The Ultimate Spring Break: SkiBreak 2017
Spring in the West is skiing’s best kept secret. While many people flock to warmer climates during the annual tradition of spring break, ski conditions are often in their peak. Days grow longer and brighter, the snow softens, the mountain air becomes warmer--and the crowds melt away. It’s also the time that brings the most precipitation. Here is an in depth look into some of our favorite West destinations so you can turn this year's Spring Break into the best Ski-Break!
1. Mammoth Lakes, California >>> Mammoth Mountain
Mammoth Mountain is unarguably one of the best destinations for spring skiing because of two major geographical features. With one of the highest percentages of north-facing terrain in North America at 65%, snowstorms are retained by keeping the snow shaded, cold, and velvety. It also possesses something other Sierra resorts lack: high elevation. With a base around 8,000 ft and a peak just over 11,000 ft, Mammoth’s annual 400 inches of snowfall are easily preserved. Combined with 300 days of sunshine a year, skiers and snowboarders are able to enjoy the best snow conditions without compromising the warmer spring weather.
Spring Break just got a whole lot more colorful in Mammoth. Elevation, Mammoth’s annual Gay Ski Week, celebrates diversity, fun, and the best spring skiing in North America. Join more than 2,500 riders who will partake in endless boarding, nine major parties, and the notorious “10,000 Feet Party” which is held at that exact elevation.
Where To Stay
1. Village 3422: (Sleeps 6) Two bedroom unit in The Village only steps from the Village gondola.
2. Eagle Run 114: (Sleeps 7) Two bedroom town-home with Ski in/out access and private entrance.
3. Juniper Crest 24: (Sleeps 10) Slope-side 3 Bedroom town-home with bunk room and private jacuzzi.
2. North Lake Tahoe, California >>> Northstar
Our second California representative, North Lake Tahoe’s Northstar Resort combines the laid back California vibe with high-end mountain care. Northstar is known for its impeccable grooming, incredible tree skiing, and boasts enough trail variety and world-class terrain parks to challenge every level. North Lake Tahoe’s fluffy snow, blue skies, mild temperatures, and beautiful lake views are the reason people love spring skiing.
One of the best parts about Lake Tahoe is the amount of positive and energetic people who live in or come to visit the area. Here are some perfect places to re-live your mountain experiences of the day with a fellow snow sport enthusiast.
Le Chamois: one of the most iconic ski bars in America, Le Chamois is the place to relax, enjoy the views with a cold drink, and listen to ski stories from some of the world’s best skiers that often frequent it.
Mikuni Sushi: located right in the Village at Northstar, this eclectic sushi place has some of the best après ski culture in the area.
Where To Stay
1. Northstar-Sierra Gold Home: (Sleeps 10) Four bedroom custom built home short distance to the Village at Northstar California .
2. Northstar-Fairway Run Cabin (Sleeps 10) Four bedroom home short distance to the Village at Northstar California
3. Northshore-Lake Tahoe Vista: (Sleeps 10) Five bedroom luxurious home with spacious deck and tree-house.
3. Big Sky, Montana >>> Big Sky Resort
Sometimes bigger is actually better. Big Sky Resort in Montana has been deemed the “Biggest Skiing in America” and with reason. Boasting 5,750 rideable acres and 4,350 feet of vertical drop, you’ll never have to take the same run twice. And with an average of over 400 inches of snowfall a year, fresh powder days are everyday. From cruisers to steeps, Big Sky’s vast terrain means there is something for every skier’s skill level and interest. So why not go Big this year? It’s what Spring Break is all about!
If your emphasis is on the “break” in “spring break” Big Sky offers just that vibe. It’s a special place for like-minded mountain lovers who prefer to slow down their life and speed up on the slopes. Here are some excellent places to have a drink and strike up a conversation with a new friend:
Scissorbills Saloon: A great spot for live music and a casual stop for skiers. Come straight from the slopes and enjoy a drink dressed in your ski gear and all.
Montana Jack: If craft beer is your drink of choice is then you’ll love Montana Jack. They have over 100 beers available with 24 on tap.
Where To Stay
1. Moonlight Mountain Home: (Sleeps 12) Spacious three bedroom home with ski in/ski out access to Big Sky Resort and private jacuzzi.
2. Saddle Ridge Townhome Unit 4B: (Sleeps 9) Spacious three bedroom home with ski in/ski out access to Big Sky Resort and private jacuzzi.
3. Moonlight Mountain Home: (Sleeps 10) Four bedroom home in Mountain Village Community with ski in/ski out access to Big Sky Resort and private jacuzzi.
4. Winter Park, Colorado >>> Winter Park Resort
While anytime is a good time to visit Winter Park, many argue spring is the best. March brings blue skies, warm temperatures, and the most snowfall for Colorado. With an elevation around 12,000 feet and 50% percent of its terrain facing north, snow conditions are kept nice and soft. Winter Park offers stashes and trails for every ability. Seven territories of trails to be exact.
Because Winter Park is roughly 66 miles from Denver many come here all year long as a weekend escape from the city. There is no shortage of places to warm up after a day in the snow.
Moffat Station Restaurant and Brew Pub: Decorated with west artifacts and memorabilia Moffat Station is rich with history from the original settlers and explorers who first came to exchange their furs, maps, and weaponry, for food and drink.
Volario's: If you are looking for a great place to wine, dine, and unwind after a day on the slopes head to Volarios. They have a great outdoor area and happy hour.
Where To Stay
1. Moose Tracks: (Sleeps 10) Spacious three bedroom home with beautiful views of Byers Peak and Winter Park resort.
2. Winter Pines: (Sleeps 9) Three bedroom mountain home with open floor plans and natural lighting.
3. Black Bear Hill: (Sleeps 10) Spacious three bedroom home with beautiful mountain views.
5. Teton Springs, Idaho >>> Grand Targhee or Jackson Hole
If you are looking for a place to get in some serious snow time during Spreak Break then head to Teton Springs where you can ski near two great resorts: Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole.
With over 90 percent of its trails in the intermediate/expert categories, Jackson Hole is not for the inexperienced. The mountain’s summit elevation reaches 10,450 feet and has a vertical drop exceeding 4000 ft. Not to mention, if 2500 acres of groomed ski terrain isn’t enough, Jackson Hole allows skiers to leave the boundaries to explore thousands of miles of backcountry skiing. If you’re looking for an adventurous ski-break Jackson Hole is the way to go.
For a more friendly Teton experience, Grand Targheee has trails for all ski levels. With over 500 inches of annual snowfall a year, more snow than almost every other resort in the Rockies, you are almost guaranteed a powder day even in Spring.
Whether you choose to spend your days at Grand Targhee or at Jackson Hole both have some great places for unwinding. Here are some favorites from each resort:
The Trap Bar and Grille: The central hub of Grand Targhee Resort’s nightlife with frequent live music acts and even sleigh ride dinners.
Nick Wilson’s Cowboy Cafe: Built into the tram dock this is the place skiers flock for food and drinks. With the après culture making it’s way unto the outdoor porch on every sunny afternoon. Every Saturday in March the Music Under the Tram Series makes Nick’s the best place to be.
Where To Stay
1. Huckleberry Cabin: (Sleeps 8) Four bedroom cabin on Blackfoot trail bordering Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
2. Eagle's Landing Cabin: (Sleeps 10) Five bedroom cabin within walking distance of the lodge and club amenities.
3. Cushman Cabin: (Sleeps 12) Five bedroom within walking distance of club amenities.
6. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico>>> Taos Ski Valley Resort
Just outside of Taos in the heart of North New Mexico you will find Taos Ski Valley. It is known for its light and dry snow, 300 days of sunshine per year, and of course its challenging expert terrain. While many powder hounds travel to Taos to take part in intermediate and advanced trails, tree chutes, and open bowls, Taos Ski Valley also boasts an award winning ski school for beginners.
With 113 trails spreading across almost 1,300 acres and limited crowds especially in the Spring, Taos Ski Valley offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding conditions you'll find on this year's Ski Break.
New Belgium Rally in the Valley: Formerly known as the New Belgium Scavenger Hunt, New Belgium will host a day of festivities on March 11th featuring games, giveaways, costumes, and of course New Belgium beer!
Pond Skimming Contest: Skiers and boarders test their balance using any means necessary to skim across a pool of ice cold water (best costume earns points). The event will take place on April 2nd from 1:00-3:30pm on the backside of the mountain under Lift #4 next to the Phoenix Lodge.
Where To Stay
1. Lake Fork 6: (Sleeps 9) Two bedroom condo with loft close to the lifts.
2. Tembion 1: (Sleeps 11) Four bedroom home walking distance to the base.
3. Wilderness Lodge: (Sleeps 12) Five bedroom luxurious home perched at the top of Taos Ski Valley.
7. Sun Valley, Idaho >>> Sun Valley Resort
Since it’s opening day in 1936, “America’s First Destination Ski Resort” Sun Valley, has remained a top ski destination. While celebrities have been known to frequent these slopes, powder lovers from near and far have come to this winter haven for miles of sun drenched trails with fewer crowds. Spring skiing in this Idaho resort epitomises that Sun Valley effect: blue skies, full sunshine, and pristine powder. From the 3,400 feet of vertical drop that Bald Mountain offers to the blanketed slopes of Warm Springs, it’ll be hard to find a run that’s not invigorating during a Sun Valley spring.
Sun Valley Film Festival: Members of the film industry have frequented the slopes of Sun Valley since opening day. To celebrate its heritage Sun Valley Film Festival was launched in March 2012 and will enter its sixth year this spring. This year’s event will feature over 60 films and Tv premieres from around the world, panels with top industry insiders, a screenwriter’s lab led by award-winning writers, and the spectacular SVFF Awards Bash. If you are a movie lover, Sun Valley is the place to be to celebrate the art of filmmaking.
Where To Stay
1. Georgian #311B: (Sleeps 10) Five bedroom home within walking distance to Warm Springs lifts with private jacuzzi.
2. Snowcreek 1503: (Sleeps 8) Three bedroom next to Dollar mountain with ski shuttle access.
3. Arrowwood Drive 4604: (Sleeps 9) Four bedroom town-home near Ketchum and River Run Ski Area close to ski shuttle.