On the west coast, spring is in the air, while other parts of the country are still buried in snow. But whether your backyard is covered in drifts or you have to drive a few hours to the mountains, this is a good time to get the family out to play in the snow before it melts away.
Skiing and Snowboarding
All of the Sierra Nevada ski resorts have plenty of good snow right now, and have put COVID-safe protocols in place to keep people socially distanced. Most are currently projecting closing dates in mid April, though Squaw Valley and Homewood say they’ll stay open until May 4th. So Californians have at least a month to get everyone up on skis or a snowboard. Across the country, ski resorts typically close in early April, though Colorado’s Arapahoe Basin , Oregon’s Timberline Lodge, and Mammoth Mountain in the eastern Sierra often stay open much later, even into early June. Please abide by all local rules regarding permitted travel distances from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like ski resorts, tubing resorts stay open as late in the season as they possibly can, so this is one of your best bets for all-in-the-family spring snow fun. Open through April, Adventure Mountain in South Lake Tahoe has 17 groomed sledding runs to provide thrills for all ages and they allow you to bring your own sleds if you prefer not to use theirs. (Though they have cleaning protocols in place.) Some of the country’s most elaborate tubing extravaganzas like Colorado’s Winter Adventure Park also stay open into April.
The toboggan is unique in that the whole family can fit on one sled, and everyone has to work together to steer – or at least to try not to crash! Many resorts have toboggans available for borrowing or rental and they’re often stashed for use in the basements of rental cabins – just ask.
Probably the hottest new snow sport for the past couple of years, snowshoeing is not the awkward slog you remember. Thanks to today’s sleek, lightweight new showshoes, you can cover as much ground as you would on a day’s hike and stay warm and dry in the process. Whether you plan to rent or buy, R.E.I’s guide to choosing snowshoes will give you the info you need.