Q: I'm hoping to go skiing this April. I'd like to go somewhere that has access to additional activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Where might I find this and good late snow? Thanks!
Falling angel: a Heavenly day on the south side of Tahoe
-Wade Blattner, San Francisco, California
A: April snow below the Canadian border is always a bit iffy. For this reason, most major resorts would rather close up early than risk watching their dollars melt away with the slush. Fortunately, for you the most dependable exception could be the one closest to homeÂ—in Tahoe, last year's ski season stretched into June.
On the north side of the lake, super-resort Squaw Valley offers legendary downhill while the ungroomed backcountry paths between Incline Village and Mount Rose offer unbeatable lake views, perfect for snowshoeing or skinny skiing. Nearby Royal Gorge boasts over 200 miles of groomed cross-country trails. On the south side, you can get your downhill fix at Heavenly, your cross-country kicks at Kirkwood , and your evening gambling on the Nevada side of the border.
If you can squeeze your trip into the first week of April, your options open up. I can think of no cooler combo than a day of downhill at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, (www.jacksonhole.com) followed by a backcountry adventure amid the steam spouts of Yellowstone. Top nod goes to the park's nine-mile Lone Star Geyser Trail, which takes you from the Old Faithful Snow Lodge to a geyser that erupts every few hours or so. The ski season officially ends April 8, but there should still be plenty of ground cover left for snowshoeing. If all else fails, Jackson has more than a handful of taverns where you can drown your sorrows in good companyÂ—my favorite is the Cowboy Bar on Cache.