Instead of heading to the beach for Fourth of July festivities, thousands of Californians will hit the slopes to enjoy rare late-season skiing due to bountiful winter snowfall.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Olympic Valley, California, and Mammoth Mountain in Mammoth Lakes, California, are among the resorts that remain open for skiing.
Mammoth Mountain hopes to stay open until August.
"We will stay open as long as snowpack holds up. Right now, we are committed to staying open into August," Joani Lynch, vice president of brand marketing for Mammoth Mountain, said.
Mammoth Mountain's record is in the winter season of 1994 to 1995 when they stayed open until Aug. 13. Last year, Mammoth Mountain closed after operations on July 4.
Last season, Squaw Valley closed on Memorial Day; however, Sam Kieckhefer, public relations coordinator for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, believes the resort could break their record for the latest date of operation.
"This season marks the fourth time in history that we will operate on the Fourth of July and the first time ever that we will attempt to operate beyond that," Kieckhefer said.
"The massive winter snowpack that built up in the [Sierra Nevada mountains] has afforded some major resorts to stay open well into summer," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Ken Clark said.
At this time, Squaw Valley has not determined a closing date.
"We are committed to operating as long as conditions allow and anticipate that will last well into July. Conditions are evaluated on a daily basis," Kieckhefer said.
The mountain could potentially be open through the summer, fall and into the start of next ski season.
"Skiing into early June is not too abnormal for the highest Sierra resorts, but skiing well past the Fourth of July is extremely rare," Clark said.
"This is definitely one of the latest times the mountain has been open for skiing and riding, and we anticipate that it could be the latest ever, if we’re successful in operating beyond the Fourth of July holiday," Kieckhefer said.
Kieckhefer said they have seen an incredible number of skiers throughout the month of June.
"We expect those numbers to continue into the holiday weekend and beyond," Kieckhefer said.
"Additionally, skiers are not only coming once for the novelty of skiing in June, but they continue to come back weekend after weekend due to the incredible conditions for skiing and riding, as well as the fun and festive atmosphere," Kieckhefer said.
Squaw Valley is holding a ski event on the Fourth of July to celebrate the summer skiing and holiday.
"We pride ourselves on continuously hosting Tahoe’s longest season, but this is certainly unusual," Kieckhefer said.
Mammoth Mountain is expecting a good crowd during the holiday weekend, with around 1,000 skiers or more anticipated, according to Lynch.