The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter
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The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter


The cold and damp of winter will be a nice change from the heat and humidity of summer. And if you like sports, you know what that means: it’s time to hit the slopes.

You probably already know a few of our favorites. Some of our best places aren’t just the best in the country; they’re also among the best in the world. Among these are famous areas like Vail and Aspen in Colorado, Park City in Utah, and Palisades (formerly Squaw Valley) in California’s Lake Tahoe. After all, these locations are all known around the world for their sweet powder, high vertical drops, and fun places to hang out after skiing.

But if you want a top resort with a less well-known name, we have even more choices. You can avoid crazy crowds in Durango, Colorado, or stick to family-friendly activities at Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont. If you’re an expert, our list has a lot more resorts like Taos, New Mexico, that have wide-open, wild country slopes for intermediate and expert skiers. But no matter what level of skiing you want to do, the best ski slopes and ski towns in the US have something for everyone. So pack your bags and get going, because it’s all downhill from here!

Recommended: 5+ Best Winter Train Rides Across America

Best Ski Resorts in the US

Park City, UT

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Park City, Utah, is the perfect ski town because it is close to a big airport, has a lot of bars and restaurants, and can please both wealthy people and normal people. In 2015, Vail bought Park City Mountain Resort and joined it with the nearby Canyons Resort to make the biggest ski area in the U.S., which is exactly 7,300 acres. It would be a bit of an insult to say that there is something for everyone here.

Sun Valley, ID

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Organizing a journey with skiers of varying abilities? Sun Valley comprises two distinct ski summits, both of which are accessible from the town of Ketchum. Intermediates and experts will enjoy the 3,400 vertical feet and challenging tree skiing on Bald Mountain, while novices can spend the day on Dollar Mountain’s treeless intermediate slope and tubing park. And by night, Ketchum offers everything from cowboy saloons to exquisite cuisine, so you can enjoy the best of both worlds.

Palisades Tahoe, CA

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

The Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada attracts millions of visitors each year due to its world-class ski resorts. All of them will likely be directed to Palisades Tahoe (formerly Squaw Valley) and Alpine Meadows, the two major resorts in the area. A single lift ticket provides access to both ski areas, which are connected by bus. Palisades is the larger of the two, and its 1960 Olympic infrastructure can still be observed. The mountain’s tramway, high-speed quads, and gondola keep the lines moving despite the peak weekend throngs.

Steamboat Springs, CO

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Colorado’s reputation as a premier winter destination has transformed its front-range resorts into weekend parking lots. In contrast, the three-hour journey from Denver to Steamboat Springs thins out the crowds. Here you will find arguably the finest snow in the state: dry, light “champagne powder” You will also find a charming downtown where cowboy boots and 10-gallon caps overshadow the fur jackets and haute culture of Aspen and Vail. After a day of shredding knee-deep snowfall, there are also numerous tranquil places to sit back and relax. Strawberry Park Natural Springs and Old Town Hot Springs, the latter of which incorporates waterslides, are two of Steamboat’s hot springs.

Hunter, NY

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Everyone is aware that the countryside in upstate New York is some of the finest and most gorgeous on the eastern seaboard. As a result, the summers are spectacular, the autumn foliage is spectacular, and during the holiday season, it offers a winter sanctuary of snow-covered antics. Hunter Mountain isn’t enormous, nor is it as technically challenging as a black run in the Alps, nor is it as ridiculously wide as the runs at Mammoth, but it’s cozy, fun, and if you stay at the Hunter Mountain Sanctuary, you can kick off your boots, enjoy a roaring open fire, a glass of mulled wine, and gaze back at the mountain and the runs you’ve just raced down.

Alta and Snowbird, UT

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Alta and Snowbird are two distinct ski resorts, but we’ve grouped them together due to their lift ticket partnership — you can access either resort by ski lift or shuttle. Nightlife and après-ski activities are limited, and Alta is a skiers-only destination (sorry, snowboarders). The area’s world-famous dry Wasatch powder is arguably the finest ski snow in the world, and each year, Mother Nature deposits approximately 500 inches on the two ski areas, giving this region some of the deepest powder in the world. The terrain at Alta and Snowbird is best appreciated by advanced skiers, though beginners are welcome.

Telluride, CO

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

It is difficult to concentrate on the ski slope in Telluride due to the breathtaking views in all directions. The resort is situated in a box canyon and is surrounded by the soaring, precipitous summits of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. Due to the six-hour drive from Denver (there is a small airport, but it is mostly designated for private aircraft), Telluride was once the state’s best-kept secret. Even on weekends, there are still few people on the mountain despite its current international fame. Mountain Village, a community nestled among the chairlifts midway up the mountain, is responsible for the region’s excellent après-ski.

Whiteface Mountain, NY

The Best Ski Resorts in the US to Hit the Slopes This Winter

Whiteface raises the bar for East Coast skiing with the largest vertical descent east of the Rocky Mountains and backcountry terrain that would make a Coloradan feel at home. Additionally, there are ski slopes that hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics, so you’ll be skimming down historic slopes. The adjacent community of Lake Placid, with its abundance of bistros, bars, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts, is Whiteface’s main attraction. Lake Placid offers toboggan chutes, dog sledding, and Nordic ski trails for those who don’t ski.

Big Sky, MT

When Big Sky purchased the adjacent Moonlight Basin resort in 2013, it created an enormous winter paradise with terrain for all skill levels. Big Sky offers more than 5,800 acres of skiable terrain and a vertical descent of 4,350 feet. Due to Big Sky’s safe distance from major cities, the only minor issue here is the crowding. You’ll find a bit more activity in the nearby city of Bozeman, but after a day on the mountain, you’ll be too exhausted to care.

Stowe, VT

Stowe’s ski tracks trace back to 1933. Since then, Stowe has been the East Coast’s most popular resort. Unsurprisingly, it has a high ticket price as well. However, the price is justified, particularly when storms provide a cushion for the frigid terrain of New England. Additionally, Stowe offers the finest lodging and après-ski options on the East Coast.

Vail, CO

Vail is consistently ranked among the world’s best ski resorts, and it is simple to see why. The après-ski options at the resort are unparalleled, and the back basins are endless. Vail created a model that accommodates skiers of all abilities, despite the fact that it is no longer the country’s largest resort. The resort’s front side is where you’ll find miles of zoomers and groomers, while the backside is where experts go to play. Vail has one of the most expensive lift tickets in the United States and a roster of top-notch restaurants that are difficult to resist; with so many opportunities for excellent food, drink, and entertainment, you’re destined to leave with an empty wallet. Nonetheless, it is worth every euro.

Taos, NM

Only experienced thrill-seekers who appreciate precipitous and deep terrain should visit Taos. More than half of the marked trails are black or double black, and let’s just say that a blue run at most other resorts would be considered black at Taos. The majority of the finest terrain in Taos requires a hike to reach. However, there is a benefit for experts: the sparse crowds provide a respite from Colorado’s crowded resorts, and each year, the heavens over northern New Mexico drop copious amounts of light, crisp snowfall on the mountain.

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