Skiing is a favorite pastime of many Americans who live in the country’s mountainous states, and for good reason. From Squaw Valley Resort in California to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Wyoming, the US is home to some of the very best ski resorts in the world. Enjoy an unforgettable vacation this winter by hitting the famous slopes around Salt Lake City or by heading into the Rocky Mountains around Denver. Based on factors like popularity, terrain, trails, and snowfall, here are the best US ski resorts to visit for your next winter holiday.
1. Squaw Valley Resort, California
Squaw Valley Resort in the Sierra Mountains of California is easily the most popular resort in the Lake Tahoe area and one of the very best resorts along the west coast. The site of the 1960 Winter Olympics, it retains a vibrant ski culture and enjoys a long season that usually extends well into the spring. In fact, the resort is often called the Spring Skiing Capital of the States. With an average annual snowfall of 450 inches, there is always snow on the slopes. When it isn’t snowing, the days are typically sunny and clear, which makes for excellent views of the lake.
There is something for skiers of all skill levels at Squaw Valley Resort. While the resort is known for its steep and extreme expert terrain, it offers a good mix of beginner and intermediate terrain as well. You’ll find 3,600 skiable acres, 16 bowls, and over 170 trails, all served by a total of 29 lifts. The resort has long been a magnet for adrenaline junkies, and even the most expert skiers will be able to test themselves on the challenging terrain. Beginners can head to some of the more forgiving areas to hone their skills.
Daily lift ticket rates at Squaw Valley Resort range from $74 to $179. If you plan on skiing for multiple days, then you can save money with a Tahoe Super 4 Pack. Once you have used all four days, you can continue to add additional days for a special low rate.
The Squaw Valley Resort address is 1960 Squaw Valley Rd, Olympic Valley, CA 96146.
Check In to Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Dinuba West, Step Out to Squaw Valley Resort
2. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is a world-famous ski resort located above Teton Village in Wyoming’s Teton Range. It offers just about everything you could be looking for in a ski resort, including high snowfall, a fantastic lift network, varied terrain, and easy backcountry access. Due to its popularity, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort can get a bit crowded, but you will rarely have to wait in line. Visitors can choose to stay in Teton Village for easy ski-in/ski-out access or in the larger town of Jackson, which is just 12 miles away and offers more shopping and dining options.
The 2,500 skiable acres at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort include 133 named trails. Half of these trails are rated for expert skiers, 40% for intermediate, and 10% for beginners. The extreme terrain, trees, steeps, bowls, groomers, chutes, and couloirs make this a veritable paradise for expert skiers. The resort also boasts the longest continuous vertical rise in the entire US, at 4,139 feet. Trail access is provided by 13 different lifts, including a 100-person aerial tram known as Big Red. An average of 450 inches of snow falls on the slopes every year.
The minimum price for a daily lift ticket at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is $153 if you buy online ahead of time, and the maximum daily lift ticket price is $170 at the window. Enjoy greater discounts the more days you purchase.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is located just a 30-minute drive from Jackson Hole Airport, the only commercial airport that lies inside of a National Park. The airport is serviced by United Airlines, Delta Airlines, and American Airlines.
The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort address is 3395 Cody Ln, Teton Village, WY 83025.
Check In to Snake River Lodge & Spa, Step Out to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
3. Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah
Located in the popular resort town of Sundance, the charming Sundance Mountain Resort makes an idyllic getaway from the city. It was established by actor Robert Redford, who designed the resort to attract Hollywood stars. The village features rustic yet elegant architecture for a cozy home away from home. Sundance Mountain Resort is on the smaller side as far as ski resorts go, but the trade-off is a lower lift ticket price and fewer crowds. It is consistently rated as one of the very best ski resorts in the US and is definitely one of Utah’s best-kept secrets.
Sundance Mountain Resort may only cover 450 acres of skiable area, but it offers a total of 45 trails and 2,150 vertical feet. The trails are served by five lifts, which is more than plenty for the smaller resort. About 300 inches of Utah’s spectacular snow falls annually on the slopes, ensuring fresh powder for your winter vacation. The quality of the terrain is simply superb, with plenty of steep and open runs that provide stunning views of the surrounding scenery.
A full-day lift pass for Sundance Mountain Resort costs only $90, and you can get a discounted ticket by purchasing more than 24 hours in advance. Discounted tickets are also available for half-day, twilight, afternoon, and night-only passes.
Sundance Mountain Resort is located only an hour away from Salt Lake City via I-80, I-215, and I-15. The drive in will take you through the beautiful Provo Canyon.
The Sundance Mountain Resort address is 8841 N. Alpine Loop Road, Sundance, Utah 84604.
Check In to Arrowhead Cabin, Step Out to Sundance
4. Alta Ski Area, Utah
Perched above the town of Alta in Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon, Alta Ski Area is a skier’s paradise. It receives an average annual snowfall of 550 inches and is known worldwide for its powder skiing. This is also one of the few ski areas in the US that does not allow snowboarding. Another unique throwback is the lift system, which includes two fixed double chairlifts in addition to four newer high-speed lifts. The copious snowfall and the focus on skiing make this an irresistible spot for skiers of all ages and skill levels.
The terrain at Alta Ski Area is truly world-class. There are 2,614 skiable acres and over 116 runs. More than half of these runs are classed as advanced trails, while 30% are considered intermediate, and 15% are for beginners. It is an ideal place to come and learn and to progress in terrain difficulty as you improve. The expert trails feature tree runs, chutes, and incredible steeps for an unforgettable experience. There are plenty of different runs for every type of skier, each featuring beautiful scenery to enjoy on your way down.
The price of a daily lift ticket at Alta Ski Area ranges from $82 to $125. Multi-day tickets are also available, as are discounted afternoon and late afternoon tickets if you only want to hit the slopes for a few hours.
Alta Ski Area is located about 35 miles away from Salt Lake City. You’ll head east on I-80 and south on I-215, following signs for the resort.
The Alta Ski Area address is 10010 Little Cottonwood Canyon Rd, Alta, UT 84092.
Check In to The Snowpine Lodge, Step Out to Alta
5. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, Utah
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort in the unincorporated community of Snowbird is located directly to the west of Alta Ski Area. The two are only separated by a ridge, and you can purchase a lift pass that provides access to both resorts on the same day. Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is a fantastic ski area in its own right, also receiving more than 500 inches of snow annually. Fresh and light, some people call it the greatest snow on earth! You can trust the conditions here to be consistent, making it a safe bet for your winter vacation.
The rough and rugged terrain at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is rated mostly for advanced and expert skiers. Extreme skiers and freeriders come to test their skills on the bowls, steeps, cliffs, chutes, and tree runs. There is a good selection of intermediate runs and an area for beginners as well. In total, the resort features 140 trails and a lift system consisting of 14 chairlifts, a surface lift, an aerial tram, and a conveyor lift that transports skiers through a mountaintop tunnel.
Depending on the day, a minimum daily lift ticket at Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort costs $130, and a maximum daily lift ticket costs $145. You can, however, enjoy lower rates if you purchase online in advance. Half-day tickets are also available after 12:30 p.m.
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort is located slightly closer to Salt Lake City than Alta Ski Area. It is also reached by taking I-80 to I-215. After taking Exit 6, follow the signs for the resort.
The Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort address is 9385 S. Snowbird Center Dr., Snowbird, UT 84092-9000.
Check In to Cliff Lodge and Spa, Step Out to Snowbird
6. Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
Colorado is known for its large ski resorts, and Vail Ski Resort is the biggest of them all. In fact, it is one of the largest ski resorts in all of North America. The picture-perfect Vail town nestled underneath the mountain makes for a wonderful winter getaway, with plenty of dining and lodging to accommodate the crowds. Because it is so popular, Vail Ski Resort also has among the most expensive lift tickets, but many consider the price to be worth it. The area receives over 350 inches of snow every year, and a massive snowmaking effort ensures that you’re always covered.
Vail Ski Resort boasts a total skiable terrain area of more than 5,300 acres. This is larger than many ski areas that have been created through the merger of two or more resorts. Take your pick from the nearly 200 trails that are connected by 31 quick and efficient lifts. There is an excellent variety of terrain here, including blades and steeps on the back bowls and groomers along the front side. Just about half the runs are rated for advanced skiers, while beginner and intermediate skiers have a good selection of trails to choose from as well. The longest run at Vail Ski Resort is a whopping 4 miles.
The daily lift ticket cost for Vail Ski Resort goes for $169 to $209. If you are planning to ski for more than a day, you can save money by purchasing a multi-day ticket. A 14-day ticket offers savings of over $1,000.
Vail Ski Resort is located 100 miles from Denver via I-70, a route that offers stunning mountain views. The drive usually takes about two hours. If you’d prefer a shorter trip, you can also opt to fly into Eagle County Regional Airport, which is just 30 miles from the resort.
The Vail Ski Resort address is Vail, CO 81657.
Check In to Grand Hyatt Vail, Step Out to Vail
7. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
Steamboat Ski Resort encompasses the six peaks of an entire mountain range: Christie Peak, Pioneer Ridge, Thunderhead Peak, Storm Peak, Sunshine Peak, and Mount Werner. It overlooks the Yampa Valley and is situated just above the town of Steamboat Springs, the hometown of more Winter Olympians than anywhere else in the US. This should tell you something about the resort itself. Steamboat Ski Resort is considered to be a premier ski destination and is known for its famous “Champagne Powder” snow, so-called because it is dry, light, smooth, and pure joy to ski on.
There are nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain at Steamboat Ski Resort, as well as 165 named trails served by 18 lifts. The resort is known for having a great variety of terrain and a good diversity of trail difficulty. There is roughly the same amount of intermediate and advanced runs, as well as a great selection of trails for beginners. Skiers come here for some of the finest tree skiing in the country, and the best thing is that you’ll find tree runs not only for advanced but for intermediate and beginner skiers as well. The resort enjoys an average annual snowfall of 314 inches.
A daily lift ticket at Steamboat Ski Resort will cost you from $149 to $199 depending on the day and how far in advance you buy. The more days you purchase at a time, the more you will save. Ticket bundles are available up to 10 days for savings of over $200.
Steamboat Ski Resort is located about 150 miles away from Denver, which is a roughly three-hour drive down I-70, CO 9, and US 40. Alternatively, you can fly into the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, which is just 20 miles from the resort.
The Steamboat Ski Resort address is 2305 Mt Werner Cir, Steamboat Springs, CO 80487.
Check In to The Bristol By Magnuson Worldwide, Step Out to Steamboat Springs
8. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
Breckenridge Ski Resort in the town of Breckenridge regularly comes out on top as one of the most visited ski resorts in the entire Western Hemisphere. The resort and the town itself have a high-energy and fun-loving vibe that will have you feeling up for any adventure. After a day on the slopes, you can head to town for shopping, dining, and plenty of nightlife opportunities. An average annual snowfall of about 300 inches usually ensures fantastic conditions, and the season here often runs through Memorial Day.
Skiers come from all over the world to enjoy the 2,908 skiable acres and 187 trails at Breckenridge Ski Resort. The trails are spread out over five mountain peaks with a variety of different types of terrain, from rolling greens for beginners to high alpine bowls and chutes for the experts. Glades, groomers, and moguls add variety, and a total of 34 lifts will take you wherever you want to go. Over 40% of the terrain is classed as high alpine terrain, and the resort is home to the highest lift in all of North America – the Imperial Express Super Lift – which drops skiers off at an elevation of 12,480 feet.
A daily lift ticket at Breckenridge Ski Resort costs from $173 to $199. Multi-day tickets are also available and come at a discount. The best value is a 14-day ticket, which offers savings of over $800.
Breckenridge Ski Resort is located two hours away from Denver. Simply follow I-70 until exit 203 for Highway 9, which leads directly to the resort.
The Breckenridge Ski Resort address is 1599 Ski Hill Rd, Breckenridge, CO 80424.
Check In to Village at Breckenridge Resort, Step Out to Breckenridge
9. Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
One of Colorado’s newest ski resorts, Beaver Creek Resort is geared towards providing visitors with a more luxurious experience. The slopes are always perfectly groomed, and the base village of Beaver Creek offers many opportunities to pamper yourself. There are even slope-side ski valets and escalators that connect the town to the slopes! Beaver Creek Resort is about 10 minutes west of Vail Ski Resort and is often overshadowed by the larger ski area. This means that you’ll have to contend with fewer crowds and get to enjoy a more relaxing experience in an intimate and exclusive atmosphere.
Beaver Creek Resort receives an average annual snowfall of over 325 inches and offers over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain. Unlike many of the other resorts on this list, most of the 150 trails here are rated for intermediate skiers, though there are plenty of options for expert skiers as well. None of the terrain is above the tree line, and most of the runs meander their way down the mountain rather than plunge straight down. This provides fantastic opportunities to take in the beautiful surrounding scenery. A highly efficient network of 23 lifts will take you wherever you want to go.
A daily lift ticket at Beaver Creek Resort costs $169 when purchased online and $209 at the window. Enjoy substantial savings when purchasing multi-day tickets, up to over $1,200 for a 14-day ticket.
Like nearby Vail Ski Resort, Beaver Creek Resort is located two hours away from Denver on I-70. Another option is to fly into Eagle County Regional Airport, which is just 28 miles from the resort.
The Beaver Creek Resort address is 210 Beaver Creek Plaza, Beaver Creek, CO 81620.
Check In to The Pines Lodge, Step Out to Beaver Creek
10. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
Aspen is an iconic ski village that has long been a favorite of celebrities for its fantastic Aspen Mountain Ski Resort. Situated on the north side of Aspen Mountain, the resort has a history stretching back over seven decades. Numerous world cup races have been held here over the years, and three more resorts (Aspen Highlands Ski Resort, Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort, and Buttermilk Ski Resort) have sprung up around it. Aspen Mountain remains the most iconic and popular of the four.
Aspen Mountain Ski Resort may have a comparatively small footprint at just 637 acres of skiable area, but the sheer variety of terrain means that you’ll never run out of places to explore. A total of 76 runs serviced by eight different lifts offer a superb mix of intermediate and advanced terrain (there are no beginner runs at Aspen Mountain Ski Resort). Skiers can pitch themselves against all of the bumps, steeps, stashes, and glades that the resort has to offer. In terms of snowfall, the slopes receive an average of 300 inches a year.
A one-day lift ticket at Aspen Mountain Ski Resort costs from $149 to $184, depending on when in the season you arrive. You can save money by purchasing multi-day ticket packs and enjoy even greater savings by making your multi-day purchase online.
Aspen Mountain Ski Resort is located 220 miles west of Denver along I-70. Alternatively, you can fly into Eagle County Regional Airport, which is 70 miles from the resort, or into Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, which is only 3 miles away.
The Aspen Mountain Ski Resort address is 601 E Dean St, Aspen, CO 81611.
Check In to Molly Gibson Lodge, Step Out to Aspen
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