Despite the high altitude of many of the ski resorts in North America – and how many there are – there is relatively little on offer in the way of summer skiing.
Four of the ski resorts could be characterised as extremely late spring skiing while the one ‘true’ summer ski resort is not located in one of the main ‘ski resort’ states.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Mammoth Mountain ski area is located in the Sierra Nevada in eastern California and is a favourite of skiers living in southern California. It has one of the longest seasons in the USA, but the opportunities for real summer skiing depend very much on snow conditions. The skiing can end in May or, as has happened in some cases, it can continue into late July or even August.
Squaw Valley, California
Squaw Valley is one of the Lake Tahoe ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada and is a former host of the Winter Olympic Games. It calls itself the “Spring Skiing Capital” and the winter season extends into July (often the 4th of July weekend) when snow conditions permit.
Beartooth Basin, Montana
This summer-only operation is located in the remote Beartooth mountains near the border of Montana and Wyoming. It opens once the roads have been cleared of snow in May and keeps going into July, given good conditions. The 600-acre ski area offers two draglifts and some steep slopes with a pitch of up to 50°. (!)
Blackcomb, British Columbia
Summer skiing at Canada’s Blackcomb ski resort takes place on the Horstmann glacier and runs from the first week in June through to the middle of July.
Timberline bills itself as the only year-round ski area in North America. The skiing and a popular terrain park are located on the slopes of the volcanic Mt Hood on the Palmer glacier in Oregon. The summer ski season runs from the beginning of June through to the beginning of September (Labor Day) and then, given good snow and weather conditions, opens three days a week in September and October.