11 Most Excellent Summertime Ski Resorts
This is but one installment of 37 Things a Man’s Gotta Do This Summer, our annual compendium of everything worth seeing, doing, eating, drinking and generally making time for in your neck of the woods between now and September.
Purists may argue, but we say skiing’s even better in the summer: one part novelty, two parts joy. Below, our top 10 recommendations — mostly here at home, with a couple farther-flung destinations in the mix for those who only want winter snow, even in July.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Book into the beloved Timberline Lodge (elevation: 6,000 feet) — and then climb another 2,500 feet on the Palmer Lift to access the same-named snowfield. You’ll share the space with camps, clinics and Olympians in training — it’s crowded, but it’s fun.
The highest ski resort in Europe operates year-round — and every summer hosts national ski teams from around the world as they train for the upcoming season. (“Spectating permitted.”) Those looking for a more active break will find it on Snowpark Zermatt or 12 miles of groomed trails.
Arapahoe Basin, Colorado
While many Colorado resorts close in April, Arapahoe Basin sticks it out until June — and it remained open through July 4 in 2016. We’ll see how 2017 fares, but the resort expects the season will close on June 4.
Whistler, British Columbia
Whistler, with the longest season in Canada, offers summer skiing on the Blackcomb Glacier to intermediate and advanced skiers only — newbies will have to wait for winter’s sweet, pillowy snowfall. You’ll need to travel by T-bar — no chair lifts.
Les 2 Alpes, France
This alpine ski resort is one of summer’s busiest in Europe, with 17 lifts operating to service 11 runs (one red, one green, and nine blue). It even keeps four slopeside restaurants open — including Le 3200, at 10,500 feet.
This 365-days-of-skiing resort notably has runs for all abilities — not just experts accustomed to the season’s unique hazards. Ten lifts service 11 miles of trails along the Hintertux Glacier; in the afternoon, head down the mountain for hiking and mountain biking.
Mount Lyford, New Zealand
A favorite with in-the-know Kiwi skiers who prefer the slopes to a scene, this family-operated resort is naturally beautiful and temperamentally low-key. Expect their ski season to kick off in June.
Our top pick in South America is Caviahue, sited on the flank of the same-named volcano (and overlooking the same-named lake). “Caviahue” means “site of gathering and celebration” — borne out here with downhill, cross-country, ice-skating, dog-sledding and more.
If you’ll be skiing with your kids in South America, bring them to Portillo — up to two of ’em ski free here. We suggest extending your Argentine tour with a stop by Portillo’s sister property in the Atacama desert — making a keen contrast from the ski slopes to saguaros and volcanoes.
Falls Creek, Australia
Drive about five hours from Melbourne into the mountains and you’ll come to Falls Creek, with 92 alpine runs for all-level skiers — it’s especially well known in Oz as a family resort, with a range of classes and activities for ages three and up.
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