These 4 U.S. Ski Resorts Could Defy Seasons and Open Before Halloween

You could be skiing down the mountain on or even before Halloween! Who knew? Historically, these ski resorts tend to open in October!

October has always held a special place in our hearts. Children trick or treating, pumpkins glowing in windows, leaves falling in all their amber glory… but what if we told you that in certain parts of the US, October also brings the promise of fresh powder?

That’s right! As seasoned skiers and snowboarders who’ve lived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado for years, we can attest to the fact that there are ski resorts in the US that historically open before Halloween.

So, if you’re itching to swap your Halloween candy for ski poles, you’re in good hands.

4 Ski Resorts That Could Open In October

It’s kind of mind-blowing to imagine skiing down a snowy mountain in October while folks are planning their Halloween costumes. But hey, that’s the magic of the Rockies for you!

A skier sitting at the top of a mountain with the sun beaming off the distant mountain peaks.

Let’s jump into 4 resorts that could make your pre-Halloween skiing dreams come true.

1. Arapahoe Basin, Colorado

Over the past four years, Arapahoe Basin has opened before Halloween three times. Therefore, spending Halloween skiing at A-Basin is a likely possibility.

A-Basin is about a 2-hour drive from our home in Steamboat Springs. We’ve traveled to A-Basin countless times and have a soft spot for its challenging terrains.

Nestled high in the Rockies, its elevation is what gives it the unique ability to open early in the season.

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    Important tip: If you aren’t used to high elevation, you may consider trying a different ski resort first to acclimate.

    A picture of the Welcome To Colorful Colorado sign with the sun peaking in from behind.

    Apart from skiing, we’ve indulged in some memorable après-ski moments here. Trust us when we say that the sunsets at A-Basin are like no other. If you’re looking for an early-season ski adventure, this place should definitely be on your list.

    2. Loveland Ski Area, Colorado

    Loveland Ski Area has opened before Halloween for three of the last five years; great odds, in my opinion!

    And every trip we’ve taken to Loveland Ski Area has been an adventure.

    Located near the Eisenhower Tunnel (that massive tunnel on I-70), it’s not too far from our Steamboat Springs base. With expansive terrains and diverse runs, it caters to both beginners and advanced skiers (and it’s not too shabby in the summer, either).

    Loveland is a hotspot for Denver locals, so expect a few lines and plenty of other skiers and snowboarders.

    Skiers sitting on a chairlift going up the ski mountain.

    Pro-tip: Although these resorts don’t open until later in the year, consider lesser-known Colorado ski resorts that have fewer crowds, like:

    • Wolf Creek
    • Eldora Ski Resort
    • Powderhorn
    • Monarch

    3. Keystone Resort, Colorado

    Oh, Keystone, where do we begin? It’s like that trusty friend who never lets you down. Just a little farther from our home compared to the others, but the trip is always worth it.

    Keystone Resort has opened in October for three of the last five years. Again, great potential for your fall ski trip in Colorado.

    A skier with a ski mask on the mountain.

    Imagine telling your friend, “I skied in October!” Keystone makes that bragging right possible. With its extensive snow-making capabilities and well-groomed trails, it’s a delight for you and your friends who are trying to hit the mountain early.

    Pro-tip: Don’t miss out on the night skiing at Keystone. The illuminated runs under the starry sky are purely magical. Rent a hotel with an outdoor hot tub for après night skiing!

    4. Mammoth Mountain, California

    Venturing a bit outside our Colorado comfort zone, Mammoth in California could be a contender for October skiing action. Although less likely than the Colorado ski resorts, Mammoth did open before Halloween during the 2021-2022 season.

    A beautiful image of Hot Creek near Mammoth Mountain in California.

    But here’s the shimmy… Mammoth Mountain is not only an early opener but a late closer. Mammoth Mountain has remained open until at least June three times over the past five years. For two of those years, Mammoth Mountain didn’t close until well into July. Crazy, right?

    October snow at Mammoth is a testament to its high-altitude California terrain and impeccable maintenance. If you’re looking to mix things up and ski outside Colorado, this place should be on your radar.

    What is the best state to ski in the US?

    Skiing preferences are as varied as snowflakes. Each state offers its own unique charm and skiing experience. That said, if we had to choose between skiing in Montana and Nebraska, Montana would win hands down (sorry Nebraska, we still love your endless cornfields).

    A landscape view at the top of a ski resort on a sunny day.

    But on a serious note:

    • Colorado: with world-renowned resorts like Vail and Aspen, it’s hard to beat the skiing experience here.
    • Utah: think of powder-packed resorts like Alta and Snowbird.
    • Wyoming: home to the famous Jackson Hole; a destination that’s incredible both summer AND winter.
    • Vermont: East Coast skiing at its finest with resorts like Stowe and Killington.

    Which state of the US has the most ski resorts?

    Being from Colorado, it’s tempting to be a tad biased. But in terms of sheer numbers, New York actually boasts the most ski resorts. Surprising, right? (C’mon Colorado, step up your game! Actually… don’t!)

    Snowboarders sitting on the mountain at sunset.

    With over 50 ski areas, the Empire State offers a variety of skiing experiences. But remember, it’s not always about quantity. States like Colorado and Utah, though having fewer resorts, are renowned for their quality of skiing and powder days.

    The Wrap-Up: 4 Ski Resorts You Can Visit In The Fall 2023

    So there you have it, folks! October, my personal favorite month, doesn’t just have to be about Halloween and pumpkin spice. With these ski resorts opening early, you can add skiing to your fall itinerary.

    Whether you’re carving pumpkins or carving turns on the mountain, October is an exciting time to explore the resorts. While I cannot guarantee the best snow this early in the season, you’ll likely encounter great deals and fewer crowds.

    So gear up, embrace the chilly air, and may your pre-Halloween be filled with fresh powder and thrilling runs.

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    person in red hoodie standing on snowy mountain during daytime
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