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Three Ways to Turn Your Fourth of July into a Ski Getaway

Our miracle winter gives way to a miracle summer.


The big payoff for slogging through the winter’s record rainfall was, of course, salvation from drought. But there’s something in it for ski bums, too: Resorts are staying open far past their usual closing dates, which are often in April. Who needs the beach when you can still pull your ski boots on? Here, a trio of resorts where you can watch Fourth of July fireworks après-ski.  

Mammoth Mountain

Mammoth Lakes, CA

At Mammoth, it’s looking like an endless winter: The resort is on track to stay open through the end of July—possibly even into August (rooms from $109 per night). On Saturday, July 1, Mammoth is throwing an early Independence Day bash, which will include a gondola service up to the summit to view the sunset, live music, a barbecue, and a fireworks show ($29 for adults, $15 for Cali4nia Passholders, and free for kids under 12). As for the quality of the skiing, Mammoth public relations manager Lauren Burke is expecting warm temperatures and good snow at the black diamond Cornice Bowl and the double black Climax runs. “Our high elevation and heavy snowfall allow us to have great spring conditions longer than most anywhere else in the country,” she says. Backup plan: The golf course and the 3,500-acre mountain biking park will also be open, making Mammoth a good destination for a multi-activity weekend. 

Olympic Valley, CA

After getting a whopping 700 inches of snow this year—about 300 percent more than normal—Squaw extended its season through Fourth of July weekend (from $339 per night). Take advantage of record snowfall on Squaw’s KT-22 zone, known for its heart-pumping expert terrain, or take things slower in the Big Blue or Snoventure zones, where the course is a little friendlier. Then kick back at the Squaw Valley Freedom Fest, which brings live music to the resort the entire weekend, with concerts with performers such as alt-country musician Rayland Baxter (Sunday) and jazz guitarist Chris Cain (Tuesday), among many others. To cap it all off, head to the KT base bar Monday night to get a good view of the fireworks show. 

Bonus day trip: Just 25 minutes away in Soda Springs, Boreal is opening its slopes for a Summer Shred day with a pop-up beer garden (July 1).

Timberline Lodge
Government Camp, Oregon 
Though it’s a 10-hour drive from the Bay Area, Timberline is a worthy trek for dedicated skiers hankering for an escape to North America’s only year-round ski resort (from $259 per night). Timberline is known for its freestyle terrain parks, where expert skiers can play on jumps and pipes of all kinds. The terrain parks constantly change depending on the conditions and the staff’s ideas, but they draw from a huge arsenal of pipes and jumps to build their courses, so they will be a great challenge for adventurous skiers. Timberline is only about 15 minutes from the alpine village of Government Camp, where you can check out mountain-town spots like the Mt. Hood Brewing Co. (try the wings or a hand-tossed pizza, and wash it down with a local brew, $3.50 at happy hour). Amateur astronomers will want to make it back to Timberline in time for Saturday’s stargazing night, which starts at 8 p.m. in the parking lot next to the lodge. For manmade pyrotechnics on Monday night, drive 40 minutes to Sandy, Oregon, where you can watch the fireworks from Sandy High School’s field at dusk. (Just be sure to arrive early to nab a parking spot.) 


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