Nothing beats the rush of zooming down a snow-covered hill with crisp winter air brushing against your face. For RVing skiers and snowboarders, hitting the slopes during the winter delivers an adrenaline fix that’s unmatched.
But organizing a ski or snowboarding trip isn’t quite as easy as navigating a well-groomed ski run. Hauling skis and/or snowboards, poles and boots, buying tickets and sorting through gloves, goggles and ski wear can become a packing nightmare. Add COVID restrictions to the mix — with social distancing guidelines and limited service in place — and a ski trip can seem like more of a hassle than it’s worth.
That’s where an RV comes in handy. With plenty of storage space for ski gear and all the amenities needed for food and warmth, an RV can serve as a mobile ski lodge. Park at a ski spot in the morning and hit the lifts. After a day of fun, return to your chalet on wheels for a cup of hot cocoa, a warm meal and sleeping accommodations for the whole group.
Check out the following ski areas for prime downhill fun, then stay at one of the nearby Good Sam Parks that stay open through winter for snow buffs. As always, call ahead to check on COVID restrictions and monitor weather conditions. Come prepared for cold-weather camping, and be ready to fasten chains to your tires for icy and snowy roads.
Squaw Valley, California
Just a few miles east of Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley Ski Resort thrills skiers with deep powder and slopes that range from gentle to hardcore with a base elevation of 9,000 feet. It’s easy to see why this area was chosen as the site of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Lifts include the KT-22, voted the best lift in North America for its high speeds and quad seating, leading skiers to world-class steeps and wide-open bowls. The Red Dog lift starts just steps from the Village at Squaw Valley and delivers snow buffs to some of the best powder around.
From nearby Truckee, transportation to the resort is available through the TART (Transit through the Tahoe Area) service.
Stay: In Truckee, Coachland RV Park features spaces that sit amid tall pine trees. With 114 pull-through sites with full-hookups, this park appeals to RVers seeking convenience.
Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
Sitting 100 miles west of Denver, this Rocky Mountain playground boasts the tallest chairlift in North America and 187 trails on 2,908 skiable acres. The area also receives some of the highest snow totals in the Centennial state, with runs ranging from the easy-going Trygve’s to the super-steep Shock. You’ll never run out of snowy terrain on this mountain.
RV Parking is available on the Satellite Lot on Airport Road. It is free and there is a free bus that will take visitors to the ski resort.
Stay: Middlefork RV Resort in Fairplay has 46 spaces, including big-rig sites, a table at each site and full hookups. The resort’s Winter Store and Ski Program allows customers to pay for storage and stay in their RV for four nights per month at the daily rate. A new bus service from Fairplay to Breckenridge whisks visitors to the slopes.
Big Sky Resort, Montana
An hour south of Bozeman in the northern Rockies, Big Sky Resort comprises 5,800 skiable acres, accessible by 31 lifts. Take the Lone Peak Tram to the 11,166-foot summit and explore 300 degrees of skiable terrain. The vast expanses of snow and relatively small crowds make this one of the finest snow destinations in North America.
RVs are allowed at the resort’s day camping lot, but no overnight camping is allowed.
Stay: Ruby Valley Campground & RV Park in Alder gives guests the chance to camp in winter splendor. The park has 38 full-hookup, pull-through spaces with ample room for slideouts. Take advantage of year-round hunting in the surrounding terrain.
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Part of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, Taos Ski Valley has gained renown for its steep runs. Hop on the new Kachina Peak lift to the top of the mountain at 12,450 feet above sea level and take your pick of adrenaline-pumping snow experiences. Afraid of heights? Forty-nine percent of the ski area is suited for intermediate and beginner level, so less-experienced visitors will have plenty of room to ski or snowboard.
Visitors will find RV Parking just steps from the lifts. After skiing, head into town to experience one of the oldest communities in North America.
Stay: South of Taos, Roadrunner RV Park in Santa Fe has 60 spaces, including big rig sites and full hookups. The tribally owned park offers a wide range of amenities with several restaurants nearby.
Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Popular as a day trip destination, Mount Bachelor ranks high among Pacific Northwest ski and snowboarding locations. Lots of high-speed chair lifts, plenty of intermediate terrain and compelling tree skiing draw snow lovers to the 4,300-acre resort. Visitors can spend days exploring the 101 named runs and even ski to the backside of the resort’s cone. Expand your skiing menu with a trip 77 miles northwest to the Hoodoo Ski Area.
Stay: Bend Sisters RV Resort puts guests in the midst of Oregon’s most popular skiing as well as hiking, fishing and whitewater rafting. Stay in one of the 99 spaces, including big rig sites, 66 pull-throughs and full hookups. Plan to return for spring, summer or fall for more fun.
Park City Mountain, Utah
Welcome to powder paradise. Many ski buffs claim that this popular ski destination has some of the fluffiest white stuff in the world, accessible via 348 trails on 7,300 acres. Considered the largest ski resort in the U.S., the mountain has a base elevation of 9,990 feet. Advanced skiers can take the Ninety-Nine 90 Express to peak and ski down runs like End Zone and Fright Gully. Closer to the base, several intermediate and beginner runs give slower-paced skiers a chance for fun in the snow.
In town, several park and ride lots offer shuttles to Park City Mountain. Check availability beforehand and prepare for big crowds.
Stay: Just 18 miles to the south, the top-rated Mountain Valley RV Resort in Heber Valley offers 150 spaces, with several pull-through sites with plenty of room for slide-outs.
Crystal Mountain Resort, Washington
Located just 80 miles southeast of Seattle, Crystal Mountain Resort is ideal for day trips from the city. But you might want to stay awhile to truly experience this downhill extravaganza. Tucked in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Mount Rainier, Crystal Mountain encompasses 2,600 acres with more than 80 named runs, from easy stretches for beginnings to bowls to backcountry runs for more adventurous skiers and snowboarders.
RV and overnight parking is available; shuttles take guests from the remote lot to the resort.
Stay: South of Crystal Mountain, Rainier Wings/Packwood RV Park and Campground puts guests in the heart of Volcano Country, so named for its proximity between Washington’s two iconic volcanoes: Rainier and Mount St. Helens. The four-season resort treats guests to Wi-Fi, restrooms and lots of activities between ski jaunts. The resort has 87 spaces, including 10 pull-through sites and 77 full-hookup sites.
Lake Louise Ski Resort, Alberta
The Canadian Rockies host a slew of popular ski spots, and Lake Louise Ski Resort gives visitors some of the biggest downhill thrills north of the border. Less than an hour from Banff, the resort’s 4,200 acres of skiable terrain give adventurers a nice mix of alpine bowls, steeps, chutes and nicely groomed runs. While riding the lifts, enjoy the majestic views of Bow Valley and surrounding mountains.
Get reserved parking at the resort for your RV here.
Stay: Located in a town with the same name, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort just across the British Columbia border welcomes families for winter fun. The area’s public natural mineral hot springs are operating with caution and limited access — it’s worth the wait to soothe tired muscles after a day of skiing. At the resort, 177 full-hookup spaces have room for slide-outs and include pull-through sites.