By Sam Collentine, Meteorologist Updated 2 months ago April 29, 2024

Expert Tips: Planning Your Next Adventure

When it comes to planning your next hike, bike, or any other outdoor activity, you can either dig through multiple clunky websites and spend hours sifting through weather data or you can check OpenSnow, your one-stop-shop for avoiding incoming storms, knowing what trail conditions to expect, tracking wildfire smoke, and much more.

Get the most out of OpenSnow with these expert tips...

View Forecasts Anywhere on Earth

Plan your outside time with 10-day forecasts for your favorite high-alpine climb, mountain bike trail, camping spot, beach vacation, and home neighborhood.

  1. Go to the "Maps" tab and tap any location.
  2. Tap "Add to Favorites".
  3. Choose the name, location type, and favorites list.
  4. Dig into the latest forecast and recent conditions.
  5. View any custom location on your Favorites screen.

Save up to 15 custom locations to view on your "Favorites" screen for quick and convenient access to the latest 10-day weather forecast and conditions.

View → Forecast Anywhere

Track Storms With Hourly Forecasts & Current Radar

Don't get caught in the storm. View hourly precipitation, lightning, temperature, feels like temperature, wind speed & gust, humidity, and cloud cover forecasts for the next 10 days to help you get off the summit in time to avoid any potential weather and lightning risk.

  1. Go to any location screen.
  2. Scroll down to the "10 Day Forecast" section.

You can also track incoming and ongoing storms with current and forecast radar when you have service on your mobile device.

  1. Tap the "Maps" tab.
  2. Tap the overlay button.
  3. Tap "Current US Radar" or "Forecast US Radar".
  4. Scrub the bottom slider.

The "Current US Radar" is updated every 8 minutes to help you track ongoing precipitation for the past 2 hours, while the "Forecast US Radar" is updated every hour to help you track forecasted precipitation for the next 2 days.

View → Current US Radar

Know If Trails Are Wet, Snowy, or Dry

Before heading out on your next hike or mountain bike ride, check the recent weather and know if the trails are snow-covered, muddy, a little wet, or dry.

  1. Go to any location screen.
  2. Scroll down to the "Insight" section.

The estimated conditions are updated every hour and built by integrating radar, surface and satellite observations, stream gauge data, climatology, and our in-house weather forecast system.

View → Trail Conditions

Avoid Poor Air Quality & Wildfire Smoke

Track incoming wildfire smoke, see real-time air quality, and view active fires on OpenSnow.

These high-resolution maps on OpenSnow highlight the exact location of active fires and forecast their downstream smoke impacts for the next 2 days.

  1. Tap the "Maps" tab.
  2. Tap the overlay button.
  3. Tap any "Air Quality" or "Wildfire" map.
  4. Scrub the bottom slider.

We recommend using the "Smoke High-Res (surface)" overlay to track smoke for the next 2 days near the ground where it can impact breathing (US only) and the "Air Quality Forecast" overlay to view the likely location of smoke and other pollutants for the next 5 days, worldwide.

View → Air Quality Maps

Download Offline Satellite & Terrain Maps

Download and save high-resolution satellite and terrain base maps in the OpenSnow app to see your exact location on the map, even while offline and without cell service.

  1. Go to Settings > Your Offline Maps.
  2. Tap the (+) button in the lower right.
  3. Adjust the area and tap "Download Offline".
  4. Name the map and tap "Save".

You can then return to Settings > Your Offline Maps to view your maps while you're offline, as well as edit and create new offline maps when you have service.

View → Offline Maps

The Essential Weather Tools, All In One App

As outdoorsy meteorologists, we started OpenSnow to make it easy for our friends (and their friends) to find powder and explore complex, mountain terrain. Now over 10 years later, we still obsess about making the forecast even more accurate and creating features for planning your next adventure, all in one app.

View → OpenSnow Forecasts

Questions? Send an email to [email protected] and we'll respond within 24 hours. You can also visit our Support Center to view frequently asked questions and feature guides.

Sam Collentine

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About The Author

Sam Collentine


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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