter could be a long one.
For the rest of the cold-blooded powder hounds out there, the first signs of snow mean only one thing: that Opening Day isn’t far away. Whether you’re downhill appetite consists of a full plate of Breckenridge and Vail, or perhaps a heaping serving of Park City or Mammoth Mountain further West, wherever you like to ride, there’s no denying the excitement that opening day brings to the table. To capitalize on the changing weather and impending snowfall, here are the projected dates for some of the county’s biggest ski resorts—and some winter trailers to get you ready to shred.
Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, California: November 9
Serving as one of the best ski resorts in California, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area of the Sierra Nevada mountain range boasts big terrain, beautiful views and a long skiing season. The beginning of it all begins November 9th, making it one of the earlier opening dates in the country. Check it out at the start, the middle and the end, and Mammoth Mountain will deliver the experience for which it’s named.
Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado: November 10
Featuring varied high-alpine terrain, Breckenridge Ski Resort is another diamond of the Colorado ski industry, and with the combination of the adjoining mountain town of Breck, this all-around mountain environment really throws a party on opening day. While the snow might not be its deepest in Breckenridge by November 10, the community is still full-spirited, and the grooming can guide you along like a racetrack.
Winter Park Resort, Colorado: November 15
In operation 20 years shy of a century, Winter Park Resort has long ago figured out how to capture the excitement of opening day. Spread out between Mary Jane Mountain and Winter Park Mountain, Winter Park Resort offers over 3,000 skiable acres to explore and plenty of trails for all levels of skiers. To catch the first wave of a long ski season at Winter Park, get your boards waxed and ready to go by November 15.
Grand Targhee Resort, Wyoming: November 16
Situated near the border of Wyoming and Montana, Grand Targhee Resort is world-famous for its deep powder, laid-back atmosphere and scenery that can’t be beat anywhere else in the lower 48. Comprised of two mountains spread over 2,600 skiable acres, the excitement of Grand Targhee Resort begins November 16. If opening day is anything like it was the year prior, those powder hounds might be able to get their fix early this year.
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah: November 17
Just on the outskirts of Salt Lake City, Park City Mountain Resort serves up 347 named trails spread out over 7,000 skiable acres, lending towards season after season of new terrain to explore. Park City is aiming to open November 17th with groomed trails and access to as many of their 41 lifts as possible, plus a little celebration to go alongside all the good skiing. Complete your stay with a night out on the mountain or at the nearby Park City, and your opening-day celebrations can continue well into the night.
Vail Mountain Resort, Colorado: November 17
Serving as one of the many Holy Grails of skiing in the Colorado backcountry, without a doubt there will be a line to get the first ski-lift at Vail this year. With over 5,000 skiable acres to explore, including seven legendary back bowls that skiers can literally get lost in, Vail draws in big crowds throughout the winter, and has many people counting down until November 17, when they’re projected to open the slopes.
Snowbird, Utah: November 22
Connected and located near Alta Ski Area, to really utilize these two premiere ski destinations in Utah, it’s recommend securing the Alta-Snowbird Ski Pass. To get your first taste of the terrain that either of these two ski mountains provide, head on over to the base of Snowbird on November 22nd and take in the festivities. Featuring fresh grooming, good music and only the tip of the winter iceberg, Snowbird and Alta set a high bar for downhill skiing and the fun that go alongside it.
Big Sky Resort, Montana: November 23
Not far out from the collegiate city of Bozeman, Big Sky Resort beckons students, community members and travelers from across the world to some first-class Montana mountain riding. Comprising of over 5,750 acres of skiable terrain, split between over 30 lifts, Big Sky Resort provides enough space to explore on your own even during peak season. Big Sky’s opening day is aiming to be November 23, 2017, and will serve as a sweet way to start of the winter season.
Aspen Snowmass, Colorado: November 23
With over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain between four different mountains, the Aspen Snowmass experience is massive. Aspen Mountain and Snowmass are aiming to open the slopes come November 3rd, while Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands will gain access later in the year. Sure to be big a party and probably a decent lift line, Aspen Snowmass will continue to the excitement throughout the winter season and halfway into autumn.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming: November 25
While any time of year is a great time to visit Jackson Hole and the surrounding Grand Tetons, come winter time, and specifically November 25 this year, there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind. It’s the stunning atmosphere that attracts people to Jackson Hole, and it’s the world-class skiing that makes them never want to leave. Featuring two mountains to explore and a vertical drop of more than 4,000 feet, Jackson Hole is home to some extreme terrain and great lodging, making for a great time whenever you visit.