Ski Area Opening Dates You Don’t Want to Miss

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.