The Top 10 Ski Resorts In The USA
By: Tiasha Chatterjee
When it comes to the US, it boasts some of the best ski resorts in the world. If you are ready to hit the slopes, this is the place to start! In today’s list, we will be checking out the very best American ski destinations to help you draft the ultimate skiing bucket list.
We will be considering the vertical drop, the number of lifts, the total ski-able area, the conditions, the crowds, and the local town. So grab your seats tight and get ready to get a glimpse of the top ski resorts in the US!
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If you are looking for a well-balanced ski experience, you can not go wrong with this Colorado resort. First opened in the early 1960s, this Mount Warner getaway boasts 23 lifts that give skiers and snowboarders access to 165 runs.
Located in Route National Forest, the resort boasts some stunning natural beauty and views of the surrounding area. The runs are evenly split between intermediate and advanced difficulty. With only 14 per cent of runs being deemed beginner, newbies to the sport will have a somewhat limited selection.
It is also further from a major city and airport than other resorts on our list. Steamboat remains a great choice with its easy-going attitude, smaller crowds, and the opportunity to relax in the hot springs.
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Sun ValleySun Valley
Living up to its name, Sun Valley has more than its fair share of sunny ski days. It is also part of a rich tradition of American wilderness adventures. This area of Idaho was first popularized by none other than author and icon, Ernest Hemingway, in the 1930s.
Sun Valley is both the name of the resort city and the surrounding area. It encompasses Bald Mountain, the main attraction, and Dollar Mountain, which is smaller but offers a great selection of beginner and intermediate runs compared to other top resorts.
Sun Valley may seem a bit modest in its offerings - it has a total of 120 runs and seven terrain parks serviced by 19 lifts. However, the 2054 acres of skiable area is plenty of space, and Sun Valley has some great terrain to keep things interesting. Plus, it is notably more affordable than most of the other resorts in the US.
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Squaw Valley Alpine MeadowsSquaw Valley Alpine Meadows
The largest ski resort in all of California, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows will certainly satisfy those who like to go big. The terrain is incredibly diverse and boasts some extreme challenges for skiers and snowboarders who like to push themselves to the limit.
While the environment is undeniably wild, the resort is widely considered to be a cut above the rest when it comes to grooming. Additionally, the mountain consistently gets a ton of snow each year.
However, consider yourself warned - when there is fresh powder, the mountain can get rather crowded. Still, with over 4,000 acres of the skiable area over 175 runs and 30 lifts, you will still have enough space to enjoy yourself.
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We probably do not have to tell you to ride these slopes. Long believed to be one of the best resorts in America, Telluride will leave you awestruck. Like Valley Alpine Meadows, Telluride boasts some truly out of this world terrain for experts to test themselves against.
As for the resort experience, it is hard to find fault. There is a gondola that can carry guests between the two bases, a seriously charming ski town, and plenty of accommodation options to choose from.
At roughly 2,000 ski-able acres, it is on the smaller side of average for top-tier resorts, but the organization of the runs more than makes up the difference. Telluride is a well-oiled machine with a world-class layout. The resort is admittedly a bit inconvenient to get to, but once there you will never want to leave.
Jackson HoleJackson Hole
Amongst the country's most internationally renowned resorts, Jackson Hole makes Wyoming proud. Since the area is so well developed, there is no shortage of accommodations at the base of the mountain or in the town of Jackson. You will be offered exciting nightlife, restaurants, shopping, hot springs, a wildlife refuge - this is a ski trip with a lot of extra perks and experiences to enjoy.
The only thing that is lacking is more beginner-friendly runs. However, for those seeking thrilling terrain and an interesting challenge, Jackson Hole lives up to its reputation as an advanced skier’s paradise. Just make sure to budget accordingly, since ski resorts with this many amenities and recognition do not come cheap.
Jackson Hole mountain resort consistently ranks among the priciest American ski trips, but with over 3,000 acres of skiable area, including backcountry, you will get your money's worth.
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Big SkyBig Sky
Big Sky means big mountains and big thrills! This Montana resort is famous with skiers across America for its awesome powder. And with a staggering thousand acres of skiable area, it is not hard to find a bit of untouched powder to call your own, even on busy days!
Big Sky resort first opened in 1973, but hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on improvements over the last 20 years. Today the resort boasts more than 250 runs serviced by 36 lifts.
Big Sky is a resort that has plenty of evening activities to help you cut loose and relax, after a day on the slopes! The mountain village has a great selection of restaurants, shops, and quaint little corners where you can cozy up by the fire. Those who want a break from the slopes can also go zip lining or snowshoeing - it is a real choose your own adventure sort of destination!
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Aspen SnowmassAspen Snowmass
If you think that having multiple ski areas right next to each other is a major perk, then this resort is for you, even if it comes at a slightly higher cost. Colorado's Aspen Snowmass resort encompasses four distinct skiing areas - Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands. Combined, they make for just about the most diverse skiing experience you can find in the USA.
With a wide variety of quality runs for skiers of every experience level. Like Jackson Hole, however, a trip to Aspen Snowmass does not fit many people's definition of budget travel.
Aspen is up there as one of the most celebrated ski getaways in America and has long attracted the rich and famous, but it has also got the nightlife, restaurants, accommodations, and slopes to match.
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If you ask any serious skier about their favorite resort, there is a very good chance that Vail will come up. A crowd-pleasing Colorado ski destination, Vail really checks all the boxes. Since the early 1960s, Vail has consistently kept up with the trends and all the new technology.
Leading the charge in modern and well-run resort skis in the US, Vail, the third-largest ski resort in the country, more than earns its place on the podium. It encompasses over 5,300 acres of skiable area, 195 runs, and 31 lifts, all of which is made much sweeter by the fact that vale gets an average of 354 inches of snow each year.
When you are ready to call it a day, the resort town is jam-packed with dining and nightlife options that perfectly round out the experience. If they could only add some night skiing, people might never leave!
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Park CityPark City
Just 30 minutes away from Salt Lake City in Utah, this resort is conveniently located. And unlike so many of the country's top ski resorts, Park City does offer night skiing.
Park City also happens to be the largest ski resort in the country with a ski-able area of 7,300 acres! This is the sort of destination that requires multiple trips. Used for the 2002 winter Olympics, it still regularly plays host to several exciting events.
Park City also distinguishes itself by having one of the most active nightlife scenes of any ski resort town in America. Slay rides, a mining tour, shopping - you are spoiled for choice in terms of non-skiing activities. But really it is the 324 runs serviced by 41 lifts that keep people coming back.
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Our top pick for 2022 goes to this now hugely popular Colorado ski town and resort. The terrain parks at Breckenridge are top of their class, and with 155 runs and just shy of 3,000 acres of the skiable area, there is enough space to go around, even on a crowded day.
With an average of 370 inches of snowfall per year and consistently great grooming, the conditions are dependably great. Breckenridge is just so well-rounded that it is hard to single out any one factor that earns it our top spot - nightlife and unique terrain, it has got it all!
Like Vail, Breckenridge only drops the ball when it comes to night skiing options. If that is a must-have for you, consider visiting the Sister Mountain Resort at Keystone, which works on the same lift pass. With so much quality skiing to be done on Breckenridge, we think you will be ready to relax by the time the lifts close for the day!
The ski resorts in the US will offer you a diverse plate of everything you can imagine. From huge skiable terrains to mind-blowing sceneries and a buzzing nightlife, there is nothing that you will be missing out on! So, grab your tickets and travel visa, it is the time to have the ultimate skiing experience!
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