Don’t you love spring skiing? Warm temperatures meet a winter’s worth of snow depths. Ski conditions soften and so do bulky dress codes at the best ski resorts. From music to moguls to general mayhem – these spring fests are super fun:
Top spring ski fests in Colorado, Utah, California, and Montana:
Taste of Vail is our favorite spring ski event – food, wine and skiing combine for an “epic” fest. What could be better than skiing spring conditions at Vail followed by après ski wine tastings and delicious cuisine prepared by Vail’s Top Chefs early April !? This year, Taste of Vail turns 30 with the mantra “elevate your palate” – a playful reference to the high altitude setting at Vail’s 8,000′ base and the Top Chefs, world-renowned wine-makers and master sommeliers bringing their best . First weeked in April (April 3-6, 2024) is this festival of culinary classes, tastings, uncorking of top Roses, Chardonnays and more. The big events are Vail Village’s Après Taste, the Mountain Top Tasting during the day, and the Grand Tasting finale at the Hythe! If you love skiing, food and wine (who doesn’t?!) go to Vail Resort for this amazing foodie event in April!
Spring Back to Vail mid-April brings live headliner bands for free concerts to Vail Village in a warmer weather celebraton. Après ski at Vail just got bigger, better and FREE which rarely happens at Vail, right?! The best bands play Free concerts at Ford Park and around town at après and in the evening at night clubs around Vail Village. Look for parties on the mountain too – like Tiki & Tunes Luau at mid-Vail – top of Gondola One. SpringBack to Vail is mid April.
Vail’s World Pond Skimming Championships is the biggest..well..in the world! An early April weekend at Golden Peak, enjoy the scene – a BBQ and beers overlooking the big pond where the best (and worst) dressed in crazy costumes attempt to cross the big expanse of cold water to the cheers and jeers of a big crowd. Like everything in Vail, this pond skim is massive, so is the crowd of spectators. The following April weekend at Vail is Powabunga – Vail’s end-of-season celebration, more snow and slush shenanigans!
Whistler Blackcomb World Ski & Snowboard Festival early April is a top ski event, bringing together “epic” skiing (yes Whistler is on the Epic Pass), film, art, professional ski and snowboard competitions, plus top concerts and après ski parties that go crazy late! If you’ve watched Bravo’s Après Ski and Timber Creek Lodge- you know Whistler’s party scene is out of this world.
Park City’s Spring Grüv in Canyons Village runs late March to early April with awesome free concerts and après-ski parties, plus a fun fundraiser late March – Pink Park City breast cancer awareness event. Park City’s “epic” spring fling culminates with the Annual Pond Skimming Contest at Red Pine.
Squaw Valley – now Palisades Tahoes celebrates PAIN MCSHLONKEY for Shane McConkey, posthumously and humorously – skiers are encouraged to dress up in vintage gear and pay tribute to the legendary free skier by going big in spring.
Steamboat’s Colorado Springalicious annual cardboard classic is mid April – locals recycle by creating box-cars to derby to fly downhill. The crashes are spectacular, so is the après ski scene at Steamboat.
Breckenridge’s annual Spring Fever Beer Festival early is now in its 15th year. This Colorado spring ski event is perfect for craft beer lovers and spring skiing lovers – that includes everyone right?!
Aspen Highlands Closing Day is an elevated spring ski party – the spring ski celebration above 10,000’ in the Rockies gets wild, with ridiculous retro outfits, serious drinking, even Champagne spraying! Did we mention you’re at 10,000 feet?! High times in Colorado.
Top Spring Ski Events in The East
New England skiers know the best skiing is typically in spring. Put away the facemasks and hand warmers for much welcome warmer sunnier ski days. The hard snow softens, those man made base depths turn to cream corn by mid morning and the BBQ fires up mid afternoon for sun and fun by the slopes. Spring is also a time for pond skimming, zany costumes and competitions on the ski slopes, even tailgating in muddy parking lots. No one said Eastern skiers were sane? But they are hard core! Here are some Eastern spring ski rites of passage and grand season finales full of fun and games, music and grills.
Cannon Mountain Bodefest is late March early April with Bode Miller himself.. I think he still “hates the media” so don’t bring the news crew but this is a great spring ski event and fundraiser for the Olympic skier’s Turtle Ridge Foundation. When the sun shines on Cannon Mountain in spring and Bode comes out – #boom (cannon sound) .
Killington Bear Mountain Challenge NOR’BEASTER is early April as Bump skiers go all out on Outer Limits moguls. Cheers and beers (sponsor Dos Equis) flow at the base of this spring ski party. The Beast of the East will keep skiing in to May.
Sugarloaf Reggaefest – now in year 30+ is mid April when Jamaica comes to Maine’s mountains. Top reggae bands set up on the Sugarloaf beach by day, and in the base lodge by night for some rocking island music. Wear your tie-dye and tie on a good time. Ironically few reggae fest attendees ski, so this is a great three-day weekend for spring ski conditions at the Loaf, especially when the snowfields are open.
Sunday River’s Spring Festival is the first weekend in April, was once called Parrot Head, so expect Jimmy Buffet music, margaritas flowing, palm trees, tropical outfits and general island vibe outside the White Cap Base. April also ushers in Sunday River’s is Pond-a-palooza with pond skimming and outdoor après ski outdoor concert series.
Loon has 80’s Day early April! Dress in your best (or worst) 1980’s outfit and get out on Loon’s soft slopes. Be totally rad for this spring weekend at North Peak, South Peak and Paul Bunyan’s for après ski! Loon Mountain’s Slushpool Party and Wet Tug-O-War is the following April weekend.
Wildcat has their Annual Cat Scratch Fever event early April as skiers compete to be the Cat’s Meow before the judges. If you’ve seen Wildcat’s Kitty Litter Box Derby in February, don’t miss this wild spring event at the Cat with live après ski entertainment in the Wildcat Pub .
Sugarbush Gelandesprung & Mt. Ellen End of Season Celebration is early April, this traditional ski jump event is a classic – to watch – even wilder to get sprung.
Sugarbush‘s Pond Skimming at Lincoln Peak early April is also a big splash, followed by the legendary Steins’ Challenge on mid April which is spring mogul mania – bring Z rubber knees and short quick skis to Sugarbush.
Okemo’s Slush Cup and Splash for Cash early April is a wet and wild good time with a pretty good pay day for the winner. Okemo’s 80 Retro Jam is mid April – rock your most rad 80s attire – totally awesome dude as Okemo wraps their “epic” season!
Jay Peak has Pond Skimming and their Annual Tailgate Party mid April, so bring your bikini, beer and your bbq.
Easter Sunday at East Coast ski resorts brings sunrise services at Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Killington, Stowe and Jay Peak….. Most ski resorts have Easter Egg Hunts on the ski slopes for kids, and costume parades, even a visit by the Easter Bunny. Look for a few snow bunnies on the beginner slopes too! Easter weekend is the season finale Sunday for most New England ski resorts.
Best Spring Ski Resorts in The East
Best Spring Skiing Out West
By Heather Burke, Photos by Greg Burke, Copyright Family Ski Trips 2023
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