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20 Best Ski Resorts in the U.S. to Visit

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Snowy seasons and powder days always attract tourists from all over the world to the slopes. Those who enjoy winters and snow frequently look for a ski vacation or getaway for their next big adventure.

A ski vacation is a unique experience. Cozy lodges, apres-ski, hot tubs, and gorgeous scenery combine to create a memorable time, no matter where you’re skiing.

Some ski resorts offer other recreational activities, too, such as dogsledding tours or snowshoeing trails. Bundle up, pack your base layers, and get out there to enjoy winter!

Best Ski Resorts in the United States

TL;DR

Resort Location Average Annual Snowfall (in Inches) Number of Trails Number of Lifts
Vail Ski Resort Vail, Colorado 237 275 33
Aspen Snowmass Aspen, Colorado 287 98 21
Breckenridge Ski Resort Breckenridge, Colorado 300 187 35
Park City Mountain Resort Park City, Utah 259 348 41
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Teton Village, Wyoming 458 131 13

1. Alta Ski Resort, Utah

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 10230 UT-210, Alta, UT 84092

Vertical Drop: 2,538 ft (774 m)
Trails: 118
Lifts: 5

Alta Ski Resort is one of the older ski resorts in the United States, opening in 1939. This snow-covered resort is one of the few places in the country that’s strictly ski-only; no snowboarders are welcome. Averaging over 500 inches of snow every year, Alta is particularly known for its deep powder skiing.

The actual location of the resort is at the top of the Little Cottonwood Canyon, which is just 25 miles away from Salt Lake City. And not to worry, newbies and moderates, plenty of trails are appropriate for you here, too.

The resorts nearby also offer plush, luxurious amenities like mountain view whirlpools, room service, and even afternoon tea!If you’re staying in SLC, make sure your hotel is on the Ski Bus route. Driving and parking in the Canyon can be a chore, and it’s much easier to get a ride.

See Related: The Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List

2. Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 1015 Glades Dr, Whitefish, MT 59937

Vertical Drop: 2,353 ft/717 meters
Trails: 105
Lifts: 11

Whitefish Mountain Resort, formerly Big Mountain Resort, is a remote ski area in Montana. It is only 30 miles from Glacier National Park, which means it has incredible views of the park and the surrounding Flathead National Forest. The best time to ski here is later in the season.

By early March, the snowpack is typically pretty deep and you won’t have the blistering cold of January or early February. Still, keep an eye on mountain reports and seasonal snowfalls before you plan your trip.

Whitefish includes around 105 runs and 3000 acres of skiable terrain. Apart from skiing, the lodging provides a pleasant stay with both budget and more luxe accommodations.

3. Snowbird Ski Resort, Utah

Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Utah

Address: 9385 Snowbird Center Trail, Snowbird, UT 84092

Vertical Drop: 2,900 ft
Trails: 140+
Lifts: 10

Snowbird Ski Resort, is right next to Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon. If you’re a skilled skier and you have an Altabird Pass (or a full Ikon Pass), you can even get to Alta through the Peruvian tunnel.Snowbird is a hard hill – beginners and intermediate skiers will have a better time at Alta.

That being said, if you’re looking to really “send it”, it’s hard to top the steep and deep slopes of Snowbird. There are some beginner-friendly areas. If you’re just learning your turns, start off from the Baby Thunder Lift and make your way to the midway point off the Mid-Gad lift and you’ll have a good time.

All told, there are five different accommodation options at Snowbird. From The Cliff Lodge with its luxury spa to the posh Cliff Club with balcony hot tubs, you have quite a lot to choose from.

With those different hotel options, you also have a range of dining opportunities too. So prepare to eat well during your stay!

4. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Address: 2250 Deer Valley Dr S, Park City, UT 84060

Vertical Drop: 3000 ft
Trails: 103
Lifts: 21

Deer Valley Resort is a ski-only resort, so non-ski winter activities are not permitted on the slopes — sorry, snowboarders. Though, its home in Park City, Utah, is known for having multiple world-class ski resorts as well as a lively ski culture.

The resort has over 100 runs, meaning there are suitable options for all levels. So everyone in your family, whether they’re bunny hill types or black diamond, can find something they like.

In addition, the resort is home to a kid-friendly ski school and other kid-centric activities such as tubing. (No judgment if you prefer tubing; it’s fun and not just for kiddos.)

5. Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado

Address: 117 Aspen Airport Business Center, Aspen, CO 81611

Vertical Drop: 4406 ft
Trails: 94
Lifts: 21

Aspen Snowmass is an iconic ski resort in the heart of the Rocky Mountains on Aspen Mountain. Usually just referred to as Aspen, the resort offers 4,000 acres of skiable land and is mainly known for having excellent intermediate terrain.

Aspen Snowmass is also home to various shops and restaurants, as well as a vibrant nightlife scene. If you’re looking to stay near Snowmass, there are a variety of great options to choose from.

The Village at Aspen Snowmass is a great place to stay if you want to be right in the heart of all the action. The resort offers shops, restaurants, and bars.

Another great option is the Limelight Hotel, also located in central Aspen. This hotel offers chic rooms, breakfast, a hotel shuttle, a heated pool, and even an on-site bar. It’s perfect for going from slope to sleep.

See Related: Things to Do in Colorado & Places to Visit

6. Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, California

Best ski resorts in America

Vertical Drop: 3000 ft
Trails: 150+
Lifts: 28

This quite famous ski resort called the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area is located on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. It’s known for having a long spring season with tremendous snowfall and gorgeous scenery. This mountain’s snow is so plentiful you can even hit the slopes in early summer some years! The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area can show you one of the most significant snow recreational resorts that you may ever experience in your lifetime.

Compared to other resorts we list here, this is one of the biggest as it covers an area of around 3,500 acres, which is all skiable, comprising over 170 trails. Suffice it to say that “mammoth” is a fitting term for this spot. The varied terrain and the significant snowfall guarantee that you’ll have some of the best tree skiing, spring skiing, and overall a great snow sports experience in California.

7. Aspen Highlands Ski Resort, Colorado

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 199 Prospector Rd, Aspen, CO 81611

Vertical Drop: 3267 ft
Trails: 76
Lifts: 8

The Aspen Highlands Ski Resort is situated on one of the four mountains of Aspen, covered with thick white snow, perfect for your terrain skiing. It’s home to the famed double-black expert terrain comprising the Highland Bowl, making this a great resort for experts and adrenaline hounds.

While Aspen Highlands doesn’t have a lodge, there are tons of hotels and rentals around the town. From cozy lodges to luxurious hotels and rental accommodations, there are plenty to choose from in Aspen and the nearby Snowmass villages. For example, the luxurious W Aspen will keep you in fine form in their gorgeous accommodations near the base of the mountain.

8. Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado

Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado

Address: 85 Parsenn Rd, Winter Park, CO 80482

Vertical Drop: 9000 ft
Trails: 134
Lifts: 25

The Winter Park Ski Resort in Colorado is both incredibly iconic and historical, established over 75 years ago. The resort is conveniently located near Denver, making it easy for tourists to visit their holiday destinations even if winter sports aren’t the only thing on the itinerary. Because nearly 30% of the runs are beginner-friendly, this is also one of the best ski spots for families or new skiers.

Winter Park’s ski area is internationally renowned for its challenging skiing terrain for intermediate and advanced skiers. Beyond the slopes, there is an air of small-town charm here too.

Enjoy a gondola ride of the scenic resort and its surrounding area, go dog sledding, or relish ice skating at night. As one of the top ski resorts in the country, Winter Park has blossomed into a thriving vacation getaway.

See Related: Best Ski Resorts in Colorado

9. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 3860 Saddle Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

Vertical Drop: 3500 ft
Trails: 95
Lifts: 29

Heavenly Mountain Resort is one of the most beautiful resorts near Lake Tahoe. The ski season usually lasts until April or May, given its height and temperatures. This is a terrific resort to visit in early spring, like March, since this part of Lake Tahoe is still receiving snowfall.

The elevation of the towering snow-covered peak is around 10,067 feet, so be prepared for the altitude by staying hydrated. This ski resort’s stunning panoramic view of one of North America’s largest alpine lakes is out of this world.

Despite some of the more challenging runs, there is still plenty of skiable terrain for beginner and intermediate skiers, too. Heavenly Mountain even has lessons for newbies.

10. Palisades Tahoe, California

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146

Vertical Drop: 2850 ft
Trails: 170
Lifts: 29

Palisades Tahoe, formerly known as Squaw Valley, is located in the Olympic Valley of Northern California, and it is one of the largest ski resorts in North America. The resort spans over 6,000 acres and features a vertical descent of 3,600 feet. This resort was the host site for the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, and it continues to be one of the best places to ski and snowboard for both expert skiers and intermediate skiers.

In addition, this ski town offers Après ski options as well as other great things to do in the local area. Palisades Tahoe merged with Alpine Meadows in 2012, and a gondola connects the two now.

Both ski areas offer different experiences. Alpine Meadows is quieter and offers fewer crowds, while Olympic Valley (Palisades Mountain) is the main hub.

There is also an abundance of accommodations available in The Village at Palisades Tahoe, especially if you’re looking for cozy vacation rentals. It’s not hard to get between Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows using gondola or bus.

11. Big Sky Resort, Montana

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 50 Big Sky Resort Rd, Big Sky, MT 59716

Vertical Drop: 4350 ft
Trails: 300
Lifts: 38

The Big Sky Resort, situated in Montana, is spread over 5,750 skiable acres. Big Sky is actually two separate ski resorts since it acquired nearby Moonlight Basin in 2013, after which it became one of the country’s biggest ski resorts.

Big Sky has nearly 300 trails, some of which are quite tough. Skiers and snowboarders who flock to Big Sky Resort each year are attracted to its massive size, village atmosphere, and variety of terrain.

You can even stay on-site at the Big Sky Resort Village Center, which is one of the reasons folks adore this huge resort. Even though it’s gigantic, you’re never far from the ski lifts.

12. Keystone Resort, Colorado

Keystone Resort, Colorado at Night

Vertical Drop: 3128 ft
Trails: 128
Lifts: 20

Keystone Resort in Colorado is made up of three mountains (Dercum Mountain, North Peak, and the Outback) and two tiny towns or villages. Out of the three mountains on which the resort is built, the highest is Outback Mountain, which has an altitude of around 11,980 feet.

Although it’s owned by Vail, Keystone is by far one of the most affordable ski resorts in the state. That makes it the best ski spot for budget-minded travelers — especially if you’re an experienced skier.

For the finest views of local terrain, head out for some CAT skiing in the backcountry. It’s highly recommended to bring avy gear when skiing out of bounds. And remember, you’ll have to hike back up.

13. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico

Taos Ski Valley in Taos, New Mexico
Raisa Nastukova / Adobe Stock

Vertical Drop: 3131 ft
Trails: 110
Lifts: 13

Chances are you don’t think of New Mexico when contemplating skiing. The largest ski area in the state, Taos Ski Valley, has nearly 1300 skiable acres. This used to be a skiers-only resort, though now they also allow snowboarders to partake.

With a vertical drop of over 3100 feet, this is also one of the U.S. ski resorts with the steepest skiable mountain. Taos isn’t for beginners – even though there is beginner terrain, it’s known for being a really really steep mountain.

It’s easy to see how Taos’ Kachina Peak, Highline Ride, and West Basin Ridge are used for the Freeride World Tour extreme ski competitions year after year. Although the ski lifts lead to both challenging and easy trails, this resort is more suited for advanced skiers rather than beginners.

14. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado

Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado
Marco Regalia / Adobe Stock

Address: 3150 Burgess Creek Rd, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487

Vertical Drop: 3668 ft
Trails: 165
Lifts: 18

The Steamboat Ski Resort is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The resort features 2,965 acres of skiable terrain, 165 trails, and a vertical descent of 3,668 feet. Still, this terrain is best suited for beginner and intermediate skiers, with less challenging routes for advanced folks.

Steamboat can be enjoyed by advanced skiers though on a powder day. The “Champagne powder” that falls here is unique, and the glades don’t get skied out all that quickly. Visit during the Steamboat Winter Carnival to enjoy a ton of cool activities in town.

Watch cowboys and skiers race down the main street during the skijoring competition, catch the town ski team leaping through hoops of fire, and enjoy a fireworks show to cap it off. The resort is family-friendly and offers ski school programs for children as young as three.

In addition, Steamboat has several beautiful scenic views of the Routt National Forest, comprising around five multi-level terrain parks. The resort also provides several great options to stay with a range of vacation rentals.

15. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

Best ski resorts in America

Address: 1599 Summit County Rd 3. Breckenridge, CO 80424

Vertical Drop: 3398 ft
Trails: 187
Lifts: 35

Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the most famous and best ski resorts in the country. It is owned and operated by Vail Resorts, so it’s on the Epic Pass. Every year, more than 1.6 million tourists flock to Breckenridge, which only goes to show how popular it is.

Breckenridge is a terrific choice if you’re looking for a great family ski resort. Here, there are designated family ski areas to keep little skiers safe, especially if they are beginners.

There are a ton of great lodging accommodations to choose from. Some of the best places to stay in Breckenridge are Beaver Run Resort, The Village at Breckenridge, One Ski Hill Place, The Inn at Breckenridge, and The Lodge at Breckenridge.

16. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

Vertical Drop: 4139 ft
Trails: 130
Lifts: 13

If you’re looking for ski areas that also cater to families, look no further than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming. It’s undoubtedly one of the best ski resorts in the world, thanks to incredible terrain like Corbet’s Couloir and incredible views of the nearby Grand Teton National Park.

When you’re ready to call it a night, ski down to Teton Village where you’ll find your hotel, lots of restaurants, and an exciting apres ski scene. The Mangy Moose is the best bar in the village, and don’t discount the gas station tacos at Bodega’s food truck. The mountain combines beginner and the most challenging terrain, enough to contest even your group’s expert skiers.

As you ride your tram to the top of the mountain, you’ll feel the excitement with all the skiable acres this resort offers. Over 2,400 acres are covered at the resort, which includes more than 100 named run areas and multiple terrain parks.

17. Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado

Telluride ski resort in winter landscape.

Address: 565 Mountain Village Blvd, Telluride, CO 81435-9521

Vertical Drop: 4425 ft
Trails: 148
Lifts: 19

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more picturesque setting for winter sports than Telluride Ski Resort. The surrounding mountain scenery is enough to steal your breath, and the ski areas are no exception. From here, you’re surrounded by towering peaks when you enter the valley from above.

In terms of facilities, Telluride has everything you need for a great family vacation since nearly 25% of its trails are beginner terrain. There are also plenty of intermediate trails for those who want to push their limits without getting too crazy. The resort has two base areas, Mountain Village and Telluride Town, connected by a free gondola.

18. Park City Mountain Village Resort, Utah

Park City Mountain Village Resort in Utah, a popular ski destination in the US.
Leijurv / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Address: 1415 Lowell Ave, Park City, UT 84060

Vertical Drop: 3200 ft
Trails: 348
Lifts: 41

Park City Mountain Village Resort boasts 4,300 acres of skiable terrain and is one of the best-known resorts in the country. Park City is so well-known because it hosted the Winter Olympics. The resort offers a swath of trails for all levels of skiers and is especially popular with families.

In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Park City Mountain Resort also offers tubing, ice skating, and cross-country skiing. Given that it’s the largest ski resort in the area, there are also a number of terrific places to stay in the nearby town of Park City. Some of the most popular spots include Silver Star Resort, Canyons Resort, and Grand Summit Hotel.

19. Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Vail Ski Resort in Colorado, a popular destination for winter sports enthusiasts.
DReifGalaxyM31 at English Wikipedia / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 3.0

Address: 241 E Meadow Dr, Vail, CO 81657

Vertical Drop: 3450 ft
Trails: 195
Lifts: 30+

Vail Mountain Resort is among the penultimate posh and luxurious ski destinations in the United States. The resort offers over 5200 acres of skiable terrain, with 193 trails and 31 ski lifts. The ski town is also home to myriad shopping and dining, as well as a lively nightlife scene.

When it comes to family ski resorts, Vail is hard to beat. With its world-class skiing and après-ski scene, your family will never get bored.

The resort also has a Ski and Snowboard School, tubing hills, and a kids’ center. While you’re here, pay a visit to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens or take a scenic hike.

See Related: Things to do in Vail, Colorado

20. Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek ski resort in Colorado, offering pristine slopes and stunning mountain views.

Vertical Drop: 3200 ft
Trails: 150
Lifts: 26

Beaver Creek Resort is located in the Vail Valley of Colorado and offers an excellent experience for all levels of skiers, from beginner to expert, for everyone in the family. However, the majority of runs are suited for beginner and intermediate skiers.

That said, on certain parts of the mountain, the gullies will challenge even the most advanced skiers at all levels. Always be aware of closures and conditions before hitting the slopes.

The resort has two gondolas that whisk skiers to the top of the mountain, where they can enjoy stunning views of the Rockies. There are also a handful of places to eat and drink at the base of the mountain, making it easy to take a day off skiing or snowboarding to enjoy the local area.

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