Skip to main content

Skiing and snowboarding season is starting slow out west – our full list of ski resort openings

All the open ski resorts, and how much terrain is available

Snowmakers blowing snow at night
Darren Sweeney / Openverse

Shredders and Shreddettes, “the ski-son of Stoke” is finally here. While we’re just in its infancy stages, the snow has been pretty inconsistent out West. Some mountains have dropped all their ropes, while others have yet to open a majority of their runs for skiing. Check which ski resort has been in the green as far as pow goes, and which are still waiting on their share of the white stuff.

A whiteout day at Wolf Creek
Paddy Murphy / Openverse

Ski resort openings in Colorado

Looks like Colorado is leading the pack as far as early-season conditions go.

Wolf Creek Ski Area

It’s no surprise that Wolf Creek Ski Area is 100% open by the holiday season. On average, the Rocky Mountain snow haven gets around 430 in. of snowfall per season, offering skiers a lengthy season that runs from early November to early April.

Nine of Wolf Creek’s eleven lifts are spinning, but skiers can still access 100% of the area’s terrain.

In addition to Wolf Creek’s lift-accessed terrain, the Waterfall, Alberta Peak, Knife Ridge, and Horseshoe Bowl hike-to terrain is all open too. Who knows, the backcountry terrain might be in prime shredding conditions very soon.

Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain is just over three-quarters open with five of Monarch’s seven lifts spinning.

All of the beginner and intermediate terrain are open, while all but two of its most difficult trails are open as well. However, Mirkwood Basin and Monarch’s Terrain Park remain closed.

Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort is inching closer to 100% with 10 of its 11 lifts spinning and 81 of its 107 trails open for shredding.

Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort has just reached the three-quarter benchmark to open fully. Skiers and snowboarders can choose from 17 of Steamboat’s 23 lifts, granting access to 137 of 181 trails. Mountain OPS is still waiting for a better snowpack to drop the rope for extreme terrain and terrain park shredding.

Echo Mountain

While on the smaller side as far as Colorado mountains go, Echo Mountain still has a bit to go until it’s fully operational. Only five of Echo’s seven trails are open, but all three of their lifts are spinning.

Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass has done a great job opening up a wide variety of trails across the mountain. Currently, 245 of Aspen’s 366 trails are open, and 28 of the 41 lifts are in operation as well. So, for the most variety out of the Colorado resorts, Aspen looks like the frontrunner.

Cooper Mountain

With close to 19 in. of packed powder in some parts of the mountain, Cooper Mountain is currently running four of its five lifts with 43 trails open across the mountain (roughly 67%).

Beaver Creek ski area
listentoreason / Openverse

Ski resort openings in Utah

Utah ski resorts are looking to have a repeat of last year’s season but have gotten off to a rough start.

Beaver Mountain

Aside from one lift, “The Beave” is currently fully operational with 35 in. of packed powder base.

Sundance Resort

Sundance Resort has all nine of its lifts spinning but is still waiting to drop the rope on seven trails across the mountain. 100% of the beginner runs are open to rip, but a few of the more advanced runs need a bit more snowfall to provide a safe base.

Snowbird Ski Resort

Snowbird Ski Resort is ever so close to opening up everything. With 41 in. of packed powder, the mountain is spinning nine of its fourteen lifts and waiting to drop the rope on 31 of its steeper runs.

Snowbasin Resort

Snowbasin is looking to get things going as Ski Patrol and Mountain OPS have given the go-ahead on 109 of Snowbasin’s 140 trails and is currently spinning nine of its fourteen lifts.

Solitude Mountain

Solitude Mountain currently has seven of its eight lifts spinning and has 52 of its 87 trails open to rip.

Brian Head Ski Resort

The recent four inches of snowfall has brought Brain Head’s total base to 19 in. of packed powder. 39 of the mountain’s 71 trails are open, with five of its eight lifts spinning.

Alta Ski Area

The recent two inches of snowfall has pushed Alta closer to the 50% open mark. The radical mountain is sitting at 41% open with all five lifts spinning and the rope dropped on 75 of its 118 runs.

Kirkwood ski area / Openverse

Ski resort openings in California

Out of the three West Coast destinations, California has seen the least amount of snow. That said, mountain OPS across the state a working to fully open up as soon as possible.

Kirkwood Ski Resort

Still hoping for a cluster of storms as hard-hitting as last year’s, Kirkwood Ski Resort is running around 39% open. While far and wide the most open of the other three Tahoe destinations, Kirkwood only has 36 of its 84 trails open and five of its 13 lifts spinning.

Bear Mountain

Bear Mountain only has 10 of its 27 lifts with a scattered base of 18 to 36 inches across the mountain.

Soda Springs

Soda Springs, with its 18 inches of machine-groomed base, has six of its 19 trails open and five of its six lifts spinning.

Snow Summit

Similar to Bear Mountain, Snow Summit has a variable base depth of 18 to 36 inches across the mountain, with only eight of its 33 trails open to rip.

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth is hoping for a gnarly gust of storms this coming month, as the iconic Cali mountain is only 28% open, with 48 of its 173 trails open and 14 of the 25 lifts spinning.

Editors' Recommendations

Louis Cinquanto
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Writing for all of the adventurers out there! Ski the East! #getoutside
Snowboarding and skiing news: Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin resort has a new owner
A-Basin has a new owner: Alterra
Arapahoe Basin resort in Colorado

Arapahoe Basin resort in Colorado Arapahoe Basin / Arapahoe Basin

Alterra Mountain Company is acquiring Arapahoe Basin, expanding its total resort ownership to 18 properties. A-Basin, as it is often referred to, will remain on the IKON Pass for skiers and snowboarders.

Read more
One snowboarder in Lake Tahoe survived overnight in a gondola – here’s how
One snowboarder's terrifying tale of being trapped in a gondola overnight
Heavenly Ski Resort gondola Lake Tahoe

Skiing and snowboarding provide winter thrills to spare. Fresh powder and morning groomers dazzle the senses, and advanced terrain lets you progress your skills. When resort skiing, chairlifts, gondolas, and trams take you to the top, with stunning views and a high-speed ride.

In cold, stormy weather, gondolas are nice, with an enclosed cabin that lets you warm up. Typically, they hold around eight people, allowing for conversation and planning ahead of the next run. 

Read more
Clever skiing expert navigates a chute by ‘walking’ down
Palisades Tahoe Tram and Terrain

Chutes provide a hair-raising challenge to expert skiers and snowboarders. These narrow swaths of snow require focus and skill, with even the most advanced athletes pushed to the limit. With rock walls on both sides and a dramatic pitch, a chute is reminiscent of a harrowing rollercoaster ride. It's also a thrill. 

Recently, Italian outdoor adventurer Matthias Weger took a novel approach when skiing a chute. By using an ingenious yet lighthearted method, the skier negotiated a pitch even the finest skier would struggle with. Here's how it played out.

Read more