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Vail April Skiing

Vail in April: Overview


  • Vail usually remains open through most of April and will often keep its lifts turning into May if it has been a healthy snow year. In general, Vail will close on a Sunday toward the end of the month, giving skiers a good three weeks to get more laps on the largest mountain in Colorado
  • Vail has high drought resistance, with only 10% of months seeing less than 30 inches of snow. This kind of snow frequency is elite and leads Vail to have a healthy snowpack by April in almost all winters
  • Snow density in Vail is light, making for ideal powder skiing conditions. The elevation of Vail means that snow in April can remain light, giving skiers a crack at legit powder days when there are few people around
  • April can be a good time to find a flight into Vail-Eagle (EGE) as prices will be lower than they are during the busiest parts of winter. There are fewer direct flights to EGE by this time, but it still has service out of Denver and Dallas at the very least. Flying here saves skiers the headache of getting from and to Denver's airport, which can be 3+ hours away when there's just a little traffic on I-70. EGE is about 35 minutes and is rarely disrupted by weather in April


  • The Back Bowls, which are particularly well-suited for powder skiing during the mid-winter months, can see far more sun during the late season. Skiers should look to the Northwest and Blue Sky Basin sectors, as they may still have good powder if the Back Bowls are baked
  • Vail remains popular and expensive, even in April, but it's a sneaky good time to fit in a visit

Vail snow in April

Data show April is the fourth best month Vail for overall snow quality when considering the following factors:

  • Snow quantity at Vail
  • Snow quality at Vail
  • How much snow is required for proper terrain coverage at Vail—steeper resorts require more snow to get 100% open.
  • Vail's snow frequency (standard deviation)
  • Vail's elevation
  • Vail's latitude
  • Vail's slope aspects - more north-facing slopes protect snow later into winter
Vail snow score by month, April in focus

What matters when it comes to snow for April skiing:

The rules of thumb in place for better skiing in March—high elevations and lots of north-facing terrain—hold true in April as well. The difference between April and March is that most ski resorts close up for the year by the second Sunday in April. After that, skiers have a much smaller cohort of ski resorts they can target for trips. Many ski resorts, especially those that are easily driveable from the metro areas of Denver, Salt Lake, San Francisco (Tahoe area) and Seattle (Crystal and Stevens Pass) will alter their close dates depending on the quanitity of snow that remains on their slopes in March. More snow means later closing dates.

One of the ski resorts best known for its April skiing is A-Basin, which enjoys myriad factors in its favor. It has exceedingly high elevations, good amounts of north-facing terrain, and it's easily driveable from Denver, which keeps its slopes crowded—and the revenue flowing to resort coffers—well into May.

There are other gems, too, however. Snowbird is an excellent bet, as is Copper Mountain, whose high elevations and preponderance of north-facing terrain means that its conditions don't peak until late March, and the surfaces at Copper tend to hold up well through April. Telluride closes earlier in April because its location doesn't draw many skiers in cars, but that week or two in April that it is open usually offer good conditions, as the resort's high elecations and north aspects keep upper reaches of the mountain chalky, with the slopes to town giving skiers good corn conditions.

For skiers planning ahead for an April trip, just know that it could be quite warm. But sometimes those April days, especially when a big snowstorm creeps in, can be the best of the year, with fewer skiers competing for the snow and fun days that finish with warm après vibes and cold beer. For the record, this writer's best ski day ever was on April 26, in Utah's Little Cottonwood Canyon, at Alta. The mountain had closed in mid April, but then it snowed six feet in four days, and Alta announced it would reopen it's doors on a Friday. Not many people were there, but I was. Laps and untracked all day.

To find out more about where to target for April trips, see our snow rankings page.

Vail skiing by month:
By Month
Data show that February is the best month Vail for overall snow quality.