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By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Updated 4 months ago October 9, 2023

Best Ski Resorts For Christmas & New Year's Snow

It's never too early to start planning for the upcoming winter season and that includes the popular time around the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Our friends at ZRankings have put together an excellent guide to help you find the best snow during the holidays.


ZRankings Methodology

1) % of terrain open by December 25.

2) % of winters with half of its terrain open by December 25. 

3) Average seasonal snowfall.

4) Likelihood of a prolonged drought.


Alta, Utah

Early Season Snow Score: 99.0

Alta averages 96% of its terrain open by December 25, with only 5% of winters receiving less than half of its terrain open by Christmas Day.

"For skiers hoping to sneak out at the beginning of the season and find a ski resort that's draped head to toe in a deep façade of snow, Alta is always an excellent bet." -ZRankings

Snow Forecast & Report: Alta


Steamboat, Colorado

Early Season Snow Score: 95.9

Steamboat averages 93% of its terrain open by December 25, with only 5% of winters receiving less than half of its terrain open by Christmas Day.

"Steamboat is further helped by the shape of its mountain, which is chock full of mellow slopes that hold snow rather than sloughing it off like the steeper terrain of Snowbird or Jackson Hole." -ZRankings

Snow Forecast & Report: Steamboat


Brighton, Utah

Early Season Snow Score: 87.9

Brighton averages 90% of its terrain open by December 25, with only 10% of winters receiving less than half of its terrain open by Christmas Day.

"Positioned at the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton harvests snow at a clip that only other Utah resorts can match. Its terrain is mellower than that at next-door neighbor Solitude, which helps it get terrain open more quickly." -ZRankings

Snow Forecast & Report: Brighton


Mt. Bachelor, Oregon

Early Season Snow Score: 87.9

Mt. Bachelor averages 90% of its terrain open by December 25, with only 10% of winters receiving less than half of its terrain open by Christmas Day.

"Oregon's gem of a ski resort, parked on the volcano from which it draws its name, attracts copious amounts of Pacific-borne snow, which it greedily stows away on its glaciers and within its tall stands of Douglas fir." -ZRankings

Snow Forecast & Report: Mt. Bachelor


Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia

Early Season Snow Score: 84.0

Whistler averages 86% of its terrain open by December 25, with only 10% of winters receiving less than half of its terrain open by Christmas Day.

"The behemoth of the British Columbia coastal range is a stalwart of the early season, drawing in storms from the Pacific and hoarding enough snow that the ski resort averages having 86% of its terrain open by Dec. 25. This makes Whistler a fantastic bet when planning a Christmas-New Year's ski trip, or perhaps something even earlier." -ZRankings

Snow Forecast & Report: Whistler


ZRankings: Top 15 Ski Resort Full List & Descriptions


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Sam Collentine

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About The Author

Sam Collentine

Meteorologist

Sam Collentine is the Chief Operating Officer of OpenSnow and lives in Basalt, Colorado. Before joining OpenSnow, he studied Atmospheric Science at the University of Colorado, spent time at Channel 7 News in Denver, and at the National Weather Service in Boulder.

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