Powder hounds rejoice! Early season snow is allowing some ski resorts to open early. Here’s a list of what’s open now and how much you’ll be able to ski or ride.
1. Arapahoe Basin
Arapahoe Basin notoriously competes with other ski areas in Colorado to be the first to open its lifts, and this year was no different. Arapahoe Basin, known as A-Basin to locals, turned its lifts on October 23, 2022. Right now, there is only one lift open, the Black Mountain Express, and only two runs, High Noon and Ramrod. It’s important to note that these two runs are not good for beginners, so if you’re new to the sport, you may want to wait until more terrain opens. And that should be soon because A-Basin’s high altitude and aggressive snowmaking plans will make more runs skiable very soon.
2. Keystone Resort
Just down the road from A-Basin is Keystone Resort, which opened early on October 28. There’s a bit more open here, with three lifts running and six trails. If you’re a beginner, Keystone is where you’ll want to be, as three of the open runs are rated green; the other three are blue runs. Keystone is now open from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. every day.
Pro Tip: Both Arapahoe Basin and Keystone are owned by Vail Resorts, which recently announced that it will be limiting daily lift ticket sales throughout the 2022/2023 season. If you think you’ll be skiing multiple days, it’s best to look into a season pass. Otherwise, you’ll need to book your lift tickets online in advance to make sure you get to ski on the dates you want! Some popular dates are already sold out at various resorts.
3. Brian Head
Colorado isn’t getting all the snow; neighboring Utah is also seeing heavy early-season snow. Brian Head Resort in southern Utah opened on Friday, November 4, the earliest the resort has ever opened. It’s the first resort to open in Utah this season with five trails open for skiers and riders. Right now, Brian Head Resort is open for daily skiing, but when the season gets into full swing, it will open up night skiing, as well. Brian Head is also the launching point for one of our favorite national parks to experience in the winter.
4. Mammoth Mountain
California is seeing its first running lifts at Mammoth Mountain in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Only one lift and three runs are open right now, but the area is seeing higher-than-normal early snow, so the resort is eagerly looking to open more runs soon. Find out why Mammoth is one of our favorite ski resorts in California.
5. Sunshine Village
Nabbing the distinction as the first ski resort to open in Canada is Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff, Canada. Thanks to an early shot of significant snow, Sunshine Village was able to open a full week early on November 3. The resort currently has six lifts running while serving a whopping 33 runs. But, more snow is in the forecast, so expect more terrain to open relatively soon. If you need a ski break, here’s how to spend a beautiful winter day in Banff.