The days are getting shorter and colder. You know what that means: time to hit the slops! But which ones? There are surprisingly a lot of resorts in the U.S. Don’t worry: here are 12 of the Best Ski Resorts In The U.S. To Hit The Slopes.
1. VAIL – COLORADO
Some would consider this resort the gold standard that other resorts aim for. It’s the largest ski area in Colorado, it has long, wide runs with grade-A grooming, and the resort has plenty to offer aside from the slopes. It even has a European-style village. However, since this is the gold standard, you can expect large crowds, high prices and more of corporate feeling to the place as opposed to a local charm. It also doesn’t have much in the way of steep terrain, and you could get stuck in town if a snowstorm passes through.
2. BIG SKY – MONTANA
6,000 skiable acres. Six. THOUSAND. What, you need more to convince you? Alright then. Lack of crowds, a cozy mountain village, a lot of eateries to choose from, and some of the purest snow you’ll ever find, this is one place that you should visit at least once in your life, if only to say you have.
3. JACKSON HOLE – WYOMING
We’re in the Big Boy League’s now. Jackson Hole has some legendary steeps that draw in professional skiers from all over, including the longest continuous vertical slope of any ski resort in the U.S. If you’re a beginner or rookie? Hard pass on this place. And while this place may have some efficient lifts, you have to work your way through the crowds of other professional skiers, in weather that’s colder than other ski resorts. But despite all that, it’s still one of the best ski resorts in the U.S.
4. SQUAW VALLEY/ALPINE MEADOWS – CALIFORNIA
This one of the best ski resorts in the U.S. for those on the western coast. Squaw Valley has one of the best base villages in Tahoe and it gets a lot of snowfall. Meanwhile, Alpine Meadows has better protection from wind, and it has some great hike-to terrain. However, Alpine Meadows gets more rain and ice than Squaw Valley and an older lift system. And Squaw suffers from winds and long lines. Take your pick!
5. BRECKENRIDGE – COLORADO
Why is another Colorado resort considered the best ski resort in the U.S.? How about because it has the highest lift in North America? Yeah. It may be a chill place with a lot of lodgings, but the almost 13,000ft lift is only meant for some EXTREME shredding. But it does suffer some harsh wind chill, which may close said lift and, of course, large crowds. But if you’re lucky enough? Best. Shred. Ever.
6. ALTA – UTAH
Are you only active during the day? Do you just retire once the sun goes down? Do you only ski? Then Alta is the place for you! This place may not have much of a nightlife, but it takes its skiing very seriously, with its terrain being world-class, as well as its skiing school. It even has delicious brownies.
7. BEAVER CREEK – COLORADO
Often considered the less popular sister-resort to Vail, Beaver Creek still has something to bring to the table…even though it’s still expensive. Shorter lines, free chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon, (yum) and high-end grooming make this one of the best ski resorts in the U.S. Just don’t expect a lot of bowl-skiing, or any terrain above the tree line.
8. STEAMBOAT – COLORADO
Any Texans or other westerners out there? Then listen up, ’cause I got a good one for you! Steamboat has little to no crowds, fine ‘champagne’ snow, some of the best skiing around, has an authentic western town, and best of all: geothermal hot springs. After a cold day of shredding snow and making tracks, a nice dip will be an excellent way to top off the day. Be warned, the prices are high here.
9. ASPEN MOUNTAIN – COLORADO
Four skiing areas for the price of one. The problem? That price is huge. Considered one of the most high end skiing areas in the U.S., Aspen Mountain, as well as Snowmass, Buttermilk, and the Aspen Highlands are all connected by a shuttle system that’s accessible with only one ticket. While the town may be high end, and the skiing conditions excellent, that’s only when those conditions are meant. People who come here run a gamble because some of the slopes can turn rocky, especially during the early season. But if you prefer to lounge around, there are plenty of nightlife options for you to look at. If your wallet’s big enough.
10. TELLURIDE – COLORADO
Telluride is often compared to Aspen and Park City when it comes to town-resort combinations in relation to skiing. Aspen often comes out third place, and it’s a close contest between the final two. However, that when it comes to runs into town, Telluride has Park City beat. It may not have a lot of options for dining and lodging, and those that you do have are often expensive, but the snow is pure, there’s a lot of terrain to try, and there’s so much picture worthy scenery, you won’ have enough space in your memory card for it all.
11. TAOS SKI VALLEY – NEW MEXICO
This is a place for the adventurous skiers and boarders in the world. With half of its trails rated at the expert level over 1,300 acres, Taos Ski Valley has a lot of natural beauty that can only be found within the southwest. It may not be as much a winter wonderland as the other entries on this list, but it still deserves a spot.
12. SUN VALLEY – INDIANA
Some of you may never have heard of this one. But the reason this one is considered one of the best ski resorts in the U.S. is because it’s the oldest one still running. More of a local treasure, you won’t expect a lot of big crowds here. It’s got 2,000 acres, a 3,400 drop, and some incredible Nordic trails to walk through. With friendly service and some mountain-top dining experiences, this is one ski resort you’ll wish you heard about sooner.