Have you ever stayed at your favorite ski resort that allowed RV parking and wondered how you could get in on that action? Now that you have your motorhome or travel trailer, we’ll show you some excellent ski resorts that let you camp overnight in their parking lot across the country. You’ll also learn some common rules, features, and how to find RV parks near your favorite ski resort that doesn’t allow overnight RV parking.
Can You Park an RV at a Ski Resort?
You can park an RV at ski resorts if they allow it.
Some ski resorts allow RV parking but don’t specifically mention it on their website, so you’ll want to call ahead first before you hitch up. Park in the back, or the section with the oversized busses. If you’re looking for overnight parking, you may need permission and a permit that you can get from the lodge’s Guest Services desk.
If the ski resort accommodates RV parking, they may have a special section that includes 30- or 50-amp electric hookups. They may even provide 24/7 bathhouses with showers but bring a roll of quarters because you might have to pay to use them.
Ski resorts that allow RV parking may let you bring your portable firepit and leashed pet. They’ll provide designated barrels to dispose of the fire’s ash and a trash can to dispose of Fido’s dropping and your regular garbage.
A big issue when staying at a ski resort in your RV is quiet hours. You’ll want to bring portable electric heaters that run off your house batteries because you typically must turn off generators after 10 p.m. Your RV’s furnace may run off of propane and the system runs off the house batteries, but if you’re staying for a week, that’s a lot of propane.
2020 Great American Outdoors Act
There aren’t many ski resorts that allow RV parking on the east coast compared to the western states. Ski resorts that have histories dating back to the 1940s-60s now sit in national forests, state parks, or other protected land. Expanding their parking lots to cater to oversized and RV parking is a long and complicated process that requires passage through the state or federal congress.
The 2020 Great American Outdoors Act focuses on recreation areas and modernizing infrastructure. The five-year project still has a long way to go, but you’ll find many ski resorts have expansion projects in the 2021 off-season.
The Best Ski Resorts That Allow RV Overnight Parking
With freshies on the way, here are the best ski resorts that allow RV overnight parking!
1. China Peak Mountain Resort– Lakeshore, California
At China Peak Mountain Resort, you’ll find ski slope levels that will keep you coming back for years. The ski lifts place you at the top of the run and has minimal wait times.
The ski resort has 16 RV spaces with 30-amp electric hookups in the second east Lot. Given that China Peak is one of the only mountain resorts in the nation to allow recreational vehicle parking on-site, you’ll need a reservation. Keep in mind there is a two-night minimum on weekends or a three-night minimum on holidays.
2. Vail Ski Resort– Vail, Colorado
You can’t talk about winter sports without bringing up the most famous ski resort in the USA: Vail Ski Resort. Once you get a glimpse of the many slopes, you’ll see why the Olympics Committee chose it for the 1976 Winter Games in Denver.
In May 2021, Vail started construction on the Charter Bus Lot east of the Lionshead parking structure. Vail RV parking is rerouted west of the West Vail Fire Station for the 2021/2022 season, but camping is forbidden this year. The resort is working with the town to determine where the permanent oversized parking lot will be for the future.
3. Schweitzer Mountain– Sandpoint, Idaho
You can see three US states and Canada from the top of the Selkirk Mountains when visiting Schweitzer Mountain Resort. The independently-owned 2,900-acre resort has two enormous bowls and the best tree skiing in the US, making it a top winter destination.
Overnight RV parking is at the north end of the Gateway parking lot. Here you can dry camp (boondock) for up to three nights with a $20 per night RV permit. Enjoy a s’more and warm-up after a day of skiing – above-ground portable firepits are allowed.
For all you park rats, seasonal RV parking passes are available.
4. Whitefish Mountain Resort– Whitefish, Montana
As one of the oldest ski resorts in the US, the “Big Mountain,” now called Whitefish Mountain Resort, has been a popular skiing destination since 1935. Over 50% of the 111 trails fall in the black or double black diamond difficulty rating, including the 3.3-mile Hellfire run.
At White Fish, you’re minutes away from Glacier National Park if you’re looking for more adventure and the boss isn’t expecting you for a few more days.
Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort allows RV parking for a maximum of three days. While in boondocking conditions, make sure your house batteries can keep your heaters going through the night because while in the Aspen lot, quiet hours are from 10 p.m. – 7 a.m.
5. Appalachian Ski Mountain– Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Appalachian Ski Mountain is a 12 mountain resort in North Carolina. It’s a comfortable drive from many major cities around the state. Being close to the Virginia and Tennessee borders, you may meet up with Nashvillians and Roanoke-folk too. If you’re a night owl looking for a challenge, don’t miss their Midnight Blast Weekends for the best night skiing.
You’ll need a reservation if you want an RV parking spot because this ski resort in North Carolina only has six spaces available for motorhomes and travel trailers. For $30 a night, you can hook up to their 30-amp service within their gated parking lot. You are allowed to park an RV overnight in their ASM lot during the week but must be out of there Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
6. Gunstock Mountain Resort– Gilford, New Hampshire
One of the best ski resorts in New England is Gunstock Mountain Resort. With 48 trails, green, blue, black, and double black skiers will enjoy over 227-acres of trails and glades. Apres ski, take the ski lift up to the Panorama Pub to enjoy the scenery and great food if you want to dine with a view.
You can’t park your RV in the parking lot at Gunstock Mountain Resort, but you can make reservations at the on-site campground: Gunstock Campground. The RV parking rate is seasonal from December to April and includes 30/50-amp electricity. Those who spend their weekends and holidays at the resort will enjoy having a place to sleep after a full day on the slopes.
No RV? No problem – they also have cabin rentals.
7. Sipapu Ski Resort– Taos, New Mexico
The best time to stay at Sipapu Ski Resort in Taos, New Mexico, is during the Yuletide in Taos Festival. While you’re enjoying the 41 trails, the town comes alive from Thanksgiving to New Year, celebrating the holidays, including the Taos Pueblos Deer Dance.
Sipapu Ski and Summer Resort’s three overnight RV parking spaces fill up quickly, so reservations are a must. However, if you can’t reserve one of their on-site RV campsites, most of the campgrounds in the area have year-round RV parking with electric hookups.
8. Hoodoo Ski Resort– Sisters, Oregon
Hoodoo Ski Resort in Oregon offers 36 ski trails within the Willamette National Forest. You won’t need an Oregon Sno-Park permit for their free parking lots so that you can save your money for the slopes, shop, and amazing events.
When it comes to RV parking, Hoodoo Ski Resort is all-inclusive for RVers. If you call early in the pre-season, you can book one of the 32 RV campsites close to the lodge with electric hookups and an always-open bathhouse with pay showers. RV parking is free in their day lots, but you will need permission and a permit if you plan to stay overnight.
9. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort– Enumclaw, Washington
The 2021/2022 season is the year to head out to Crystal Mountain. As one of the best ski resorts in the US, it bolstered its ranking with their upcoming mobile app and new EV charging stations. In addition, the resort installed contemporary food and drink accommodations. To reduce wait times, they’ve even added additional shuttles to get you to the slopes quicker.
Specific size RVs can’t park just anywhere. Full-size motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers will fit in the first 30 spaces but enjoy the 50-amp electric service. Mid-size coaches that use 30-amp electricity can use RV parking spaces 31-52, and small travel trailers can use spots 53-66.
10. Grand Targhee Ski Resort– Alta, Wyoming
If you’re the type that doesn’t like ski resorts that use fake snow, check out Grand Targhee. Located in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Grand Targhee receives an average of 500 inches (1270 cm) of snow annually! The dry powder on the Teton Mountains ranks them in the top three ski resorts in North America for snow quality and quantity in the best ski magazines every year.
Before heading out with your RV, call ahead to see if the resort completed the 2021 construction – it’s scheduled to wrap up November 19. When you check-in, you’ll receive your overnight RV parking assignment in their Meadow Camping area.
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So, from our family to yours, enjoy the fresh powder as you rip the lines.