Renoun athlete Matt Testa going backcountry skiing in the summer time on a beautiful day next to a tree and rocks

Summer Skiing: Discover Resorts and Beyond Still Open

Written by: Lucy Higgins


Warm sun and fresh corn—it’s hard to find better skiing conditions. For those who can’t bear to put away their skis for the season, there are plenty of ways to ski year round, whether staying local, heading off-piste or jet-setting abroad.

We’ve rounded up the best places for summer skiing, including resorts still open, far-flung destinations, and everywhere in between. 


Best Colorado Destination: Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin Resort Ski Mountain  with sign
Credit - Summit Daily

For those looking to ski as long as possible in the Rockies, Arapahoe Basin may be just the answer. The resort stays open until mid June or later, depending on snow conditions.

Arapahoe Basin sits south of Loveland Pass in Arapaho National Forest in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The base of the resort, commonly known as A-Basin, is at 10,780 feet, and the summit reaches up to 13,050 feet, making it some of the highest in-bounds skiable terrain in the state.

That elevation also helps to extend the resort’s ski season, and this year is no exception. In the summer, skiing is typically concentrated on the upper mountain where the snowpack lasts longest. The resort's Pallavicini chairlift, known for servicing some of the most challenging terrain, often remains operational, providing access to high-altitude runs with excellent snow coverage.

A-Basin will remain open until June 16, and for the past few weeks has operated only on weekends to keep the spring turns coming. The conditions can vary from packed powder in the mornings to corn in the afternoons, and A-Basin intentionally stops lifts early to preserve conditions. The party isn’t over, though, as the resort often hosts events, including at the popular "Beach" base area where visitors can grill and kickback after a sunny morning on the slopes.

Closing day will mark 222 days of the resort being open. 


Best Pacific Northwest Resort - Timberline Lodge

Timberline Lodge Resort in Mount Hood Oregon at night
Credit - Renoun

Oregon’s Mt. Hood offers turns all year long. Head to the southside of the mountain to experience skiing on Palmer Glacier at Timberline Lodge. 

There’s no shortage of skiing in the Pacific Northwest. And at Mt. Hood, Oregon, the turns can last all summer. Skiers looking to extend their season should head to Timberline Lodge, located on the south side of Mt. Hood, which serves as an access point to the Palmer Glacier via their Palmer Express lift.

The glacier—now technically a snowfield due to the glacier’s extinction—is situated at an elevation of over 8,500 feet, and the high elevation allows for summer skiing that typically runs from June through the beginning of September. The Palmer Glacier remains covered in snow even during the hottest months, making it a global magnet for skiers and riders.

The lodge itself was built during the Depression and the ski area has operated for 85 years. After a day skiing, visitors can enjoy the cozy, rustic retreat with modern amenities, take part in on-site gourmet dining, and jump into the outdoor heated pool.

Timberline Lodge also offers hiking, mountain biking, and scenic lift rides, making a trip to Mt. Hood the perfect option for families and groups with varying summer hobbies. 


Best California Summer Ski Spot: Mammoth

Mammoth, California is a true year-round destination. Skiing often extends late into summer at the resort, thanks to its high elevation and the region’s high snowfall.   

Skiers walking or ski touring across a flat, snowy space on a blue sky day
Credit - Lucy Higgins

Everything shines a little brighter in California. Mammoth is no exception, with its average of 400 inches of snowfall and 300 days of sunshine per year. It’s a skier’s paradise, and one that frequently extends late into summer. While the ski resort closed earlier than in years past—last year’s 700+ inch snowpack left skiers riding deep into summer—human-powered skiing is available at higher elevations in the Sierra.

Another reason cited for this year’s earlier closure is a long-term gain: summer improvement projects. “We are closing a bit early this season to ensure our summer construction projects are completed smoothly and in a timely fashion for an even better experience next season,” Mammoth explains in a May 7 Instagram post . Those projects include replacing Broadway Express and making mechanical upgrades to Unbound Express and Face Lift Express.

While it’s a bit of a blow, there’s a big silver lining–Mammoth’s renown bike park opened Memorial Day weekend, much earlier than last year’s opening date due to 2023’s unusually high snowfall. 


Best South American Ski Destination: Portillo

Powder hounds fly south in the summer. At least, they should if they're looking for year-round laps. Catch never-ending winter in Portillo, Chile, a world-renowned resort in the Andes.   

Portillo, Chile Ski Resort Hotel and base area with
Credit - Ski Portillo

Powder hounds fly south in the summer. At least, they should if they're looking for year-round laps. Catch never-ending winter in Portillo, Chile, a world-renowned resort in the Andes.

For the 2024 season, Portillo opens June 22 and runs through September 28. The resort is tucked in the Andes at an elevation of 9,450 feet and while it accommodates beginners and intermediate skiers with open groomers and more mellow runs, its reputation hinges on the terrain’s vertical drops that bring in recreational and professional skiers from across the world.

Portillo is serviced by 14 lifts, including the iconic Va et Vient lifts which are rope-tow style lifts designed to navigate some of the resort’s steepest slopes. From there, skiers can access Portillo’s 35 runs or use the lifts as a starting point to off-piste adventures.

Perhaps the most alluring aspect of the resort is the Portillo Hotel. The on-site lodging is a single, iconic yellow hotel that accommodates guests, fostering a close-knit community vibe in the process that stands alone from a more commercial, large-scale feel found at many state-side resorts. After a day on the slopes, guests can partake in après activities that include use of the heated outdoor pool, fitness center, and high-end dining options. 


Best European Summer Ski Location: Zermatt

Experience glacier skiing with a European flair this summer in Zermatt, Switzerland. Located on the Theodul Glacier, Zermatt offers skiing from early July to early September on groomed slopes that cater to all skill levels. 

Three skiers skiing a groomed trail in Zermatt, Switzerland
Credit - Matterhorn Paradise

Put a unique spin on the classic European vacation with a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland this summer. From the village, skiers can take the tram to the Matterhorn and embark on runs down the Theodul Glacier. With a summit elevation at 3,899 meters and 21 kilometers of on-piste trails, Zermatt stands as the highest and biggest summer ski resort in Europe. The runs are groomed to a Swiss-standard of attention, making the skiing accessible for a range of skill levels.

For those looking to level up or with kids or beginners in their travel group, there are a variety of ski schools available. Zermatt is also home to Snowpark Zermatt , a world-class terrain park complete with views of the Matterhorn.

Beyond the skiing, the town of Zermatt offers plenty of its own appeal, with restaurants and shops lining the streets. Or, head back into the mountains to bike, hike, and explore the alpine beauty of the Alps. 


Best Off-Piste Turns: Backcountry Skiing

While there are a handful of resorts providing access to turns throughout the summer, some of the best runs are off-piste, accessed via backcountry skiing. 

Author Lucy Higgins backcountry skiing and ski touring
Credit - Lucy Higgins

While there are resorts available for summer skiing across the western U.S. and as far flung as Chile and Switzerland, some of the best turns of the summer are only found via human-powered endeavors.

Backcountry skiing offers a chance to access glaciers, snowfields, and higher elevations that hold snow year-round. Often, this means skiing in steeper, technical, and more high-consequence terrain than found on-piste, on top of long days of physical exertion to reach destinations.

But for those equipped, it’s worth the trek. Consider locations like Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming, Mt. Shasta’s Hotlum-Wintun Glacier in California, and the Palisade Glacier in California’s Sierra range to fully experience backcountry skiing throughout the summer. Regardless of location, it’s imperative to have avalanche training, ski-mountaineering skills, and at least some basic navigation awareness and skills before heading into these environments. And just as important—travel with measured, knowledgeable partners for optimal safety and fun. 

Photo of Author Lucy Higgins while skiing
Credit - Lucy Higgins

The Author: Lucy Higgins

Lucy is a seasoned editor and writer with a background in magazine publishing and creative directing. Formerly the Editor-in-Chief at Backcountry Magazine, she now works as a freelance writer and editor.

When Lucy's not at a desk, she can be found running, skiing, and spending time with her toddler. 

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