Beat the Heat: The Best Summer Skiing Destinations for North Americans on a Budget

Beat the Heat: The Best Summer Skiing Destinations for North Americans on a Budget
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Skiing is often associated with winter and colder weather, but did you know that it's possible to go skiing in the summer? Yes, you read that right! If you're living in North America and are on a budget, you can still enjoy skiing during the summer months. Here's how:

Look for summer ski resorts

There are a few ski resorts that remain open in the summer months, offering skiing and snowboarding on glaciers. Some of the popular summer ski resorts in North America include Timberline Lodge in Oregon, Mount Hood in Oregon, and Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada. These resorts typically offer lift tickets and rental equipment at reduced prices during the summer months.

Take advantage of package deals

Many ski resorts offer package deals that include lift tickets, rentals, and accommodation. These deals can help you save money and make your trip more affordable. Look for package deals specifically for summer skiing to get the best value for your money.

Bring your own equipment

If you have your own ski equipment, bring it with you. This can save you money on rental fees. However, keep in mind that summer skiing requires different equipment than winter skiing. You'll need skis or a snowboard with a wider base and edges that can handle icy conditions.

Travel during the off-season

Ski resorts are typically more expensive during the winter months when they're at their busiest. If you travel during the off-season, you can take advantage of lower prices. Summer is generally a slower time for ski resorts, so you can expect to find deals on accommodation and lift tickets.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead can help you save money and avoid any surprises. Look for deals online and book your trip in advance to secure the best prices. Consider staying in budget-friendly accommodations such as hostels or vacation rentals.


Escape the Heat: Discovering Affordable Summer Skiing in North America - A Guide to Five Budget-Friendly Ski Resorts, Including Prices, Terrain, and More.

Mt. Hood
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Timberline Lodge, Oregon (7/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $75 for adults.

Pros:

  • Timberline Lodge offers summer skiing on Mount Hood, with lift-accessed skiing and snowboarding on Palmer Glacier.
  • The resort has a good mix of beginner and intermediate terrain, as well as expert terrain for more advanced skiers.
  • The views from the mountain are spectacular, and the lodge itself is a historic building with plenty of charm.

Cons:

  • Timberline Lodge can get crowded in the summer, especially on weekends.
  • The snow can also be slushy and unpredictable, depending on the weather.
Photo by Elena Kuchko / Unsplash

Mount Hood, Oregon (6/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $62 for adults.

Pros:

  • Mount Hood offers summer skiing and snowboarding on its Palmer Glacier, with lift-accessed terrain suitable for all levels.
  • The resort also offers a variety of summer activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.
  • The mountain has a laid-back vibe and is less crowded than some of the other ski resorts in the area.

Cons:

  • The snow conditions can be variable, with some years offering better conditions than others.
  • The lifts can also be slow and outdated.
Photo by Benjamin Hayward / Unsplash

Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia, Canada (8/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $89 CAD for adults.

Pros:

  • Whistler Blackcomb is a world-renowned ski resort that offers summer skiing and snowboarding on its Horstman Glacier.
  • The resort has a huge variety of terrain, with runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders.
  • The mountain also offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and glaciers.
  • The village at the base of the mountain has plenty of amenities and activities, such as shopping, dining, and spa services.

Cons:

  • Whistler Blackcomb can be expensive, especially for Americans travelling to Canada.
  • The mountain can also get crowded in the summer, and the lift lines can be long.
2012 Tibet
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Mount Bachelor, Oregon (6/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $69 for adults.

Pros:

  • Mount Bachelor offers summer skiing and snowboarding on its slopes, with lift-accessed terrain for all levels.
  • The mountain also offers summer activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing, and has a laid-back, family-friendly vibe.

Cons:

  • The snow conditions can be variable, and the mountain can be prone to slushy, heavy snow in the summer.
  • The lifts can also be slow and outdated.
A woman sitting and drinking
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Mammoth Mountain, California (7/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $109 for adults.

Pros:

  • Mammoth Mountain is a popular ski resort that offers summer skiing and snowboarding on its slopes, with lift-accessed terrain suitable for all levels.
  • The resort also has a variety of summer activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and fishing.
  • The mountain has a relaxed, California vibe and is known for its sunny, warm weather.

Cons:

  • Mammoth Mountain can be expensive, and the lift lines can be long during peak times.
  • The snow conditions can also be unpredictable, depending on the weather.

Overall, there are plenty of options for summer skiing in North America, each with its own pros and cons. Consider your budget, skill level, and preferred activities when choosing a resort, and be sure to book in advance to secure the best prices.

A bonus location in South America for summer skiing, along with a comparison of costs with the previous options

Snowcap mountains in the sky
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Valle Nevado, Chile (7/10)

Price: A day pass costs around $58 USD for adults.

Pros:

  • Valle Nevado is a popular ski resort in the Andes Mountains of Chile, offering summer skiing and snowboarding on its slopes.
  • The resort has a variety of terrain for all levels, as well as stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The resort also offers a variety of summer activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and zip-lining.

Cons:

  • Valle Nevado can get crowded during peak times, and the lift lines can be long.
  • The resort is also quite expensive compared to other ski resorts in Chile.

Cost Comparison:

Valle Nevado's day pass cost is significantly cheaper than the other options mentioned, making it a more budget-friendly option for summer skiing. However, it's important to note that the cost of travel to Chile, accommodations, and other expenses may add up and make it a more expensive overall trip compared to the other options mentioned.


Location Price for a Day Pass (USD) Pros Cons Overall Score
Timberline Lodge $75 Mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain; charming lodge; spectacular views Crowded on weekends; unpredictable snow conditions 7
Mount Hood $62 Laid-back vibe; suitable terrain for all levels; variety of summer activities Variable snow conditions; slow and outdated lifts 6
Whistler Blackcomb $89 CAD (approx. $71 USD) World-renowned resort with huge variety of terrain; stunning views; amenities and activities in village Expensive, especially for Americans; crowded; long lift lines 8
Mount Bachelor $69 Laid-back, family-friendly vibe; suitable terrain for all levels; variety of summer activities Variable snow conditions; slow and outdated lifts 6
Mammoth Mountain $109 Suitable terrain for all levels; variety of summer activities; sunny, warm weather Expensive; long lift lines; unpredictable snow conditions 7
Valle Nevado $58 Affordable day pass; variety of terrain; stunning views; variety of summer activities Crowded during peak times; expensive compared to other Chilean ski resorts 7

The overall score is on a scale of 0-10, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. These scores are based on the pros and cons listed in the article and are subjective. Keep in mind that the overall score is just one factor to consider when choosing a ski resort - personal preferences and priorities may differ.


If you're looking for a way to beat the heat this summer and you've got some cash to burn, head to Whistler Blackcomb or Mammoth Mountain. But if you're ballin' on a budget and don't mind some slow lifts and variable snow conditions, then Timberline Lodge or Mount Bachelor might be more your speed. And if you're feeling adventurous and want to head south of the equator, Valle Nevado in Chile is a solid choice - just make sure you bring some extra cash for those pisco sours après-ski.

Remember, no matter where you end up skiing this summer, always wear sunscreen and don't forget to hydrate - especially if you plan on indulging in some après-ski beverages. Happy shredding, snow bunnies!