Top 10 Places to Ski in the United States

Skiing as a recreational activity is hugely popular in the United States, and many facilities have earned a reputation as one of the world's best. Read on, to know more about such American skiing hotspots.
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Places to ski in the United States
Did You Know?
The Nansen Ski Club in Berlin, New Hampshire, is the oldest continually operating ski club in the U.S., since 1872.
Skiing is an immensely popular pastime and profitable business venture in America. Fittingly, it is home to some of the most famous and most magnificent skiing facilities in the world. These are obviously centered around the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada range.

While Europe, particularly the European Alps, is considered the best skiing destination in the world, here are some American wonders that rival their European counterparts for their scenic glory and fantastic skiing facilities.

The skiing seasons on these resorts generally run from late November to early June. All of these have ski resorts that are used for accommodation. Budget accommodations can be sought in nearby towns, but due to the proximity, living in the resorts or lodges is recommended.

Best American Skiing Destinations


These are just 10 of the many excellent ski resorts in the USA. In a nation blessed with the natural conditions required for skiing and filled with skiing enthusiasts, this is hardly a surprise. Take a look...

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

jackson hole

With the fantastic facilities now available at Jackson Hole, it is a surprise that not that long ago, it was nothing more than sleepy backcountry! Its natural snowfall patterns are and always have been perfect for skiing, but its potential wasn't realized for many years. Once it received the necessary infrastructure, though, it quickly became a favorite for all sorts of skiers with the lower slopes serving beginner-level enthusiasts, and the higher regions, including the Corbet's Couloir, being a well-trained skier's dream. Forbes has listed this as the top ski resort in the USA to visit in 2014, lauding its excellent modernization. When the ski season, running from December to April, runs out, the mountains become an inviting location for hikers and mountain bikers through summer and fall.

Jackson Hole Airport, located 7 miles north of Jackson, serves this ski resort.


Alta-Snowbird, Utah

alta-snowbird

It is perhaps to disservice to other contenders on this list to list these two resorts in conjunction. With each of them being excellent in isolation, linking up these two Little Cottonwood Canyon ski resorts has paid dividends in the form of one of the very best ski resorts in the world, let alone America. The Alta-Snowbird complex has a uniform snowfall pattern, ideal for skiing. In fact, its pattern is probably the best of the ones observed in America. Being just a short flight away from Chicago, it is one of the most well-connected and naturally endowed ski resorts in the United States.


Aspen, Colorado

aspen

This famed mountain resort in Colorado is every bit as good as the hype suggests. It is a sophisticated, urban environment, and thus, promises the best facilities for accommodation and the most fascinating recreational avenues apart from skiing. This enchanting winter wonderland lies in proximity to four excellent ski resorts that cater to enthusiasts of every description.


Lake Tahoe, California and Nevada

lake tahoe

America's largest alpine lake is, fittingly, one of its best sites for skiing. The lake itself is a popular tourist attraction, drawing thousands of tourists every weekend, and offers activities such as hot air balloon rides and scenic cruises through the lake. It's the surrounding ski area, though, that warrants its place on this list. Resorts such as Squaw Valley are popular all over America, and with 8 peaks and more than 8,000 acres to consider, who can decline the appeal? While Squaw Valley is favored by seasoned skiers, the Alpine Meadows are ideal for amateurs, and offer the perfect backcountry routes. One drawback that can't be neglected is the frequency of droughts, but if you catch it on a dry day, the lake itself is worth a day out. It can be easily reached from Carson and Reno in Nevada, and Sacramento.


Alyeska, Alaska

alyeska

The beguiling wilderness of Alaska is not just for naturalists and campers―it is also the perfect roost for passionate skiers. Getting to Alaska may be a bit of a bother, so going to Alaska just to ski here may not be worth it, but this resort is worth being included in any Alaskan travel itinerary. It can be reached easily from Anchorage. Being situated in the Arctic, it receives more than 600 inches of snow, and its partnership with Chugach Powder Guides means that visitors can enjoy up to 20,000 feet of vertical in one day.


Vail, Colorado

vail

When a ski resort is likened to Posh Spice, it sort of tells its own story. Not so long ago, Aspen was practically the only resort recommended for skiers in Colorado. Vail's rise has gradually but steadily changed that, and how! Lying quite close and accessible through Aspen, it is now one of the most versatile and most sophisticated ski resorts in America. It is owned by Vail Resorts, a company that also owns numerous other ski resorts in the US. Buying their Epic Pass (which costs USD 729, according to Forbes) gives you to access to all of those, and lets you "ski as much as you want, whenever you want'.


Mammoth Mountain, California

mammoth mountain

The main USP of the ski complex at Mammoth Mountain is the longer winter, which enables it to extend the skiing season well past the due date of most other ski resorts. It has a huge variety in its terrain, which allows skiers of all skill levels to enjoy it. Like Tahoe, it can be reached easily from Sacramento or Reno, and like Tahoe, the risk of droughts is one that can't be ignored.


Telluride, Colorado

telluride

Another of Colorado's gems, Telluride came into its own in the 1980s, after facing opposition to the skiing industry and suffering from a sapping snow drought in the late 70s. Its initial fame as a skiing haven was built, ironically, on it being Colorado's 'best-kept secret'. Apart from skiing, it is also popular for mountain bikers, whitewater rafters, and hikers. It can be reached via the State Highways 62 and 145 from Denver or Montrose.


Solitude, Utah

solitude

Situated near the aforementioned Alta-Snowbird complex, Solitude is completely unlike its popular, glitzy neighbor. Solitude is famed as a 'for-the-whole-family' ski resort, with most of its runs being easy to moderate to navigate.


Grand Targhee, Wyoming

grand targhee

The Grand Targhee resort usually gets even more snow than its more illustrious neighbor, Jackson Hole. However, Targhee's design has a flaw that has hamstrung its potential as a monumentally popular skiing resort. It has stunning terrain and a large amount of vertical, but it is encountered sporadically. If it had been one long strip of heavenly snow, Grand Targhee may even have outstripped Jackson Hole for popularity. The perks of being thus flawed is that it is usually quiet, and perfect for a little runaround for powder skiers. It is accessible by road from Driggs, ID.

These were the 10 best skiing resorts in the U.S. If you are willing to expand your itinerary a bit, neighboring Canada is littered with fantastic ski slopes, with Whistler Blackcomb being considered one of the best ski resorts in the world.
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Published: February 24, 2014
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