This will be a strange year while we wait for a vaccine that most of us won’t get until the snow melts. Many resorts are prioritizing season pass holders, limiting parking, and restricting indoor services. Resorts are fighting to stay open and earn enough money to outlast COVID and open up again next season. Most important is keeping our crew safe this year. See our post on skiing in COVID.
RV Camping in the parking lot is a popular solution to the resorts' limited amenities this year. If you’re traveling from out of the area, it’s likely cheaper than a hotel room and way more fun. Have a private parking-lot-picnic outside your camper at lunch. Space yourself and hang out with neighbors around a fire in the clean mountain air. Make a hot meal for dinner, crank up the heater and cozy up for a warm, quiet night in the camper/trailer/RV. Many resorts offer full power hookups, alongside off-grid slips.
Special Winter Camping Considerations
The weather at altitude can be a nightmare for you and your camper. Prepare yourself for cold weather and storms. First, ensure you have full fresh batteries and full propane tanks. If you have lithium batteries, they may need to be warmed to deliver the juice. All night heat is critical to ensure that you have plenty of propane to spare. Prepare for the worst, down sleeping bags, winter boots, and perhaps a backup heater to be cautious. It's also wise to bring a backup heat source.
Water is not your friend when the weather is some magnitude below zero outside. Unless you have experience in these conditions and know how to keep your tanks and pipes from freezing, plan on dry camping (winterized water tanks). Bring a 5 or 7-gallon water jug for drinking/dishes and keep it inside the unit. Toilets can also freeze so ensure you have camper-grade biodegradable antifreeze to chase down the black and grey water tanks, which will keep them from freezing.
Winter storms at altitude on the side of a mountain can bury your camp. Not only do you have to contend with massive snow dumps, but blowing winds and snow removal machines can make your camp into a snowdrift in a hurry. Bring a shovel and a lot of patience. If caught in one of these big storms, you may be looking at several hours of “dig out” before hitting the road again.
Resorts that offer camping in the parking lot:
Revelstoke Mountain Resort - Revelstoke, BC Canada
Fernie Alpine Resort - Fernie, BC Canada
Castle Mountain Resort - BC Canada
Whitewater Ski Resort - Nelson, BC Canada
Mt. Baker Ski Area - Deming, Washington
Whitefish Mountain Resort - Whitefish MT
Schweitzer Mountain - Sandpoint, ID
Stephens Pass - Skykomish, WA
Silver Mountain Resort - Kellogg, ID
Crystal Mountain - Wa
Lookout Pass - ID
Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort - Mt. Hood, OR
Brundage Mountain Idaho Ski Resort - McCall, ID
Hoodoo Ski Area - Sisters, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor - Bend, OR
Grand Targhee Resort - Moose, WY
Willamette Pass Resort - Crescent, OR
Anthony Lakes - Baker, OR
Silverton Mountain Ski Area - Silverton, CO
Wolf Creek Ski Resort - Pagosa Spring, CO