Skiing through a beautiful trail while breathing in the fresh mountain air is an unbeatable experience that outdoor enthusiasts cherish. Skiing not only offers a fun activity but also provides an excellent workout that has numerous benefits for physical health, mental well-being and overall quality of life. During the 2021-2022 season, skiers and snowboarders set a record for visits to ski resorts, according to the National Ski Areas Association.
North America is home to some of the world’s most stunning ski resorts, from coast to coast, offering a plethora of options to choose from. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced skier, there is something for everyone. So, if you’re searching for the perfect ski destination, here’s a list of the finest ski resorts in North America.
Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont
Stowe offers 485 acres of mostly intermediate terrain, plus there are a variety of courses for everyone, including easy greens and double black diamonds, making this destination a favorite of East Coasters. You can also discover the beauty of Stowe’s two peaks, Spruce and Mount Mansfield, and enjoy the endless skiing options they offer.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is considered to be the birthplace of destination skiing. Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy more than 2,400 acres of various terrains spread across two separate mountains. Bald Mountain is famous for its diverse terrain and lack of lift lines, making it one of the best ski resorts in the world. The skiing experience at Bald Mountain is further enhanced by themed Adventure Trails that span 30 acres of glade terrain, suitable for all skill levels, and perfect for children. On the other hand, Dollar Mountain is perfect for families with children who want to gain confidence on the slopes. It offers beginner-friendly terrain and features the Wundercarpet, an easy uphill transporter that is perfect for kids. Sun Valley is now more accessible than ever, with six nonstop flights from six different locations, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Mount Tremblant rises 2,116 feet northwest of Montreal, right in the Laurentian Mountains. This beautiful location in French-speaking Quebec offers what is needed to enjoy a European-inspired ski resort. After skiing, visitors can visit the beautiful pedestrian village with boutiques at the foot of the mountain and ski events such as the Tremblant 24 Hours and the Tremblant World Cup. Also, Le Shack is a must-see when traveling to this destination for an après ski adventure, with a terrace with fireplaces and views of Place St. Bernard and the ski slopes.
Looking for an unforgettable snowboarding or skiing experience? Look no further than Breckenridge, or Breck, as it’s commonly known. This destination offers a unique experience where you can ski in and out of the town. With its stunning big-mountain scenery and classic ski town vibe, Breck is the perfect location for all skiing enthusiasts. The resort’s season extends into May, providing consistently excellent snow conditions throughout the spring. The resort boasts Five Peaks and other top-notch lift-accessible high-alpine terrain, including North America’s tallest chairlift, covering approximately 3,000 skiable acres on-mountain.
Marmot Basin, Alberta
Marmot Basin offers whatever your style of skiing or riding, from tree runs in the lower mountain area to high alpine open bowls and chutes in the upper area, plus two terrain parks. Set at 5,570 feet within Jasper National Park, this destination has the highest base elevation of any major Canadian ski area. To refuel with poutine or cozy up by the fire after a day in the mountain, The Caribou Chaletin is the perfect place located at the base in Marmot Basin.
Palisades Tahoe, California
Experience the ultimate skiing adventure in Palisades Tahoe. This destination is indisputably the spring ski capital of the U.S. and is renowned for its corn snow that lasts well into July during good years. The resort features two vast ski areas, Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows, spanning 6,000 acres and are conveniently connected by a 15-minute shuttle. Olympic Valley is the playground of the most demanding pros with its steeply sloping vertical terrain, while Alpine Meadows offers uncrowded, walk-to-the-back bowls and top-to-bottom groomers. Don’t settle for anything less than the best skiing adventure.
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
Park City offers more than just slopes, as it is also home to the Utah Olympic Park, a world-class destination for Nordic jumping and ice skating. With two top-rated resorts, Park City Mountain and Deer Valley, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Park City Mountain Resort boasts almost 40 lifts and over 7,300 acres of terrain, making it the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States. From thrilling trails and bowls to impressive parks, and two major base areas, there’s something for everyone. This scenic town is conveniently located near a major airport and offers a range of bars and restaurants, perfect for both affluent and budget-conscious visitors.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor is North America’s sixth-largest ski area, with over 4,300 acres of ski slopes. This destination may lack some amenities, and for that reason, it does not attract crowds. Mt. Bachelor is attractive to skiers because of its fantastic spring skiing and unique terrain that allows them to ski 360 degrees around the inactive volcano. Visitors to the area can find excellent shopping and restaurants just 20 minutes away in the artistic city of Bend. Also, 11 direct flights from cities like San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle make it increasingly accessible.
Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana
This family-friendly resort in Montana, renowned for its 360-degree views of the Flathead Valley, boasts nearly 3,000 acres of terrain. This bustling resort is open all year round for the summit panorama viewpoint, Central Avenue shopping, and base lodge. In addition, Ski Magazine readers rate Whitefish Mountain Resort as a top resort in the West.
Experienced skiers enjoy the many groomed trails, which offer a unique adventure for visitors of all skill levels. The resort is only a 30-minute drive from Glacier Park International Airport (FCA/GPI), and the S.N.O.W. Bus stops between the resort and downtown Whitefish for free.
With an elevation drop of 4,406 feet and enough variety, the most expansive of Aspen Snowmass’s four mountains is a family favorite. Furthermore, Snowmass Base Village has transformed it into a social hub with an ice skating rink and great restaurants. Guests of the region may have an on-mountain dining experience that is on par with those you’d find in Europe.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is reputed to have some of the most challenging skiing in North America. However, there are numerous intermediate runs off the Bridger Gondola, and a new base area quad lift, Eagle’s Rest, transports beginners to the two-year-old, mid-mountain Solitude Station Learning Center. The resort is known for its exceptional on-snow experiences, which include a Mindful Ski and Snowboard Camp for those who want to center themselves while exploring the mountain and private tours with the legendary Tommy Moe, an Olympic skiing medalist. Sign up for one of the resort’s Lady Shred Ski and Snowboard Camps if you want to learn with and from other women who love to rip.
Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire
The resort is only two hours north of Boston. At a reasonable price, Waterville Valley gives authentic mountain getaways. As New Hampshire’s Family Resort, it offers free ski resort shuttles, family-friendly après-ski parties, and top-notch ski programs for kids. It also has full-service childcare on the mountain. The resort is also known as the cross-country skiing center of the Northeast. It has more than 71 km of Nordic tracks groomed daily for regular and skate skiing.
Vail has 5,317 acres of skiable terrain, with 3,000 of those acres across the mountain’s seven famed Back Bowls. The Back Bowls provide broad open snow fields, mainly intermediate-to-advanced and ungroomed terrain. You may also visit Belle’s Camp in Vail’s Blue Sky Basin, where outdoor picnic tables offer the ideal sun-soaked lunch break with panoramic views of Mount Holy Cross, one of Colorado’s highest peaks.
Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont
Okemo is a ski resort that offers a different experience from the usual rugged New England ski spirit. Instead, it embraces a more pampered approach to skiing the Northeast. For example, it features heated seats and wind-proof orange bubbles on the Sunburst Six lift, farm-fresh restaurants, and DIY S’mores at the base. Okemo is an excellent choice for families as it has an excellent ski school, mellow terrain, impeccable grooming, and fun kids programs. Additionally, it boasts the highest snowmaking efficiency amongst all ski resorts in Vermont, which means that the conditions are almost always fantastic.
Article by Rocio Espinosa