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Travel News Will ski resorts open in 2021? Here’s everything you need to know

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Will ski resorts open in 2021? Here’s everything you need to know

We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you'll be ready.

It’s that time of year when you start itching to hit the pistes. And, we know you’re wondering, will ski resorts open in 2021? That’s not surprising since going anywhere can feel complicated and overwhelming right now. Just know we’re putting in a 5-star effort to help you make amazing travel decisions, if and when you’re ready to go.

Please remember that in all cases, current travel recommendations in this article are hopeful and meant to inspire. Things can change quickly and thus, it’s absolutely crucial to check government guidelines before planning or booking travel.

family skiing destinations 2021

The new COVID-19 rules for skiing trips in 2021 

Fortunately, skiing is an excellent activity to embrace despite the uptick in coronavirus cases. It’s a low risk, low transmission activity because it’s a naturally social distanced activity. But, there are few precautions that will probably be new to you this year:

  1. Expect season pass caps and capacity limits. Many skiing deals in 2021 will only be offered to season pass holders. Look for ski resorts that offer refunds in case of COVID-19 related closures. 
  2. Carry your own face mask and practice 6-foot distancing in both indoor and outdoor standing areas. Lift queues, run lines, and ski classes are not exempt.
  3. You will only be able to share a ski lift with people from your own household. Additionally, lift tickets may be restricted to certain ski packages and not offered for day-use guests. 
  4. Plan and pay ahead with all-inclusive ski vacation packages. Ensure that they arrange rental equipment, parking, lessons, lodging, and dining prior to your arrival.
  5. Regional travel is still best for skiing trips in 2021. Stay local if you can.
  6. Self-catering, in-room dining, outdoor food patios, and winter picnicking will be the norm. The cozy mingling scenarios normally associated with ski lodge culture will be missing this year.

Will ski resorts open in 2021?

Yes, many ski resorts will definitely be open this winter. Most international destinations are off-limits to USA citizens for now, but there are plenty of regional ski resorts open.

Woman skiing down a mountain with chairlifts in the background

What safety precautions are in place for skiing trips in 2021?

After asking “Will ski resorts open in 2021,” you might next wonder how COVID restrictions might impact your trip. Know that social distancing orders and crowd capacity limits will be strictly enforced this year. Expect to wear a facemask and to comply with temperature checks. Don’t go anywhere without advance reservations.

Use these tips for safe skiing trips in 2021

  1. Spend as much time outside as possible 
  2. Skip weekends and holiday 
  3. Plan for picnics and in-room dining 
  4. Book early and choose all-inclusive ski packages
  5. Head to lesser-known destinations and smaller resorts 
  6. Prepare for cashless environments

Will ski resorts open in 2021 & which resorts will be the safest?

We’ve already established that yes, ski resorts will be open. And those that will be the safest ski resorts include those that have an active COVID plan. This means that they are complying with local and government health standards. Be wary of any place that doesn’t seem to be enforcing social distancing or capacity limitations despite offering skiing deals for your 2021 holiday.

To find the safest skiing scenarios amidst COVID, swap out crowd dense destinations for smaller, less popular ski resorts. And, keep an eye on government travel advice so you know where increasing coronavirus cases could impact travel.

people social distancing during open skiing run 2021

Great states for all-inclusive ski vacation packages

Next up, after searching, will ski resorts open in 2021, you probably want to know where you can go. Check our list of both regional and international ski destinations for 2021.

California

California is battling a second wave of coronavirus outbreaks, so you’ll really want to find places that skirt the crowds before planning your skiing trips for 2021. Although many resorts in Mammoth, Big Bear, and Lake Tahoe will be open, you’ll definitely want to lean towards an all-inclusive stay. Book early with Squaw Creek, scheduled to open Thanksgiving weekend.

But, even better, escape the crowds and pick an alternative. Check out Double Eagle Resort and Spa on June Mountain. It reopens on December 19, 2020.

Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah

The most popular mountain destinations in the USA are experiencing an uptick in coronavirus cases. Plus, skiing destinations in Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah are notoriously crowded. But, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid the slopes completely, and you can continue planning for your skiing trips in 2021.

Head to lesser-known destinations for 2021 skiing deals
  • In Colorado, try Monarch Mountain near Crested Butte or Ski Cooper in Leadville 
  • For Wyoming, check out Casper Mountain or Pine Creek Ski Resort
  • In Utah, head to the Solitude Mountain Resort or Eagle Point
skiing family stand at edge of mountain with clouds below

Maine and Vermont

In the Eastern USA, skiing states with the lowest COVID impact include Vermont and Maine. Just remember to avoid places known for big crowds. Choosing remote areas or smaller resorts can prove helpful. Try out the all-inclusive ski vacation packages at Sugarloaf in Maine or Jay Peak Resort in Vermont. 

New York and New Hampshire

New York and New Hampshire are also on the low spectrum of coronavirus cases. But, it’s still a good year to try out lesser visited havens. Look into Mount Peter or Belleayre in New York or Cannon Mountain in New Hampshire.

Oregon, Washington, Arizona, or Virginia

Want something a little less predictable? Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Virginia are also great destinations for skiing trips in 2021. Plus, they happen to have a good hold on the pandemic situation. Need more specifics? 

Take a peek at these ideas for lesser-known skiing destinations:  
  1. Hoodoo, Anthony Lakes, or Spout Springs in Oregon
  2. Echo Valley or 49 Degrees North in Washington 
  3. Arizona Nordic Village or Lemon Mountain in Arizona 
  4. Snowshoe Mountain Resort or Liberty Snowflex in Virginia
open ski resorts in the usa for 2021

Will ski resorts open in 2021 for international, all-inclusive ski vacation packages?

If you are wondering, will ski resorts open in 2021 for international destinations? Yes, although it does get a bit complicated, it’s not impossible. Europe, Japan, and Patagonia are probably out as early 2021 skiing destinations. But, the unexpected countries listed below are either open or opening soon for USA citizens. And, they do not require quarantine or a bunch of red tape for travel.

Morocco 

Africa is probably a place you’re least likely to think of when it comes to skiing destinations. But, one of Morocco’s best-kept secrets is the Oukaïmeden Ski Resort in the Atlas mountains. Most people aren’t booking all-inclusive ski vacation packages there, but you can book a hotel stay in Marrakech and take day trips for skiing. Prime powder conditions typically happen from December through March. Incredible remoteness and virgin snow are among the main appeals with skiing sections that cap off between nine and 13,000 feet.

Can I travel to Morroco?
  • International flights to Morocco are scheduled to resume on December 10, 2020.
  • You’ll need a negative PCR test and a health declaration form.
  • Social distancing and facemask regulations are in place.
  • Before you book, be sure to brush up on current travel recommendations.

Lebanon 

This Middle Eastern country bordering the Mediterranean offers up yet another surprising skiing destination for skiing trips in 2021. Regionally known as the “Switzerland of the East,” a handful of ski resorts sparkle high above the coastal city of Beirut. It’s an idyllic sea meets ski destination leaving you in the peaks at dawn and at the shore for sunset. Look for 2021 skiing deals at hotels near the slopes in Fâraïya or Mzaar Kfardebian.

Can I travel to Lebanon?
  • There are international flights from the USA to Lebanon.
  • You’ll need a negative PCR test prior to travel, plus an additional test upon arrival. 
  • Some mobility restrictions may continue until December 31, 2020.
  • Double-check government travel advice before booking or embarking on travel.
skiing in Lebanon

Bosnia and Herzegovina 

Even if it’s unbeknownst to you, the impressive slopes of Bosnia and Herzegovina are no secret. In decades past, they were even home to the 1984 Winter Olympics. The ski offerings here are diverse and spread out, appealing to city dwellers and remoteness seekers alike. Take your pick from a plethora of private log cabins, chalet hotels, or ski resorts. Whether you opt for the Olympic worthy Jahorina, the loved-by-locals Kupres, or the all-inclusive ski packages in Bjelasnica, it’s best to plan ahead. Bosnia and Herzegovina is definitely on the list of up and coming 2021 skiing destinations.

Can I travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
  • Flights, borders, and businesses are open
  • Curfews and social distancing orders remain in place
  • You’ll need a negative PCR test prior to travel
  • Face masks are mandatory in both indoor and outdoor areas
  • Review current travel recommendations before booking and traveling

What if I can’t find a place to go skiing this winter?

It’s true, booking a skiing vacation could prove to be tricky in 2021. But, if you plan ahead you can prevent being shut out. If you’re too late, ask your favorite resorts or hotels to be added to a waitlist. If other skiers back out, you may be able to fill their reservation.

Otherwise, scope out lesser-known alternatives that you can reach within a day trip for great skiing deals in 2021. Smaller, less popular resorts might not be fully booked yet. But, whatever you do, don’t go anywhere without prior confirmation or a reservation.

In the end, if you fail to come up with a skiing trip booking, look for other staycation destinations.

man running hand through snow while snowboarding down mountain

Is a cabin safer than a hotel for 2021 skiing trips?

Now that you have your answer to, will ski resorts open in 2021, you’re probably thinking about accommodations. Should you stay in a cabin or a hotel? While a cabin or private lodging might seem like a safer option, that is not necessarily the case. 

Yes, the crowds, facemasks, and social distancing might be more easily addressed. But, other COVID precautions are a bit harder to manage. Cleaning and sanitation measures might not follow the strict standards required of hotels and resorts.

Don’t assume that either is better — do your homework and find out beforehand what safety standards are being used, no matter where you go.

How can I stay safe if I go skiing in 2021?

Fortunately, it’s easy to stay safe while skiing because it naturally complies with social distancing measures. But, you should still keep a few things in mind:

  1. Don’t go anywhere if you have a temperature, any coronavirus symptoms, or suspect that you’ve been exposed
  2. Always comply with facemask rules, social distancing recommendations, and temperature checks
  3. Avoid crowded places, even if they offer too good to pass up deals
  4. Do check for all-inclusive ski vacation packages so your movement is limited
  5. Don’t go anywhere without double-checking government travel advice
Man skiing down steep mountainside 2021

Do I need to quarantine if I go on a skiing trip?

There are a few international destinations where Americans can travel to without being subject to quarantine. Open skiing destinations currently include Morocco, Lebanon, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Otherwise, there are many places you can go skiing in the USA without quarantine. You just need to know where there are movement or border restrictions if they exist.

Although it’s very unlikely that you would be stopped from entering any state, you can be asked to fill out a form and self-quarantine. Especially if you are coming from an area with a current resurgence of COVID cases.

Where should I go for the best skiing deals in 2021?

Some of the most exciting, beautiful, and affordable places to plan a skiing trip in 2021 include California, Vermont, and Lebanon.

BOOK NOW – A ski trip to California
BOOK NOW – A ski trip to Vermont
BOOK NOW –  A ski trip to Lebanon

To tie it together, while it might take a bit more planning, there are great opportunities around to world to go skiing in 2021.

If you’re still looking for international destination possibilities, check out our “Where can I go?” map for the latest restrictions and travel guidelines.

open skiing village with deals for 2021

Want to read more? 

This article was last updated at 11:37 am on December 4, 2020, and travel restrictions may have changed since. Please check your local government websites for the latest rules and regulations.