Canada (English)

Best Resorts for Thanksgiving Powder Turns

Copyright: Skye Chalmers

Here are a few secrets about skiing and riding during the Thanksgiving holiday: Turkey day tends to be light on crowds at many ski resorts. November isn’t peak season, so resorts offer reduced lodging rates. You can avoid kitchen stress by dining out on traditional holiday meals. Sure, the fledgling snowpack may rely on heavy snowmaking for groomer skiing, but most skiers’ legs could use the warmup. However, if pre-season snow totals are big, Thanksgiving skiers may be stuffing their faces with more powder than turkey.


US Resort Snow Forecasts


See the below list of North American ski resorts and find your best bet for skiing and riding during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday. 

1&2. Lake LouiseSunshine Village

Head north to Banff for early holiday snow this season. Lake Louise gives skiers and riders access to 4,200 skiable acres and 3,251 vertical feet of drop. They're already open and are enjoying 26cm (10 in) of new snow in the last 3 days.

Sunshine Village, Canada’s highest elevated resort, is another option for Banff skiers and encompasses more than 3,300 skiable acres. Off the snow, soak in hot springs, twirl on ice skates, sightsee on the Banff Gondola and Christmas shop downtown. If you're looking to fly into Banff, you'll find many direct flights into Calgary International Airport; from there, Banff is within a 90-minute drive. 

3. Sun Valley Resort

Thanksgiving marks the opening of Sun Valley Resort. Depending on early-season conditions, expect to find at least two open lifts on Dollar Mountain and four to five open lifts on Bald Mountain.

Sun Valley is known for its western flair and European styling. The resort offers 2,054 skiable acres and 3,400 feet of vertical drop. Grab a plate and enjoy live music and plenty of food at the annual Thanksgiving Buffet, located at the Sun Valley Inn. Off the slopes, stroll through galleries rich in artistic ambiance, catch a movie or play virtual golf at the Nordic center. 

er rips through Sun Valley powder.  - © Visit Sun Valley

er rips through Sun Valley powder.

Copyright: Visit Sun Valley

4. Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek Resort adds to warm holiday traditions by passing out cookies hot from the oven for their opening day celebration (November 27). The World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie Competition features the top five finalists baking up 1,000 cookies each; you can vote on the tastiest and work off the calories skiing Beaver Creek's 1,832 skiable acres and 3,340 feet of vertical.  

To add to the excitement, guests are invited to witness the annual Beaver Creek Tree Lighting Ceremony to launch the Christmas season. Carolers, the winner of the children’s poetry contest, the lighting of the village, fireworks and a visit from Santa round out the family entertainment. 

5. Steamboat

Head to Steamboat this Thanksgiving for great early season conditions and holiday events. The Annual Routt County United Way Thanksgiving Day dinner brings the entire community together in downtown Steamboat for a feast to remember.

Steamboat opens on November 15, allowing skiers and riders a first look at the resort's 2,965 skiable acres. 

6. Park City Mountain Resort

Park City Mountain Resort is a great option for early-season skiers and riders with its projected opening date of November 22 and multiple planned events. Park City, located just 35-minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, offers 7,300 skiable acres serviced by 41 lifts.


US Resort Projected Opening Dates


Kaylin Richardson enjoys fresh powder at Canyons in Park City, Utah. The resort averages 355 inches of snowfall a year and has 4,000 acres of skiable terrain  - © Liam Doran

Kaylin Richardson enjoys fresh powder at Canyons in Park City, Utah. The resort averages 355 inches of snowfall a year and has 4,000 acres of skiable terrain

Copyright: Liam Doran

7. Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows

Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows opens its doors on Friday, November 15. It spans more than 6,000 skiable acres and features 42 lifts and 270 trails.

The resort invested more than $1 million in snowmaking for the 2018-2019 season, so regardless of early season snow totals, there will be plenty of open terrain come turkey day. Don't miss their traditional Thanksgiving meal at High Camp overlooking Lake Tahoe.

8. Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Mountain opened November 9! They currently have 1 chair open, but about half the mountain typically opens by turkey day during lean years. During stormy years, skiers and riders can find all lifts running across Mammoth Mountain's more than 3,500 skiable acres and 3,100 feet of vertical drop.

Off the snow, join the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot and view the annual tree lighting ceremony in The Village; this family event includes kids' activities and live music.

Sunshine and powder are key ingredients to an unbeatable day at Mammoth.  - © Liam Doran

Sunshine and powder are key ingredients to an unbeatable day at Mammoth.

Copyright: Liam Doran

9. Sugarloaf

Sugarloaf opens November 15. The resort, which sits on Maine's second-highest peak, typically offers around 1,700 vertical feet with 3-10 trails open for the holiday weekend.

For families, Sugarloaf offers ice skating and unique indoor fun. The town-owned Antigravity Complex features trampolines, a climbing wall, and a skateboard park. 


undefined - © Skye Chalmers
undefined - © Liam Doran
Sun Valley - © Visit Sun Valley
Plenty for shoppers and foodies in Banff - © Paul Zizka/Banff Lake Louise Tourism

View All

Latest Gear

Five rules for the correct ski length

Five rules for the correct ski length

Wondering how long your skis should be? Pro skier, Kim Reichhelm shares her guide to proper ski length.
Hot Gear for This Year: 3 Top Trends for 18/19 ©Liam Doran

Hot Gear for This Year: 3 Top Trends for 18/19

Should I buy skis now or hold out for next season? Gear expert Krista Crabtree provides a sneak peek at the 18/19 s...

Related Articles

Winter 19/20 Long-Range Weather Forecast ©Chris Tomer

Winter 19/20 Long-Range Weather Forecast

Meteorologist Chris Tomer's outlook for the 19/20 ski season predicts a neutral phase. See what that means & where to ski.