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These are the best ski resorts in North America, according to actual skiers

Take a trip to one of these amazing ski resorts

Skiers on Mountain Quail at Telluride Colorado
Telluride Ski Resort Mountain News

Research and planning are part of the fun of a ski trip. You can peruse options far and wide, from Vermont’s Green Mountains to California’s Sierra Nevada. Websites and marketing materials whet your appetite, with each photo looking better than the last—so many choices. 

But unless you’ve been there, how can you know what a resort is like? First-hand experience is the only way to find out. But coming in a close second are reviews from real skiers and snowboarders who’ve done the work for you. 

To that end, OnTheSnow released its Best Overall Ski Resort for 2024 — as rated by real skiers and riders — along with winners across several categories. So, which North American resort took top honors? Read on to find out.

How tabulates its ratings traces its origins to 1968 when Mountain News began offering snow reports on 900 radio stations. Over the years, the outlet established itself as a leading source of snow sports knowledge, and today owns the digital platform, striving to “Enable the Mountain Experience” via helpful content. It’s the world’s most visited snow sports website, offering snow reports for more than 2,000 resorts globally. 

For the 2024 Visitors’ Choice Awards, the platform considered reviews and ratings from users who, as a whole, take more than a million ski trips per season. Specific metrics included all-mountain terrain, après ski, and family activities. That’s real, authentic data, so you know before you go. Here are this year’s winners. 

Best Overall Ski Resort: Telluride Ski Resort

Mid-mountain at Telluride Ski Resort
Telluride Ski Resort Mountain News

Set in the far southwest corner of Colorado, among the San Juan Mountains, Telluride lets you get away from it all. From the resort’s varied terrain to its aprés ski offerings, users lauded the mountain for its all-around excellence.

Telluride’s 4,425 ft. vertical drop is the largest in the U.S., and its 2,000 acres of skiable terrain offer something for every ability level. Whether easy-going groomers, challenging chutes, or harrowing steeps, the mountain lets everyone get in on the fun.

Beyond that, a free public gondola links Telluride and Mountain Village for picturesque views and a quick trip to world-class food and après activities. It’s the perfect way to end a day on the hill. 

Best All Mountain Terrain: Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Skier's in Corbet's Couloir, Jackson Hole
Corbet’s Couloir at Jackson Hole CSNafzger via Shutterstock

It’s easy to see why this category went to Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, with its big-mountain playground few resorts can match. Inbounds, you can choose from 2,500 skiable acres across two mountains, Après Vous and Rendezvous, and access an additional 3,000 beyond the backcountry gates. 

A 4,139 ft. vertical drop brings long runs and demanding steeps, and a 458” average snowfall means plenty of powder to go around. While you’re there, check out Corbet’s Couloir or take a ride on the Aerial Tram. 

Best Ski Area for Beginners: Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

Skiers and snowboarder at Jiminy Peak
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort

Before you become a devoted snow sports enthusiast, you have to learn to ski or snowboard. Key to that is a welcoming mountain with plenty of easy-going runs to explore. In that case, Jiminy Peak delivers, with one-third of its terrain designated for beginners. 

Located in Massachusetts, Jiminy Peak is Southern New England’s largest ski resort. Not only that, but it produces its own electrical power via wind turbine — the only North American resort to do so. 

Best Terrain Park: Breckenridge

Snowboarder in terrain park at Breckenridge
Breckenridge Resort Breckenridge Resort

Terrain parks let you pop, slide, and spin to your heart’s content. It’s like a never-ending skate park with creative features to display your style. This year, Breckenridge tops the list, with three progression-focused parks for hour after hour of good times. 

Hiking the park can get tiring, and Breck’s new high-speed Five Superchair helps take a load off. Just take a lap, boost some airs, and hit some boxes, then ride the chair and do it all over again. 

Best Après Ski: Aspen Snowmass

Ajax Tavern in Aspen, Colorado
Ajax Tavern, Aspen, Colorado Aspen Snowmass

Though time on the hill is the focus of any mountain vacation, enjoying a nice meal is a good way to cap the day. Over curated recipes in intimate settings, it’s fun to relive the day’s high points. With its abundant, eclectic options, Aspen Snowmass takes this season’s award.

At the Ajax Tavern, try a Wagyu double cheeseburger and truffle fries while watching skiers through the window. Highlands Alehouse offers ski-in and ski-out convenience, with hand-tossed pizzas, flavorful sandwiches, and 16 beers on tap. 

Most Family-Friendly Ski Resort: Winter Park

Winter Park Colorado skiing
Winter Park Toasted Pictures via Shutterstock

Family ski vacations create memories to last a lifetime. But not just any resort will do. Besides time spent skiing and riding, creative activities allow bonding and play for an all-around great time. In that case, Winter Park comes out on top, with family-friendly options like the snowcat and s’mores tour, GlowNight snow tubing, and nature snowshoe tours. 

Best Small Ski Resort: Wolf Creek

Snowboarder jumping at Wolf Creek Ski Area
Wolf Creek Ski Area

When comparing ski resorts, there can be a focus on the biggest and best. Questions like who has the most acreage, the most vertical, or the most snowfall can dominate the conversation, leaving out perhaps the most important quality: the experience. Wolf Creek, nestled in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, won users over with its intimate feel, lack of lift lines, reasonable pricing, and ample snow.

Still, the resort has solid stats, with abundant powder (430 inches annual average), 42 miles of trails, 133 named runs, and 1,600 skiable acres. Powerful storms grace the resort with regularity, making it a secret spot for powder hounds. Many resorts might be larger or higher, but Wolf Creek lets you get in touch with your snow sports soul.

These North American resorts have something for everyone

Powder day at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

According to the National Ski Areas Association, as of winter 22/23, there were 480 active resorts in North America. That’s a lot to choose from. When you’re trying to pick a destination, it isn’t easy knowing which suits you (and your family) best. But with the 2024 Visitors’ Choice Awards, you have relevant info at your fingertips, helping you pick the right one. So, peruse the awards, choose a resort, and get ready for winter fun.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Reif
Mark Reif is a writer from Stowe, Vermont. During the winter, he works as a snowboard coach and rides more than 100 days. The…
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