Our Picks for the top United States Ski Resorts.
The western United States is blessed with excellent quantities of snow fall from the strong on shore flow of winds from the Pacific running up against the high elevations of the western mountain ranges. This all makes for excellent skiing conditions in the United States with many of the world class ski resorts experiencing 300 to 600 inches of annual snowfall.
Our criteria for the Best United States Ski Resorts gives greater consideration to: annual snow fall, vertical rise, facilities/amenities, and scenery.
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Trails: Beginner: 25% - Intermediate:40% - Expert: 35%
Annual snow fall: 514 inches, Vertical drop: 2,020 ft.; 2,200 acres
It is best known for the ash-light quality of its snow, commonly referred to as "powder" snow. This is old fashioned skiing, it's secluded, un crowded, slow lifts, low prices, and one of the highest snowfalls in the world. Alta is one of three remaining ski resorts in America that prohibits snow boarders. They have excellent variety of terrain with narrow chutes through the trees, twisting trails, bowls, and bump runs.
Where to stay:
Located on the mountain at Alta Ski Area, Alta Lodge is Alta, Utah's first ski lodge. Our ski in/ski out location, along with warm ambiance, personal service, and exceptional dining, make the Lodge the place to stay for a traditional ski vacation. With Snowbird just a mile away, guests ski the best of Little Cottonwood Canyon's powder with the Alta-Snowbird combined ski pass.
Annual snow fall: 300 inches, Vertical drop:3,267ft., 4,100 acres
Trails: Beginner: 18% - Intermediate: 30% - Expert: 52%
Trails: Intermediate:48% - Expert: 52%
Aspen has four world-class mountains with a great variety of skiing for all abilities. It's known for ambience and variety, with a charming Victorian ski village in a backdrop of beautiful natural scenery. Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain caters to the expert and intermediate skiers, while Buttermilk is for less experienced skiers. Twenty minutes away you can ski Snowmass, an excellent mountain for skiers of all levels.
Where to stay:
The Little Nell
This luxurious mountain hotel is the only hotel in the heart of Aspen that features ski-to-door access. It has an on-site restaurant with an award-wining wine list and a tavern. After a day of skiing, guests can relax in the hot tub or go for a swim in the outdoor pool at The Little Nell. If guests prefer, they can schedule a workout with a personal trainer in the on-site fitness center or book a massage from one of the hotel's highly-skilled massage therapists
Mount Bachelor, Oregon
Trails: 5% Beginner, 69% Intermediate, 26% Expert
Average Annual Snowfall: 370 inches. Elevation: Highest - 6400 feet, Lowest - 5750 feet
Mount Bachelor is known for having one of the longest Nordic seasons in North America, running from mid-November through mid-May. Snow conditions permitting, the season is often extended into June. Skiing in the Pacific Northwest is often underrated and Mount Bachelor is one of the best. The mountain is a 9,000-foot stratovolcano with high-speed quads and skiable down every side. With a large diverse area and facing the drier, east side of the Cascades, it has lighter snow than the other northwest areas in the region. This is an excellent mountain for advanced skiers, with more than 60 percent of the trails rated black or double-black. Freestyle terrain is excellent, with two half pipes and a nearly mile-long terrain park.
The town of Bend, while smaller than the other mega resort towns in the western USA, it makes up for it with lodging options for any budget, a stupendous selection of trendy restaurants, and nine micro breweries within walking distance of each other in the downtown Bend.
Mt. Bachelor is at the leading edge of the environmental movement within the ski industry. The Ski Area Citizen's Coalition awarded Mt Bachelor as one of the top 10 environmentally conscientious resorts in the USA. Mt Bachelor offsets 100% of its electrical use from wind power.
Where to stay:
The Oxford Hotel The Oxford Hotel
Discover a hip urban oasis in the middle of the great outdoors. Located in the heart of downtown Bend, The Hotel is Bend's only boutique hotel, with 59 stylish suites and amenities that will satisfy every whim.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Trails: Beginner: 23% - Intermediate: 57% - Expert: 20%
Annual snow fall: 300 inches, Vertical drop: 2,775 ft.; 1,125acres
Crested Butte is differs from some of the other popular ski resorts in that it is less glitzy, with a laid back, friendly atmosphere, and charm of an old western mining town. Being away from populated areas, ii is a destination only resort area. On one hand there's not much else to do but ski, but if you come to ski, you will experience short lift lines with lot's of runs each day. It offers a variety of trails for all levels, and has a mid mountain lodge for beginners and intermediates with food service and outdoor seating. Expert skiers are attracted by the large expanse of open skiing on the north face.
Where to stay:
The Elevation Hotel & Spa
Crested Butte, CO
The only full-service ski-in / ski-out hotel at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. The completely renovated property features 262 rooms and spacious suites. Enjoy first-class amenities and services, including swimming pool, hot tub, wireless internet, Spa treatments and Fitness Center, and valet, bell and concierge services. The on-site 9380 Prime Restaurant & Bar serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Elevation Hotel & Spa offers the ultimate slope side luxury and convenience.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Trails: Beginner: 10% - Intermediate:40% - Expert: 50%
Annual snow fall: 459 inches, Vertical drop: 4,139 ft.; 2,500 acres
This is an advanced skiers paradise with some of the most difficult terrain in the U.S. It is home to the longest and steepest vertical drops in the country. Beginner and intermediate skiers have 22 miles of machine-groomed runs. The new aerial tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort that will open for the 2008/09 season will be faster and twice the size of the original, carrying 100 passengers, soaring 4,139 vertical feet in 9 minutes. At the base, Teton Village, is a charming village with shops, restaurants, and lodging.
Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole
Teton Village, WY
Located at the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Ski lifts, Grand Teton National Park, and the shops at Teton Village are all nearby. The 10-story hotel features a heated 75-foot outdoor pool and 3 surrounding spa tubs which provide panoramic views of the Teton Mountains. Dining options include an American steak house with winter ski-in/ski-out access, and a seafood restaurant. The 156 spacious accommodations at Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole offer natural stone finishes and gas fireplaces. Marble bathrooms provide deep soaking tubs, separate showers, bathrobes, double vanities, and designer toiletries
Park City Mountain, Utah
Trails: Beginner: 18% - Intermediate:44% - Expert: 38%
Annual snow fall: 355 inches, Vertical drop: 3,100 ft.; 3,300 acres
This world class ski resort, the largest in Utah is known for having lots of powder snow, has wide appeal with skiers of all levels and is one of the best ski resorts for a family vacation. The mountain is wide and steep, and offers some of the most varied terrain in the Wasatch range. The town has many charming shops, art galleries, restaurants, and an active nightlife.
Where to stay:
Montage Deer Valley
Park City, UT
Reminiscent of the great mountain lodges of the West, this resort is located atop Empire Pass with ski-in / ski-out access to the slopes. Its than five minutes from Park City's celebrated Main Street where leisurely strolls reveal an eclectic array of al fresco cafes, local art galleries, gourmet restaurants, and specialty boutiques. . After a day of mountain adventure, guests can retreat to the 35,000 square foot alpine inspired spa offering 29 treatment rooms and an indoor mosaic pool.
Squaw Valley - Alpine Meadows
Located on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe
Trails: 25% Beginner, 45% Intermediate, 30% Advanced Skiable Acres
Average Annual Snowfall: 450 inches; Base Elevation: 6,200', Peak Elevation: 9,050' Vertical drop: 2,850' 3,600 Acres
Total Number of Lifts: 30
Aerial Tram: 1 (110-person tram) Funitel: 1 (28-person gondola) Express 6-pacs: 4 Express Quads: 3 Fixed-Grip Quad: 1 Triple Chairs: 9 Double Chairs: 6 Surface Lifts: 3 Magic Carpets: 2
Seasons Winter: November – Mid-May Summer: June – Mid-September. Squaw Valley sees more than 300 days of cloudless, sunny skies per year. Squaw Valley is one of the largest ski areas in the United States and receives heavy maritime snowfall, frequently topping 40 ft. A scenic aerial tramway carries visitors 2,000 ft to High Camp at an altitude of 8,200 ft above sea level. At High Camp, tourists have access to the facilities of Squaw Valley, including a pool, roller skating, dining, shopping, and high-altitude disk golf.
Where to stay:
The Village At Squaw Valley
Olympic Valley, CA
Located at the base of world-famous Squaw Valley, most guests at this condo-style hotel can walk to the cable car in 3 minutes. Three fitness centers Guests of The Village at Squaw Valley can take advantage of 3 fitness centers. This complex is centrally located for snowboarding, snowmobiling, and ice skating. Ski passes are available. Heated slate floors Tahoe-area condos at Village at Squaw Valley have soaking tubs and gas fireplaces; bathrooms have heated slate floors; high-speed Internet access is complimentary
Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico
Trails: 113 total: 24% beginner, 25% intermediate, 51% expert
Average annual snowfall: 305 inches. Base elevation: 9,207 feet / 2805 meters. Peak elevation:12,481 feet / 3804 meters. Vertical drop: 3,274 feet / 998.22 meters (with Kachina Peak hike)
Lifts: 14 total: 4 quad chair lifts; 2 triple chairs lift; 5 double chair lifts; 3 surface lifts.
Taos Ski Valley is popular with art-loving skiers and snow boarders who enjoy steep runs and the towns vibe of a funky Southwestern artist's colony, The mountain is rugged and attracts skiers who put skiing first and all else second. Kachina Peak stands high above the Sangre de Cristo mountain range at 12,481 feet. From here, skiers and boarders survey some of the finest terrain in North America- bone dry powder shots, steep chutes, big bumps, cornices, and glades- it is all here. If heart-stopping terrain is not your thing, you will find miles of well-manicured slopes and gradual groomers to carve up all season long. This mecca of snow sports shows every level of skier and boarder a great time. Apres ski activities are centered in a town filled with plenty of art galleries, coffee shops, and inexpensive restaurants serving delicious, green-chili-smothered New Mexican food.
Where to stay:
Columbine Inn & Conference Center
Taos Ski Valley, NM
Beautiful timber-framed lodge nestled in the mountains of Taos. Conveniently located 1.5 miles from the lifts at Taos Ski Valley. Family friendly with free breakfast, outdoor hot tub, outdoor fireplace, and frequent stay program. The charming guest rooms are warm and inviting with king and queen beds, mini-fridge, microwave, and lofts in the upstairs rooms. Kids 14 and under stay free. Friendly, Fun and Convenient!
Trails: 23% Beginner, 36% Intermediate, 41% Advanced / Expert
Average annual snowfall: 309 inches. Base elevation: 8,725 feet , Peak elevation: 13,150 feet , Vertical drop: 4,425 feet.
Total # Lifts: 18, 2 high-speed gondolas, 7 high-speed quads, 1 fixed quad, 2 triples, 2 doubles, 2 surface lifts and 2 magic carpets
Season: November 22, 2012 - March 10, 2013 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. March 11 - April 7, 2013 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 7 Days a Week.
Averaging more than 300 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine each year, odds are you'll find fantastic conditions on Telluride's 1700 skiable acres. Telluride is full-service ski resort with very short lift lines. Telluride's remoteness is also what makes the resort special. It accounts for Weekend skiers from the big cities not being able to get there by car. The town of Telluride can reach the upper town of Mountain Village by the free gondola that runs from dawn to midnight.
Where to stay:
Mountain Lodge at Telluride
A spacious hotel with suites and condo rentals. Offers slope-side convenience, upscale amenities and gracious services. Located in the contemporary Mountain Village resort community, the resort is ideally located midway up Telluride Mountain. Surrounded by panoramic views of the majestic San Juan Mountains. It features three log-and-stone buildings and a main lodge, whose tremendous lobby is warmed by an immense river-rock fireplace. Gleaming with rich leather and rustic Western elegance, the lobby also features the Tavern Bar perfect for quiet afternoon and evening gatherings while on your Telluride vacation.
Trails: Beginner: 9% - Intermediate: 31% - Expert: 60%
Annual snow fall: 346 inches, Vertical drop: 3,450 ft.; 5,289 acres
This is the largest single ski area in the United States, and one of the world's largest area of groomed terrain. Vail is composed of three distinct mountain experiences: Vail is an intermediate skiers paradise having 34 lifts serving 5,289 acres of terrain. The Front Side has 14 high speed lifts, wide open, and has a tremendous variety of gentle beginner slopes, glades, and moguls. The Legendary Back Bowls are powder heaven and stretch more than six miles wide. Blue Sky Basin is home to 645 acres of natural, gladed terrain for intermediate and advanced levels. And there's Vail Village with world-class dining, shopping, spas, galleries, apres ski and nightlife.
Where to stay:
Vail Cascade Resort & Spa
The Resort is the perfect ski-in/ ski-out location with an on-site chair lift. It features 280 comfortable hotel rooms and suites as well as condos and private homes. This hotel has an outdoor pool and hot tubs, restaurants, room service, concierge services, spa, gym and a gift shop. Combine this with equipment rental and ski storage, skiing and snowboarding have never been more convenient. Other amenities include a 78,000 square foot spa and fitness center, complete with an indoor running track, tennis courts, yoga, pilates and fitness classes.
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