6 Best Places to Ski in the US

 

Skiing. Officially, it’s a sport, but on more profound terms, it’s a way of life. Because of this, everyone who skis has an opinion about their favorite ski slopes, towns and resorts, which means that “the best” place to ski can be pretty subjective. Some are loved for their abundance and quality of snow, while others are adored for the challenge or finesse their slopes provide. Some are sought out because they’re located in cool towns and others are resorts you wish you could never leave. There are places that are better for big groups, while others meant for die hard aficionados, while still more are where beginners should, well, begin—at the bunny hill. So best of ski lists can be slushy messes, full of biffs, butt- and face-plants, hinges and sitzmarks, but here, we do our best to find the all-around six best places to ski in the US that do it all.

1) Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Teton Village, just outside of Jackson Hole is having its moment, which means it just shed its sleepy-mountain town persona and arrived at being an all around heaven for skiers. First, it’s easy to get to with over 12 non stop flights from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, and Dallas. Snow fall is plentiful and is among the best powder for skiing in the country, temperatures hover around a perfect 30 degrees and lines at the lifts are rarely more than a few minutes. True, there’s more expert slopes here than beginner and intermediate combined, but then again, the views are magnificent and Jackson Hole is teaming with savory food options like at Cascade Grill (right at the base of the mountain) that don’t bore.

Stay: Teton Lodge

2) Snowbird, Utah

You’d think that its location, a 40 minute drive outside of Salt Lake City, would make this place an overcrowded mess but the resort has been set up perfectly to handle masses of skiers. Which means this place is a hell of a lot of fun. Especially at Cliff Lodge, a handsomely appointed establishment with self-serve ski lockers that come with air tubes that dry your boots, hats and gloves overnight. And of course a spa for your girlfriend if she isn’t a skier or you get achy muscles after a day on the slopes. Snowbird also has an acclaimed ski school that offers different classes for kids and adults. Over 500 inches of snow fall every ear and often powder cover is at a perfect 6 inches.

Stay: Cliff Lodge

3) Squaw Valley, California

Diversity is the word at this Lake Tahoe resort. Legends like Shane McConkey and Jonny Moseley were based out of here, so yes, the slopes are top of the line, but it’s also ripe with lesser hills perfect for first timers. Snow is plentiful at over 500 inches a year, but be sure to check because those totals aren’t evenly distributed. Which is cool because on no-ski days, you’re in Lake Tahoe, possibly one of the coolest towns in America. Need we say more?

Stay: Squaw Valley Lodging

4) Wolf Creek, Colorado

Wolf Creek has the distinction of receiving the most snowfall in the state of Colorado, which you’d think would’ve put it on the big map a long time ago, but alas, it’s hundreds of miles from any non-local airport and thus, a local fave. Well, hell. Since the rest of Colorado has been overdone, maybe it’s high time to see what all the fuss is about. Slopes are evenly distributed among beginner, intermediate, advanced and expert and prices are still on a very local level, so there’s your excuse to rent a car from Denver International (244 miles), Albuquerque International (212 miles) or Colorado Springs Airport (192 miles) or blow the savings on flying in a small plane, into the local Durango/La Plata airport, still 80 miles away.

Stay: Wolf Creek Lodge

5) Alyeska, Alaska

Not just fun to say (Ali-aska, Alaska), this place is a serious snow town, located just 40 minutes up the road from Anchorage, by way of the Seward Highway (one of the most scenic in America) and is the only true ski resort in the great state up north. As it should be with a whopping 650 inches of snowfall per year. It skews experienced, with some wide open bowls and steep and deep runs (North Face has our continents longest continuous double black run), but there’s space for freestylers at terrain park and a scenic tree-lined run for those of you who prefer the bunny slope. When not skiing, check out Girdwood, originally called Glacier City, which will make sweet, passionate love to your camera.

Stay: Hotel Alyeska

6) Stowe, Vermont

Some East Coast love because we can’t all just hop on a plane with our skis. And fine, maybe it’s not 10,000 feet in the air and surrounded by glacial peaks, but Stowe is still one of the most picturesque ski resorts with its traditional New England charm. Besides, it has the biggest vertical drop in the northeast and is surrounded by over 90 shops and 60 restaurants to keep everyone busy.

stay: Stowe Mountain Lodge