The Rocky Mountains house some of the USA's most renowned ski resorts. Although the majority of Rocky Mountain ski resorts are located in Colorado, you'll also find world-class ski and snowboard areas in Montana, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming. Find information about top ski resorts in the Rockies here.
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.
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.
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.
Beaver Creek ski resort is known for upping the luxury game with unparalleled customer service, high-end amenities, and immaculately groomed slopes. Skiers and riders can explore the resort's 1,800 acres of skiable terrain spanning three distinct villages. The main village, charming Beaver Creek is the resort’s hub with five-star dining, luxury accommodations, and boutique shops. The smaller village of Bachelor Gulch houses the Ritz-Carlton and private mountain lodges while Arrowhead Village is mostly homes and condos. The mountain offers terrain for all ski levels with an average 325 inches of snowfall, and a measurable 3,340 vertical drop.
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.
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.
Telluride ski resort is well-laid out and easy to navigate with the area’s advanced terrain best suited for expert skiers and boarders. The resort delivers 2,000 skiable acres with a 4,425 foot vertical drop. Tucked away in Colorad’s San Juan Mountains, Telluride ski resort is one of the furthest resorts from Denver International Airport and more commonly accessed via a hopper flight directly to the nearby Telluride Regional Airport or the more reliable Montrose Regional Airport.Tellurideis known for its stunning scenic views and wild west feel. There are plenty of shops and eateries throughout this charming former mining town.
Park City, UT
Known for its high-end amenities, including ski valets and gourmet delicacies, Deer Valley Resort is a luxury skier’s paradise, It’s known for providing outstanding luxury service both on and off the slopes. In addition to delivering impeccably groomed trails, the resort limits lift ticket sales to ensure uncrowded runs. This skiers-only resort offers 2,026 acres of diverse terrain and a 3,000-foot vertical drop. A complimentary shuttle to nearby historic Main Street, Park City, is provided. The resort is conveniently located just 40 miles from Salt Lake City Airport, making flying and skiing in one day a possibility.
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.
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.
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 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.
Sun Valley, ID
Sun Valley has made history, being the first ever resort to have chairlifts. Today, it boasts 18 of them, and the resort has come to cater to Hollywood’s elite. Sun Valley consists of two mountains (Bald and Dollar Mountain) that together encompass more than 2,000 acres of terrain for all skill levels. Dollar Mountain is more applicable for beginners, where Bald Mountain is more geared toward the more experienced skiers. Meanwhile, with 120 runs to conquer, you certainly won’t be bored. Terrain parks are available to practice tricks, while backcountry and heli-skiing cater to the more adventurous crowd.
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.
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.
Considered one of Utah’s best-kept secrets, Solitude is known for short lift lines and uncrowded trails. Though one of the state’s smaller resorts, this 1,200-acre ski area packs 80 runs, three bowls, and plenty of moguls and well-groomed trails. Located in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, Solitude experiences plenty of fresh power with an annual snowfall of more than 500 inches. Along with epic alpine skiing, Solitude has more than 12 miles of Nordic skiing trails, not to mention an ice skating rink at the Village base.
Silverton Mountain is an adrenaline junkies paradise, featuring some of the steepest terrain in the state. This no-frills resort strictly caters to the advanced and expert skier. It’s a true rugged ski experience where runs are not clearly defined anywhere on the mountain and trails are not groomed. Silverton offers an authentic mountain experience with plenty of adventure and only one chair lift. After exploring the 1,819 acres of terrain, skiers can kick up the excitement by conquering an additional 22,000 acres accessible only by helicopter or hiking.
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.
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.
Brighton sets itself apart as Utah’s only resort with 100 percent of its terrain accessible from its high-speed lifts. This feature enables skiers of varying levels to ride the lifts together, choose their desired runs, and meet up at the bottom, which is great for families and groups. Ideally situated atop Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton welcomes more than 500 inches of fluffy powder each year across its 1,050 skiable acres. Along with family-friendly amenities like plenty of bunny slopes, a top-notch ski school and affordable lift tickets, Brighton is where kids under 10 can ski free with a ticketed adult. The fun doesn’t end at sunset, Brighton offers excellent night skiing with 22 runs across 200 lighted acres.
Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte mountain resort is remotely located in the middle of the Colorado, a five-hour drive fromDenverand surrounded by 1.7 million acres of National Forest. This off-the-beaten-path ski mountain offers an authentic Colorado experience. It’s a self-proclaimed “ real Colorado ski town,” and visitors won’t even find a traffic light in town. Its secluded location is known to expert skiers as home to the best lift-served extreme terrain in the country. Skiers and riders can explore 1,547 acres of varied terrain with a 2,775-foot vertical drop and base elevation of 9,375 feet.
Offering plenty of wide-open steep trails, Loveland ski area is ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers and offers a separate area for beginners near the base area. Each year the mountain receives an impressive 422 inches of snowfall across its 1,800 acres of skiable terrain. As added bonuses, Loveland offers free snowcat skiing along the Continental Divide and is one of the state’s most easily accessible ski areas, located just 53 miles outside of Denver.
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.
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.
Pagosa Springs, CO
Colorado powder magnets know to head to Wolf Creek with an impressive 430 inches of annual snowfall. This Southern Colorado resort offers a good mix of terrain across its 1,600 skiable acres. Wolf Creek ski area is known for an even mix of green, blue, and black runs, so there’s something for every level skier to experience. Along with delivering quality powder, Wolf Creek is known for its early-season skiing. Check out the resort’s longest run, Navajo Trail, for a two-mile descent to the base.
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.
Since 1955, Bridger Bowl has operated as a non-profit ski area since 1955, and they have a sustainable business model. Bridger Bowl has 2,000 acres of terrain that averages 350 inches of snow a year. The resort has a 2,700 feet vertical drop with eight chairlifts. There are 75 trails and Bridger Bowl has terrain for all skill levels. It has a dedicated beginner’s area, not to mention can enjoy 500 acres of low angle power and groomers for those still finding their footing.
Nestled in the rugged San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, Purgatory Resort is 25 miles from historic downtown Durango. The mountain delivers an affordable family-friendly ski getaway with some of the shortest lift lines around. Throughout its 1,605 acres of skiable terrain are runs for every ski level offering the perfect blend of wide open, well-groomed runs and steep tree skiing. Though not one of Colorado's largest ski resorts, Purgatory does offer slope side lodging, a charming village with shops and eateries amidst stunning views of the San Juan Mountains.
Originally called Jackass Ski Bowl when it opened in 1968, Silver Mountain comprises two mountain peaks (Kellogg and Wardner). Situated 30 minutes east of Coeur d’Alene and an hour from Spokane, Washington, Silver Mountain offers all the wintertime favorites. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors can explore the region by snowshoe, or enjoy a ride on a snow tube. When it comes to the slopes, Silver Mountain stretches over 1,600 skiable acres, which boast a 2,200-foot vertical drop. The resort’s 80 runs are fairly evenly divided among skill level, making Silver Mountain a great destination for families and larger groups. And with night skiing available, the fun can continue long after sunset.
Roughly halfway between Spokane, Washington, and Missoula, Montana, on the Idaho-Montana border, Lookout Pass makes an ideal winter getaway for families. Founded in 1942, the resort’s ski school is the longest running school of its kind, having introduced more than 60,000 children to skiing. The best part is: kids can learn for free. But just because the resort caters to younger powder hounds doesn’t mean more advanced skiers and boarders are out of luck. Of Lookout Pass’s 38 marked runs, 47 percent were designed for intermediate skiers, and 40 percent for advanced and expert skiers. And with an average of 400 inches of snow per year, conditions are always prime. For those looking for an adrenaline rush, Lookout Pass offers heli-skiing.
Nestled high in the mountains of central Idaho, Brundage Mountain is said to have the best snow in Idaho, welcoming an average of 320 inches a year. The ski resort’s 70 marked trails skew more challenging, with nearly 50 percent of runs designed for more advanced skiers. But that doesn’t mean first-timers are out of luck, as Brundage Mountain offers both private and group lessons. Brundage has countless glades and snowfields across its 1,920 skiable acres, not to mention two terrain parks. You can also enjoy snowcat skiing and guided snowmobile excursions across 19,000 acres of backcountry terrain. And when you need a break from the slopes, take some time to explore the lakeside resort town of McCall just 8 miles away.
The Montana Snowbowl is essentially one big bowl spread across two peaks just eight miles from Missoula. It has a 2,600-foot vertical drop and 2,200 acres of skiable terrain, 500 acres of which is designated for glade skiing. The breakdown for terrain is 20 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate, and 40 percent for advanced and expert skiers. While there is a variety of terrain for all skill levels, the vast majority of the marked trails are steep with lots of bumps and extensive glades. On average the Snowbowl gets 300 inches of snowfall a year.
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.
Perched atop Mount Bonneville in the Portneuf Range in the Caribou National Forest, Pebble Creek gets 225 inches of snow annually. So while it may be one of the smaller ski areas in Idaho, it certainly won’t disappoint. Pebble Creek features 51 runs and two terrain parks spread out over 1,100 skiable acres. This resort caters more to intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders, with only 19 percent of marked trails designated “beginner”, but lessons are available for those who wish to improve their skills. The resort is also open for night skiing, so you can enjoy a full day on the slopes, and then some.
Glenwood Springs, CO
Situated on 740 skiable acres in Targhee National Forest, along the Snake River, Kelly Canyon makes a great destination for skiers and boarders who wish to experience the best of Idaho’s great outdoors. The resort’s 51 marked trails are fairly evenly divided by skill level, and with 200 inches of snow each year on average, conditions are usually excellent. Plus, the slopes stay open for night skiing, meaning there’s plenty of time to get your fill of powder. While there is no terrain park, Kelly Canyon does feature space for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as a large snow tubing park.
While Soldier Mountain Ski Area’s claim to fame is that actor Bruce Willis owned it for 20 years, there are plenty of other reasons why this Idaho ski resort should be on your radar. Located in Sawtooth National Forest, this ski resort features 58 marked runs designed for a variety of skill levels, as well as a terrain park. Soldier Mountain’s tree skiing conditions are of particular note, while adventurous powder hounds can try their hand at Snow Cat skiing and snowboarding. Plus, because it’s located near Mountain Home Air Force Base, Soldier Mountain offers a great military discount.