Ski Resorts That Allow RV Boondocking
We've been trying to decide what we're going to do this winter and snowboarding is on the top of our list. I figured I would put together a post of all my findings on ski resorts that are open to RVs spending the night. I have to say, I was surprised by how many actually welcome RVers and how some resorts even offer long term parking passes and electrical hookups.
The idea of being able to walk from our rig to the ski lift and not have to spend a shit ton of money on a snowboard trip is really enticing. We used to get together with a group of friends every winter and fly somewhere for a week of snowboarding. We were able to do it fairly cheap, all things considering, mainly because we're all cheap bastards. But no matter how you swing it, lift tickets are unbelievably expensive and so are flights. Except the worst part of those trips wasn't the money but the weather. Sadly having to book a trip like that in advance means totally gambling whether or not the snow conditions are going to be good. We've totally missed good weather more times that we'd like. One year we missed one of the most epic snowstorms in Lake Tahoe by a week. By the time we got there it was just a sheet of ice.
So the idea of rolling into a ski resort with the upcoming week's snow forecast available and actually getting good snow conditions sounds pretty nice to us.
The one downside of staying in a ski resort parking lot is that there's a chance RVers will be asked to move from their spot either in the middle of the night (not as likely) or early morning (more likely) if there's a big snowstorm so the resort crew can plow. The upside is that you're already up and ready for first tracks. Which is all a short walk from your rig.
Know that this isn't an exhaustive list. I'll add to this as I come across more ski resorts that allow RVs to stay overnight. And if you have any first-hand experience staying in your rig at any of these resorts (or others) please let us know how it was!
1. Crystal Mountain RESORT (Near Enumclaw, WA)
From what I've heard and read, Crystal Mountain Resort has a pretty hopping ski/snowboard RV community. Their RV parking lots quickly fill up over the weekends. According to the ski resort's website, they recently upgraded their RV parking lot to offer an additional 30 sites with electrical power making it a total of 72 RV sites. It’s $35/night and no dump or water station. The closest dump we came across while researching is in Enumclaw (also the nearest town) which is 40 miles away. All sites are available on a first come basis. There is a 14 day limit for overnight RV stays.
*Crystal Mountain is located in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Mt. Rainier. There are gorgeous views of the Cascade mountains ranges and of Mt. Rainier itself. We are actually spending the winter season here. You can read more about why we chose Crystal Mountain in this post.
2. Mt. Baker Ski Area (Maple Falls, WA)
Mt. Baker Ski Area is a powderhound’s dream come true. This ski area averages the most annual snowfall in the world. RVers can stay overnight for free. But there aren't any hookups on-site. Their website says that there are restrooms available 24/7. There's a 3-night stay limit (although the woman I spoke to didn't sound 100% sure). Bellingham is 50 miles away.
*We love Mt. Baker. Their snow is insanely great, the trails are sweet, and the atmosphere is how we like it - there's no fancy resort or lodging. You go there to ski and snowboard, not to lounge around the fireplace or shop. It's in the middle of nowhere and it's beautiful.
3. The Summit at Snoqualmie (Snoqualmie Pass, WA)
The Summit at Snoqualmie is located 50 miles east of Seattle. Overnight RV parking is allowed at $15/night (cash only). The cost decreases to $10/night when multiple, consecutive nights are paid all at once. There's a maximum stay of 3 nights per week, 4 nights on weeks where Monday is a holiday. Hookups are not available. Make sure to read all the rules on their website. The site also says that although there are two parking lots open to RV overnight stays, there's limited parking and no overnight overflow area.
4. Stevens Pass (NEAR GOLD BAR, WA)
Stevens Pass is right off Hwy 2, surrounded by endless mountains. There are 70 spots available for RV overnight parking all with electrical hookups (20 and 30 amps services). The nightly fee is $40. Thirty RV parking season passes are available at $1,000 + tax, but it doesn’t guarantee a space. Read their website for additional info and rules.
*Stevens Pass is like Mt. Baker in the sense that it's a low key ski area. It's right off the highway with a modest lodge at the base. The mountain is awesome and it's one of our favorite places to snowboard.
5. Hoodoo Ski Area (Sisters, OR)
There are several different options for RVers who want to stay overnight at Hoodoo Ski Area. RV overnight parking starts at $30/night with electrical hookups. Full season and permanent parking passes are available for $500 and $400 respectively. Check out their website for detailed information about length of stay, parking fees, and parking details. They do accept reservations. The ski resort offers bathrooms that are opened 24/7 along with pay showers. It's located in Willamette National Forest, 44 miles west of Bend.
6. Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort (BEND, OR)
Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort offers RV overnight parking at $20/night, but no more than seven consecutive nights is allowed. There aren’t any electrical or sewage hookups available at the resort. Pay showers are open for use nearby. Visit the website before heading over to the resort because there's an RV Agreement that needs to be filled out and signed.
7. Mt. Hood MeadOWs (Mt. Hood, OR)
There are only 14 overnight parking spots available for RVers at Mt. Hood Meadows and it's all on a first come basis. It's free to park overnight, but all vehicles are required to purchase their Sno-Park Permit (as of 2015 it was $5/day or $30/season and prices may change). A permit for overnight stays is also required, pick one up at their parking office. And read their overnight parking rules here.
8. Squaw Valley (Near LAke Tahoe, CA)
There are currently free overnight RV parking spots available at Squaw Valley for up to a 3 night consecutive stay. But when I called Squaw Valley Security below to double check on June 8, 2017 (due to a reader's comment below), I was told that it most likely won't be free this winter (summer is still free). Also, the website has been updated and RVs are no longer allowed to stay overnight Friday and Saturday evenings due to the high amounts of traffic the resort gets. Security also said parking availability for the other days of the week will depend on snow conditions and the snow removal team. So, please call and double check before heading over to the resort (call 530-452-7180). RVers must check in with Squaw Valley Security upon arrival. No hookups are available at the resort.
*One of the great things about snowboarding in the Lake Tahoe area (aside from the insane view) is the numerous ski resorts you can choose to ski/snowboard at. We've had good times snowboarding at Squaw Valley (their terrain is a lot of fun) and in the Lake Tahoe area in general.
9. Grand Targhee Resort (Alta, WY)
RV overnight parking is available at Grand Targhee Resort for $20/night. No electrical, water or sewage hookups are available. The maximum stay is 7 consecutive nights. The resort is also a short drive to the nice town of Driggs, ID where you can grab groceries, food and check out a couple breweries. If you really want, you can head over the pass to Jackson Hole.
(Because of a reader's comment below, I called Grand Targhee to double check if they allow RV overnight parking. The guy I spoke to says yes, they do still allow it. Make sure you visit their website so you have all the correct information before heading there.)
*The view from Grand Targhee is superb and the mountain is so much fun to snowboard at. We preferred it to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort which was more expensive, crowded and kind of upscale. Grand Targhee is where the locals go. You can check out my post about our time here and in Jackson Hole. Also, if you happen to need a place to stay while you're in the area (for friends and family who don't own an RV), we stayed at this cabin from Airbnb and highly recommend it.
10. Schweitzer Mountain Resort (Sandpoint, ID)
RV overnight parking is welcome at Schweitzer Mountain Resort for $20/night. A maximum three consecutive night stay is allowed, but request for longer stays can be directed to the parking staff. No hookups available on site. Read their website for more detailed information.
11. Wolf Creek Ski AREA (Pagosa Springs, CO)
Wolf Creek Ski is located outside the town of Pagosa Springs about an hour east of Durango, CO. RVers are welcomed to stay overnight 3 – 4 nights (flexible but no long term stays was what I was told when I called) in one of the resort parking lots. It’s free parking and there are no hookups available.
*We made the drive up and over Wolf Creek Pass on our way to Durango from Great Sand Dunes National Park in April and experienced pretty blizzardy conditions. Be prepared for the pass, it's a big and steep one.
12. Bridger Bowl Ski Area (Bozeman, MT)
Bridger Bowl Ski Area is located in the Bridger Mountain Range in Bozeman, MT. RVers can stay overnight for free. There are no hookups available. The resort does ask RVers to call first to double check the status of overnight stays. Sometimes the weather prohibits RVs to park overnight on-site. Also double check on the length of stay, they weren't very specific when I called. Their website doesn't provide any information about RV overnight parking so calling them is the best way to get info.
13. Whitefish Mountain Resort (Whitefish, MT)
Located 31 miles from Glacier National Park, adventurous RVers can spend time at the resort and then explore the national park covered in snow. Whitefish Mountain Resort allows RVers to stay overnight but ask that they go by the lodging first to get a parking pass. It’s free to stay but hookups aren’t available. Whitefish Mountain Resort also doesn't have any information about RV overnight parking on their website so call if you have questions - especially about number of nights you're allowed to stay. The person I spoke to said a few but wasn't convincing.
Do you know of other ski resorts that let RVers overnight in their parking lots?