Why You Should Plan a Spring Escape to These Alpine Destinations

Spring is a great season to embrace the stoke on the slopes
Spring is a great season to embrace the stoke on the slopes | Courtesy of Ikon Pass

If a snow-fuelled adrenaline fix is top of your holiday priority list, read on. From the snowy peaks of Colorado to the rolling alpine meadows of sunny California, here is the ultimate triumvirate of amazing US ski resorts you should be booking this spring.

Wondering where to get your springtime stoke on this year? You’re in luck, because we’ve got a hat trick for anyone keen to max out their mountain time this spring: three brilliant US ski resorts that are easily accessible, perfectly positioned for springtime powder and known for an abundance of the white stuff, not just in early winter but throughout spring and often well into early summer. The best bit? The Ikon Pass can be used to access them all. In other words, Ikon Pass owners will have more time on the mountain and more money to spend on new kit, thanks to the Ikon Pass’s jaw-dropping range of benefits, which includes everything from discounts at restaurants and stores to early access to the slopes.

An Ikon Pass will give you access to many awesome ski resorts, including Mammoth Mountain | © Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain

Winter Park

Winter Park has more than 3,000 skiable acres with terrains for everyone. Starting early May, spring skiing can be found at the Mary Jane Territory, where pass-holders can lap the sun-softened moguls and look for the hidden powder stashed in the trees that this side of the resort is famous for. Check out the new Bradley’s Bash, right next to the Challenger lift, and fuel up on gourmet french fries before catching another lap, or hopping on a snowcat or ski-bike to explore the snowy Colorado peaks.

When the sun sets, celebrate a stoke-filled day at one of the fantastic bars in the resort. If you’re making your way to the Winter Park side, we recommend a craft beer at Rippy’s Mountain Tavern, which opened in 2019, or in town at One More Lounge, which opened in December 2020 and has a rock’n’roll vibe. Another reason Winter Park is such a great option for those hoping to cram as much mountain time into their winters? In recent years, fantastic snowfall has seen the resort ski season extended, and in March 2021 it was announced the ski lifts will stay open until 9 May.

With more than 3,000 acres (1,214ha) of skiable terrain, Winter Park is one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado | Courtesy of Ikon Pass

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

A legendary resort that’s attracted die-hard stoke chasers for decades, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is a brilliant destination to check out this spring. After all, this beautiful spot earned a reputation as the capital of springtime skiing for a reason – frequent powder dumps topped off with plenty of California sun. For the ultimate springtime stoke session, rise early and take the Red Dog chairlift, before turning left to fly down Lake View – home to vistas over Lake Tahoe. The Sherwood area of the resort is a great option for a springtime stoke fix, too. Known for powder-filled bowls and selfie-friendly viewpoints, it’s an area that recently became much more accessible, thanks to the opening of the Treeline Cirque lift – an $11m detachable, high-speed quad chair.

There are plenty of exciting developments in the pipeline, too. This summer, construction will start on a base-to-base gondola connecting the Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows base stations. Getting between the two currently involves a 7mi (11km) drive, but the new lift, which will have eight passenger cabins and the capacity to move 1,400 people per hour, will mean stoke chasers can fly between the two base stations in just 16 minutes. As for that all-important après? Toast springtime in California at Rocker@Squaw. Sitting at the base of the best Squaw Valley runs, this lively sports bar has an enormous outdoor terrace and an excellent range of regional beers.

Squaw Valley is the ultimate springtime resort for stoke chasers | © Grant Gunderson

Mammoth Mountain

There’s no shortage of stoke on Mammoth Mountain, where you’ll find 3,500 acres (1,416ha) of skiable terrain and the highest chairlift-serviced peak in California. The legendary snowfall here makes it one of the top ski resorts in the state – a powder-blanketed paradise where the ski seasons often last well into July. A top tip? Download the Ikon Pass app as soon you’ve got your hands on the pass, which provides easy access to weather reports and resort info, and will help you keep track of how much time you’ve spent on the hill, whether it’s at your favorite resort or any of the more than 40 other destinations on the Ikon Pass. But back to Mammoth. Although there are plenty of developments to get excited about in spring 2022 (including the unveiling of the Mammoth Lakes Community Recreation Center, which will have an Olympic-sized ice rink), there’s no time like the present to soak up the stoke here. A huge network of cross-country and snowshoe trails makes it ideal for springtime stokers hoping to make up for missed mountain time.

In summary? Mammoth is a brilliant resort to visit this spring. Its status as the highest resort in California – 11,053ft (3,369m) above sea level – makes it a snow-sure paradise for springtime powder hounds. In other lower resorts, depleted snow coverage means less room to play. Not so at Mammoth, which has 100 acres (40ha) of well-maintained snow park terrain. The 11 snow parks have 126 rails, boxes and jibs, 95 jumps and three halfpipes ranging from 12ft to 18ft, plus the 22ft, Olympic-sized Super Pipe. In other words, stoke-chasers who find their favorite runs are looking a little tracked out in the springtime sun can simply bide their time until the next snowfall at one of the Mammoth snow parks instead.

Mammoth Mountain is the highest ski resort in California, meaning magnificent mountain views for miles | © Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain

Want your very own stoke-filled adventure and access to the top ski resorts in North America? Unlock the lowest prices and biggest savings before May 5 at ikonpass.com

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