For many, skiing is a hobby — a favorite activity or a weekend getaway. For others, it’s a way of life. It’s a reason for living.
Some ski resorts are famous for their quaint town shops, some their epic terrain, and some their deep, fluffy powder. Whatever your drug of choice, there are some epic places to ski in the United States. Here are the six best ski resorts in the U.S. to bomb powder stashes and ripping up the corduroy.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Famous for its “Champagne Powder,” Steamboat Ski Resort just outside of Steamboat Springs has plenty of skiing and other activities to enjoy. Get a free night of skiing the first day you arrive by showing your flight boarding pass. In the morning, check out the famous runs Closet and Shadows when the powder is flowing.
If you ever get bored of the 2,964 acres of skiing, you can check out the snowmobile tours and the two-person roller coaster. Just a few miles down the road, relax sore muscles in the Strawberry Park Hot Springs.
Consistently rated one of the top places in ski in the U.S., Telluride Ski Resort has it all; tons of snow, short lines, and massive terrain are just a few of the perks.
When you need a break from skiing, have a drink at the 12,000-foot-high Alpino Vino, the highest restaurant in North America. The view won’t disappoint seeing as you’re surrounded by the highest concentration of 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks on the continent. Wandering around in town is like going back in time to a Victorian mining town with only the essential modern conveniences like fast ski lifts. The nearest stoplight is 45 miles away.
Since the invention of snowboards, skiers and snowboarders have fought over which is better. Most resorts allow both, but if you’re looking for somewhere to ski in peace, check out Alta Ski Area in Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City.
One of the oldest ski areas in the country, the first lift was started in 1939. Amenities aren’t as numerous as other resorts but the number of options is growing, such as the slick-looking Snowpine Lodge. Shopping isn’t the focus when you go to Alta; skiing is. The resort has some of the most challenging in-bounds skiing in the country.
Carrabassett Valley, Maine
To give the eastern U.S. some love, we head over to Maine and Sugarloaf Mountain. With 1400 skiable acres and 200 inches of snowfall per year, Sugarloaf is the second-largest resort east of the Mississippi and offers the only lift-serviced, above-treeline skiing in the area. Get above the trees and ski the wide open snowfields for something different.
About 80 miles from Denver, the town of Breckenridge is home to one of the most popular ski resorts in the western hemisphere. The 2,908-acre resort with 34 lifts and 187 trails can lift 46,800 people per hour. Most of the beginner terrain is near the bottom with intermediate just above that.
The highest chairs like the Kensho and Imperial Express lead to black and double black diamond playgrounds. Hike a little bit further and you can ski from 13,000-foot peaks all the way to down. If the altitude gets to you, visit one of three oxygen rental shops in town.
If you’re looking for as much skiing as you can possibly do on one lift pass, check out Aspen. You get access to four mountains, each with their own personalities. Buttermilk is great for beginners. Beginners and intermediates will do well at Snowmass. Experts only need try Aspen Mountain and Highlands; Aspen Mountain doesn’t have a single green run.
After hitting the famous steep mogul runs, switch gears for shopping on the main street. The quaint, Victorian-style ski town houses Prada, Gucci and Ralph Lauren shops. Neither the shops or the lift passes are cheap, but what’s the price on the some of the best skiing in the country?