What is skiing in April like?
By April, many people’s attention has turned toward beach vacations, but not the die-hard skiers. Those in the know, know that there’s often plenty of snow in April across Ski Country. In fact, snow storms are typical, the days are warm and long, lodging is cheaper and there are lots of fun outdoor events to experience, making April a great time to book a trip. However, there are two caveats: 1.) it will likely be slushy (so make sure your skis are appropriately waxed and we recommend donning wider skis, as they tend to perform better in slush) and 2.) you need to know where to go.
As a general rule, resorts that are higher in altitude or more northern tend to stay open later, but of course, snowfall will also make a difference. Based on their orientation to standard storm tracks, some resorts just tend to receive more snow than others, so it’s good to keep those details in mind when choosing your April ski trip destination.
So, where can I go skiing in April?
Best Place to Ski in April in the U.S.
Killington, Vermont – 4,236’
If you’re on the East Coast and still feel the need for speed, head to Killington to rip up some fast groomers. Don’t miss the May Day Slalom on May 1, where contestants can sign up for free to test their skills on the Superstar Trail slalom course.
Mammoth Mountain, California – 11,030’
This resort is almost always California’s last to close. Right now, Mammoth’s closing day is scheduled for May 28, but it’s likely that the resort will stay open later—thanks to a very snowy March.
Where to stay: Juniper Springs Lodge is your perfect Mammoth basecamp, offering the comforts of home with ski-in, ski-out convenience. The Eagle base lodge next door delivers all your ski resort need. See photos →
Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows, California – 9,050’
Cali sun and bumps combined with nearly 400” of fun, slushy snow make it easy to understand why Squaw/Alpine is dubbed the “Spring Skiing Capital.” Enjoying many of the same March snow storms as Mammoth, Squaw/Alpine may stay open well into the summer. Last year, the resort was open through July 4.
Where to stay: For convenient access to lively base village shops, bars and restaurants, the 3.5-star Village at Squaw Valley is an easy choice. Guests enjoy condominium-style lodging and a 50- to 300-yard walk to the cable car. See photos →
Snowbird – 11,000’
Snowbird’s ski season goes strong through May, and weekend skiing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays likely—once again—well into June this year.
Breckenridge – 12,998’
During April, Breckenridge is the ultimate destination for skiers and snowboarders seeking warm sunshine, great late-season snow conditions and a laundry list of outdoor concerts, parties and festivals. This year, Breckenridge will be open until Sunday, April 22, 2018.
Arapahoe Basin – 13,050’
Thanks to it’s high elevation along the Continental Divide, Arapahoe is typically the first to open and the last to close in Colorado. This season, “A Bay” as it’s called by locals, is expected to stay open until early June.
Where to stay: Stay in the Frisco/Lake Dillon area, located just 30 minutes from Arapahoe Basin, and you can enjoy more than just skiing. Historic, downtown Frisco offers an array of charming shops, restaurants and bars to enjoy,
For a home-away-from home experience opt for Mallard Court for a higher-end stay and Cabin in the Woods for a more budget-friendly mountain home experience.
See all Frisco/Lake Dillon lodging options →
Top Skiing in Europe in April
Zermatt, Switzerland – 10,800’
Boasting the longest ski season in the Alps thanks to its high elevation, glacier skiing and north-facing slopes, Zermatt offers skiing year-round! Ski across the Italian border to Cervinia through May 6, and then schuss while soaking in the views from Glacier Paradise atop the Klein Matterhorn cable car.
Verbier, Switzerland – 10,925’
This high-Alpine French ski area, which is part of the 4 Vallées, is known for awesome spring conditions, despite having a southern orientation. That’s because Verbier has invested heavily in state-of-the-art snow-making, particularly down low on the resort.
Where to stay: Perched at 1’531 meters, just steps away from the main Verbier ski lifts, W Verbier offers immediate access to more than 400 kilometers of ski terrain, plus 5-star amenities and services. See photos →
St. Anton, Austria – 9,222’
Most seasons, St. Anton is open from late November through early May thanks to its many north-facing slopes. But, if you want to ski on the southerly sunny slopes, you can do that too in St. Anton, as the resort is well-equipped with snow making.
Where to stay: Located in the pedestrian zone and only a 5-minute walk to the cable cars, the four-star Sporthotel is known for its authentic Tyrolean hospitality, wonderful onsite restaurants and amenities. See photos →
Val Thorens, France – 10,597’
With high, snow sure slopes, Val Thorens is open through May most seasons and the lift-accessed Peclet glacier makes summer skiing possible. Val Thorens is so confident of its snow cover it offers a snow guarantee.
Tignes / Val d’Isere, France – 12,293’
Tignes and Val d’Isere make up 300-kilometer Espace Killy—one of the largest ski resorts in Europe—which is typically open until early May. Due to a high-elevation locale and the Grande Motte glacier, skiing is also possible nine months out of the year.
Where to stay: Charming only begins to describe the ski in ski out Hotel Village Montana at Tignes. This chalet-style hotel features rustic modern style with traditional Alpine details and atmosphere. Enjoy three onsite restaurants, bar/lounge and health spa, outdoor heated pool and much more. See photos →
Engelberg, Switzerland – 10,627’
Enjoy year-round turns on the Titlis glacier at Engelberg, which is convenient to Zurich and Lucerne. As you travel upwards to this year-round playground, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the central Alps on the Titlis Rotair, the world’s first rotating gondola. Once at the top of Klein Titlis, you can access the Glacier Snow Park via the Ice Flyer chairlift.
Where to stay: Hotel Terrace was built in 1903 and is just as lovely today as it was more than 115 years ago. Situated on the south-facing slope in Engelberg, the hotel is just a short lift ride from the village center as well as the bus stop for the free skier shuttle to the cable-car station. See photos →
Top Skiing in Canada in April
Whistler Blackcomb – 7,160’
Whistler Mountain shuts down on April 22, but Blackcomb has extended its spring ski season to May 21. There’s a short break in early June, but summer glacier skiing is expected to kick off mid-June to mid-July!
Where to stay: The Westin Resort and Spa provides easy access to the Blackcomb Excalibur Gondola, plus a host of world-class services and amenities. See photos →
Banff Lake Louise – 8,954’ (Sunshine Village)
Lake Louise ski area will offer daily skiing until May 6. Mt. Norquay will close as scheduled in mid-April, and Sunshine Village, always the last of the Big 3 to close, will celebrate the season with the 89th Annual Slush Cup on May 21.
Originally from the icy trails of New Jersey, I moved West to pursue powder and a career in writing and editing. Now in Aspen, Colo. and working for Ski.com managing the website and blog content, I couldn't be happier. You'll find me skiing at Aspen Mountain or Aspen Highlands in the winter and mountain biking at Snowmass in the summer.