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How to Ski All Summer Long

Missing winter? Here's where to get your shred on well into July.

(The Camp of Champions/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Missing winter? Here's where to get your shred on well into July.

If you’re a dedicated skier or snowboarder, summer can feel like a long, hot wait until winter’s glorious return. Sure, you could fly to South America or Australia to find some snow, but it doesn’t have to be a slog to grab some turns during the year’s warmest months. We rounded up the best—and easiest—places to pretend it’s winter in the thick of summer.


(Courtesy Timberline)

Mount Hood, Oregon

Timberline never really closes. This ski area on the flank of Mount Hood, an hour from Portland, Oregon, has extensive winter operations and continues to run its Palmer Express chair all summer long. Race and freestyle camps take up much of the space—Timberline is an official summer training site for the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team—but there’s a groomed public run and terrain park in the Palmer Snowfield on the mountain’s south face. Tickets cost $71. Stay on-site at the historic Timberline Lodge (from $250), or grab a bunk or private room (from $22) at Mazama Lodge down the hill.


(Courtesy Hintertux)

Tux, Austria

Each summer, Hintertux Glacier, Austria’s only year-round ski resort, keeps open a whopping ten lifts, two on-mountain restaurants, and plenty of steep terrain. You’ll top out at 10,600 feet, with views of the Dolomites in the distance. Lift tickets start at $27, and there’s plenty to do here besides skiing. You can swim or kayak through an ice cave, mountain bike nearly 2,000 vertical feet below the snow line, or hire a guide to climb the 11,404-foot Olperer Mountain, which towers over the Zillertal Valley. Fly into Innsbruck, 50 miles away, and book a room at the aptly named Hotel Eden (from $90), where a ski bus stops right outside.

Saint Mary’s Glacier

st marys glacier
(Good Free Photos)

Arapaho National Forest, Colorado

If you’re craving snowy turns in July, you can usually score them at Saint Mary’s Glacier, an hour west of Denver, off Interstate 70, near the town of Idaho Springs. This high-elevation backcountry zone holds snow well into summer. There are no chairlifts, and backcountry knowledge is a must. You’ll be rewarded with views of Saint Mary’s Lake just below the snowfield and James Peak in the distance. It’s free to ski here; parking costs $5. There are lodging options in Idaho Springs, but we recommend booking a stay at the Forest Service’s Squaw Mountain Fire Lookout, an hour away, for $80 a night.

Beartooth Basin

beartooth basin
(Justin Modroo/Beartooth Basin)

Beartooth Pass, Montana

Beartooth Basin doesn’t even operate in winter. This summer-only ski area, located outside Red Lodge, Montana, on the Beartooth Highway, opens every year around Memorial Day with a raucous party. This year, it’ll close down on July 8. There’s no lodge, and you’ll buy your $45 lift ticket from an old bus. Two Poma lifts powered by a biodiesel generator bring skiers to the Twin Lakes Headwall for 600 acres of above-tree-line bowl skiing, including cornices to huck and rails to slide. The terrain is steep enough to host freeskiing competitions each summer. Bring a grill to tailgate in the parking lot, and grab a beer afterward at the Red Lodge Ales Brewing Company.

Blackcomb Mountain

blackcomb mountain
(Camp of Champions/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Whistler, British Columbia

You can grab some of North America’s coolest T-bar-accessed glacier skiing until July 15 at Blackcomb Mountain’s Horstman Glacier. In midsummer, it’s mostly kids and teens here for summer camp, but there is one public lane with jumps and rails, plus a groomed slope. Lift tickets cost $51, and don’t miss the outdoor barbecue at the mountaintop Horstman Hut. You can make it a multisport weekend by riding Whistler Bike Park, lower on the mountain, before or after you ski. Stay at Aava Whistler (from $114), located a short walk from the gondola, and you’ll get a free bike rental and a tasty breakfast spread.

Filed To: Colorado / Austria / British Columbia / Montana / Oregon / Snow Sports / Travel
Nicolas Henderson/Creative Commons )

San Marcos, Texas

Billed as the world’s toughest canoe race, the Texas Water Safari, held each June, is a four-day, 260-mile jaunt from the headwaters of the San Marcos River northeast of San Antonio to the small shrimping town of Seadrift on the Gulf Coast. There’s no prize money—just bragging rights for the winner. Any boat without a motor is allowed, and you’ll have to carry your own equipment and overnight gear. Food and water are provided at aid stations along the way. Entry fees start at $175 and increase as race day approaches.

The Ring

(Courtesy Quatro Hubbard)

Strasburg, Virginia

The Ring is a 71-mile trail running race in early September along the entire length of Virginia’s rough and rocky Massanutten Trail loop. To qualify, you need to have run a 50- or 100-mile race before the event and win a spot through the lottery system. Entry is free. Complete the run and you’ll become part of the tight-knit Fellowship of the Ring and be eligible for the Reverse Ring, which entails running the trail backwards in the middle of winter.


(David Silver)

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Each spring, competitors gather in Santa Fe’s historic plaza with a simple goal: be the first to reach 12,308-foot Deception Peak, 17 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain away. Competitors run or bike the first 15 miles to the local ski area before transitioning to their waiting ski-touring setups for the final push to the top. Time stops only when they’ve skied back down to the tailgate in the resort’s parking lot, which is funded by the modest entry fee of around $25. To add to the sufferfest, some participants sign up for the Expedition category, in which they strap their skis, skins, boots, and poles to their bikes for the long ride up. Start dates vary depending on snow conditions, but look for the event page to be posted on Facebook in late March or early April.