Park City, UT
It’s no wonder that Park City became the training grounds for the U.S. ski team and was chosen to host the 2002 Olympics snowboarding events and giant slalom. Encompassing 7,300 acres of skiable terrain with two distinct base areas, Park City Mountain Resort is credited as the largest resort in the U.S. Located in the heart of charmingPark City, a short 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City, this famed resort provides an impressive variety of terrain, ranging from novice to expert level, spread across 330 trails, 43 lifts and six terrain parks. With so much acreage to cover, the resort seldom feels crowded.
The 7,900 accessible acres across Powder Mountain make up the largest skiable acreage of any resort within the U.S. Though the abundant terrain is enough to keep the slopes uncrowded, the mountain limits the number of lift tickets sold, allowing an average of three acres of terrain per skier. Cat skiing is a popular way to experience the mountain. The 15-person powder cat delivers skiers and boarders to the summit to begin an unforgettable powder adventure. With over 500 inches of fresh snow falling on Pow Mow’s 150 runs each year, skiers and boarders are guaranteed a memorable snowy escape.
Olympic Valley, CA
Formerly known as Squaw Valley Alpine, Palisades Tahoe sits in the Sierra Nevada range a convenient 47 miles from Reno-Tahoe Airport. The resort’s 3,600 skiable acres make it one of the largest ski areas in the state. With 2,850 feet of vertical, Palisades is known for serious steeps always groomed to perfection. In addition, this Olympic Valley resort features some of the longest runs in North America, including Mountain Run’s lengthy 3.1-mile-long descent. Skiers can depend on plenty of reliable snowfall with an annual average of 450 inches. Palisades Tahoe encompasses two distinct ski areas, Palisades and Alpine. Though not connected via gondola, skiers can board a 15-minute complimentary shuttle and ski both mountains with just one lift ticket. The combined resorts allow skiers to experience 6,000 skiable acres in total and 270 runs serviced by 42 lifts.
Big Sky, MT
Just 45 minutes from Yellowstone National Park, Big Sky is the second largest ski resort in the United States by acreage, with 5,850 acres of skiable terrain. More than 4,300 feet of vertical terrain means you’ll be hard-pressed to ski the same run twice. And 2,300 acres are dedicated to beginner and intermediate level skiers. Big Sky also has the most technologically advanced lift network in North America, with its heated seats and weatherproof bubbles. Big Sky is home to Lone Peak, which has 300 degrees of skiing off it, views of three states and two national parks, and it is surrounded by three other mountains.
Encompassing 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, Vail ski resort is touted as Colorado’s largest ski resort and the second largest in the nation. Skiers can access all three villages, Golden Peak, Vail, and Lionshead, via a complimentary shuttle. All three charming European-styled villages are known for their lively aprés-ski scene, upscale shops, and gourmet eateries. When it’s time to hit the slopes, the mountain’s front side boasts a diverse web of trails from beginner to expert, but intermediate and advanced skiers come to Vail to experience its legendary Back Bowls. Along with its expansive acreage, Vail offers a 3,45- foot vertical drop and an impressive 11,570 foot summit depth.
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Encompassing 4,800 acres of expansive terrain, Heavenly Mountain is the largest ski area in California. Its southern Lake Tahoe location delivers sweeping views of both the alpine lake and nearby Carson Valley. The resort is located on the California-Nevada border, with a web of varied runs carrying skiers through two states. Along with its enviable size, Heavenly is known for its assertive snowmaking capabilities, boasting the largest grooming and snowmaking fleet on the west coast. Its unmatched terrain is enhanced by five challenging terrain parks, the best tree-skiing in North America, and a lively aprés-ski scene.
Mt. Bachelor ski resort is located in the eastern flanks of Oregon’s Central Cascade Mountains, 25 miles from Bend and 115 miles from Portland. Here, skiers and boarders test their skills on the slopes of a dormant volcano, which last erupted 10,000 years ago. The sixth largest ski resort in the country, Mt. Bachelor offers more than 4,300 acres of skiable terrain housing 101 marked runs, about 80 percent of which are designed for intermediate and expert skiers. s. This resort sees an average of 462 inches of snowfall per year.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Noted as California’s highest ski resort, Mammoth Mountain truly lives up to its name. The mountain packs an impressive 11,053-foot summit with 3,500 skiable acres, and is California’s highest lift-serviced ski resort. Mammoth experiences an annual average of 300 days of California sunshine, ensuring plenty of bluebird days on the slopes. Its lofty elevation means its ski season extends into the summer months – the second longest ski season in North America. Mammoth offers equally impressive off-mountain activities, with 19 miles of cross-country and snowshoeing terrain, snowcat tours, and extensive snowmobiling excursions throughout the Eastern Sierra backcountry
Known as the trendy ski spot for the rich and famous,Aspenprovides an upscale shopping and dining experience along with an enviable aprés-ski scene. One Aspen Snowmass lift-ticket gains access to four distinct ski areas encompassing 3,342 acres of skiable terrain with a 4,406-foot vertical descent. Aspen Resort is the most easily accessible from downtown and its challenging terrain earns the reputation as a “skier’s mountain.” Its additional ski areas, Snowmass and Buttermilk, offer plenty of beginner trails, appealing to families and those new to the sport. The fourth ski area, Aspen Highland, offers advanced terrain attracting the more advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Tucked away in Lake Tahoe’s north shore, Northstar California offers 3,170 skiable acres in one of California’s most unique settings. The resort is located on Mt. Pluto, an extinct volcano, though there’s no cause for alarm as it last erupted 2 million years ago and shows no signs of a recurrence. Along with over 3,000 well-groomed skiable acres, this Lake Tahoe resort offers diverse terrain, 100 runs, and an impressive 2,280 feet of vertical. In addition to its downhill adventures, Northstar offers one of the best terrain parks in North America, snowshoeing tracks, cross-country skiing trails, along with plenty of dining, shopping, and lodging options.
Known as one of Colorado’s premier family ski destinations, Keystone ski resort delivers a big mountain ski experience the whole family can enjoy. Located 2 hours from Denver International Airport, Keystone offers beginner skiing runs at the mountain’s summit, Kidtopia play area, and countless family-friendly programs. But the fun doesn’t end at sundown as Keystone boasts Colorado’s longest ski day by lighting up more trails than any other area resort. Off-mountain family activities include sleigh rides and tubing. Compared to higher-end resorts, Keystone is considered more affordable but the mountain can get crowded.
Winter Park, CO
Nestled along the Continental Divide, Winter Park ski resort is located 67 miles northwest ofDenver, making it one of the closest resorts to Denver International Airport. The mountain’s 3,081 skiable acres offer diverse terrain, affordable lift tickets, and a family-friendly environment. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities on and off the mountain, including tubing, snowmobiling, and ice bumper cars. In addition to family-friendly activities, advanced skiers and boards can appreciate Winter Park’s well-groomed trails, challenging tree skiing, backcountry exploring, and mogul skiing.
Snowbasin was a locals' favorite for more than 60 years before the 2002 Winter Olympics put it on the map. The mountain offers diverse terrain across its 3,000-skiable acres, as well as an impressive 3,000 foot vertical drop. Though the mountain lacks a central base village, it’s recognized for its top-notch customer service, elegant day lodges and gourmet dining. Just 35 miles from Salt Lake City, Snowbasin is one of the closest resorts to the airport, so visitors can experience its wide-open bowls, and steep shoots shortly after landing.
Located in the Rockies of northwest Montana, Whitefish Mountain Resort has views of Glacier National Park and the Flathead National Forest. With more than half of the resort’s 111 marked trails designed for expert skiers, Whitefish may not be the best choice for those who are not yet comfortable on their skis. That said, the Ski & Ride School offers private and group lessons, and the resort has alternative pastimes like snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Night skiing is also available. The best time to visit is in January, when the area generally receives the most snowfall.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat is known for its unusually dry snow producing its legendary Champaign Powder. Along with snow that tickles your nose like the bubbly libation, Steamboat is also synonymous with some of the best glade skiing in the state of Colorado. The resort delivers 2,939 skiable acres, a 3,668-foot vertical rise with a 6,900-foot base elevation. Located in northwest Colorado, 3.5 hours from Denver International Airport, Steamboat isn’t the most easily accessible resort from Denver, but visitors can expect fewer crowds due to its remote location and can opt to fly directly to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, just 30 minutes fromSteamboat Springs. The town delivers a laid-back Colorado vibe and soothing geothermal hot springs, both ensuring a relaxing ski getaway.
Known locally as Breck, Breckenridge ski resort delivers a world-class skiing experience just a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport. Along with 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, this Rocky Mountain resort boasts an impressive 12,998-foot summit elevation. The mountain’s notable height means a longer ski season compared to area resorts. Breck’s terrain suits every breed of powder hound from beginner to advanced. When the ski day is done, head to downtown Breck where this former mining town has maintained that old-west vibe with a lively nightlife featuring saloons, breweries, restaurants, and boutique shops. Off-slope activities include guided snowshoe adventures, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, and igloo building.
Located in the Selkirk Mountains, 80 miles from Spokane, Washington, Schweitzer Mountain attracts powder hounds with its fantastic tree skiing. This ski resort has 92 marked runs across nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, all of which is accessible from nine lifts. Schweitzer Mountain’s acreage can be enjoyed by skiers of all skill levels, especially since the resort sees an average of 300 inches of fresh snowfall each year. Particularly unique features are the resort’s two very large bowls with two smaller bowls inside of each. Schweitzer also has a terrain park, and it offers night and cross-country skiing.
Thanks to its location on the west side of the Tetons, Grand Targhee Resort often sees ample snowfall created when Pacific-born storms reach the mountain peaks. This is the place to go if you’re looking for a family ski destination in Wyoming. Ten percent of marked trails were designed with beginners in mind, while a whopping 70 percent of runs cater to intermediate skiers. Grand Targhee also offers child care and learning programs for youngsters of all ages, not to mention the Kid’s Adventure Zone, terrain designed to help new skiers and boarders improve their moves.
Snowbird offers an exhilarating 3,240-foot vertical descent, but that isn’t the only thing drawing skiers to “The Bird.” More than 2,500 skiable acres of terrain are equally divided among beginner, intermediate and expert level skiers. In addition, the mountain offers adrenaline junkies an opportunity to explore Utah’s backcountry on an epic heli-skiing adventure. Snowbird is open from November to June – longest ski season in Utah – so visitors can experience all Snowbird has to offer well into spring. Visitors have access to a full-service resort with four lodges to choose from, all located within the village.
Teton Village, WY
Wyoming’s premier ski resort, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort features 2,500 skiable acres and 133 trails, not to mention four terrain parks and plenty of backcountry acreage. This sprawling ski area is perfectly suited to intermediate and advanced skiers, with nearly 40 percent of trails designed for intermediate, and almost all the rest marked black diamond. Although less than 5 percent of Jackson Hole’s trails cater to beginners, the resort does have a ski school and private ski instruction. The resort and the neighboring town ofJacksonalso feature a thriving après-ski scene.
Known as Vail’s little sister resort, Copper Mountain provides the same pampered ski experience as its larger neighbor with fewer crowds and more affordability. A unique feature to this 2,465 acre resort is its naturally divided terrain separating beginner, intermediate, and advanced ski areas. Forming a natural progression from west to east, West Village best serves beginner skiers, followed by mostly intermediate runs in Center Village with advanced and expert level skiing in East Village. In addition to its varied terrain, off-mountain activities include ice skating, tubing, and an alpine coaster, all under a two hour drive from Denver International Airport.
Boasting the largest accessible ski terrain in the Evergreen State, 49 Degrees North encompasses 2,325 acres of skiable terrain. In addition to its impressive acreage, this resort’s northeastern Washington location provides one of the best chances for a rare Bluebird Day in the Pacific Northwest. As if that’s not enough to entice skiers, the resort experiences consistently dry powdery conditions and ample fresh snowfall. 49 Degrees North has been a skier’s paradise since 1937, and today offers 54 runs serviced by eight ski lifts along with two terrain parks.
Noted as one of Lake Tahoe’s most challenging mountains, Kirkwood boasts an admirable 7,800-foot base elevation, 2,000-foot vertical rise, and 2,300 skiable acres. Though known for its thrilling steeps, the resort offers something for every level of skier. Powderhounds visiting this southern Lake Tahoe resort came for its significant annual snowfall, averaging 600 inches per year. In addition to long groomed trails and exceptional terrain, Kirkwood offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding tours, along with plenty of on-mountain lodging, restaurants, and shops.
The largest ski resort in the state, Crystal Mountain boasts 2,600 acres of skiable terrain and an average annual snowfall of 367 inches, making it a bonafide ski lover’s paradise. Located just two hours outside Seattle, this premier ski destination offers more above-the-tree-line runs than any other resort in the area. Its diverse terrain encompasses gentle runs for beginners while delivering challenging glades and chute bowls for more seasoned skiers. And there’s plenty of backcountry skiing for those seeking an added adventure. Non-skiers can still get in on the fun with a scenic ride on the Mt. Rainier Gondola or by spending the day snowshoeing.
Discovery Ski Area has 2,200 skiable acres with a 2,388-foot vertical drop, and the annual snowfall here is 215 inches. Discovery encompasses three mountain faces, with dedicated areas for all skill levels. The front face has gentle runs and advanced cruisers; off to the side there are steeper runs and mogul skiing; and on the backside, you’ll find the steepest skiable terrain in Montana. Discovery Ski Area boasts 67 trails that include tree skiing, powder bowls, groomed trails, and mogul runs. Discovery also has a terrain park for your freestyling skills.
This world-renowned powder skiing destination has been family-owned and operated since 1938 and offers 2,614 skiable acres of terrain. But leave your snowboard at home as Alta is a ski-only resort. Since the resort is perfectly perched atop Little Cottonwood Canyon, one of the country’s snowiest locations, the mountain witnesses an average of 537 inches of light and powdery flakes each year. In addition, it’s one of the most conveniently located resorts within the state, sitting just a 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City.
Mt Hood, OR
Mt. Hood Meadows, located in Mt. Hood National Forest about 90 mins from Portland, offers prime skiing and riding conditions for those who feel comfortable on the snow. While beginners will find terrain that suits them, 80 percent of the resort’s 85 runs cater to intermediate and expert powder hounds. What’s more, many praise this resort for having the best cruising intermediate terrain in the state. Mt. Hood Meadows averages 430 inches of snow per year across its 2,150 acres of terrain, which features a 2,776-foot vertical drop Mount Hood Meadows also features six terrain parks with a mini pipe and a superpipe, as well as night skiing.