Epic slopes and snowy splendor: The most popular ski resorts in the US

Thinking of the winter holidays and what to do this time? Embrace the extraordinary this winter with a remarkable ski adventure at America’s top-rated ski resorts. Visualize yourself gliding down the icy slopes, carving fresh tracks through powdery snow, and breathing in the fresh mountain air. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or first-time adventurer, there’s a ski resort perfectly suited to your experience level. Greet this winter as the season to conquer new peaks, immerse yourself in awe-inspiring scenery, and forge lasting memories that will resonate for years.

The United States is famous for its incredible ski resorts scattered across the country’s diverse landscapes, each offering its own unique charm, terrain, and unforgettable experiences. From the majestic summits of the Rocky Mountains to the picturesque villages of New England, a ski resort perfectly tailored to cater to every preference and skill level exists. Whether you’re an adrenaline-seeking skier or a leisurely snow enthusiast, these destinations offer unforgettable experiences on the slopes and beyond.

With exceptional lift systems, reliable annual snowfalls, and state-of-the-art facilities, it’s hard to resist the allure of hitting the slopes in the United States. Household names like Vail Ski Resort, Aspen, Snowbird, and Deer Valley dominate the skiing industry, reflecting the colossal profiles of these mega-resorts. Way.com compiled this list to help you learn more about some of the most popular and renowned ski resorts in the country.

Ski resorts in the USA are spread across various states, and among the top destinations are Colorado, Nevada, and Utah. Colorado stands out, with 27 resorts in the Rocky Mountains. Notable Colorado ski destinations are Breckenridge, Aspen, Telluride, and Vail, alongside family-friendly resorts such as Keystone and Winter Park.

Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

Alpine Ski Resort is in the captivating town of Breckenridge, Colorado. The Breckenridge Ski Resort beckons with a rich history and timeless charm and is known for its overall terrain. The Victorian-era ambiance compliments the diverse ski terrain at this classic winter destination. With five distinct peaks, each boasting a unique character, the resort welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all levels to discover their perfect slice of mountain paradise.

The peak season at Breckenridge Ski Resort is from December to March, but the resort is open from mid-November to early May.

Nearest Airports

  • Denver International Airport (DEN): 104 miles (1 hour, 45 minutes)
  • Eagle/Vail Regional Airport: Located in Gypsum, about 63 miles (1 hour and 15 minutes)
  • Colorado Springs Municipal Airport: is about 115 miles (2 hours and 15 minutes).

How to Reach

Shuttle service and National car rental agencies are available at the airports.

Where to Stay?

  • Gravity Haus
  • Crystal Peak Lodge
  • Mountain Thunder Lodge.

Nearest Towns

  • Frisco: 9.6 miles (16 minutes)
  • Keystone: 17.0 miles (34 minutes)
  • Copper Mountain: 17.9 miles (29 minutes)
  • Denver downtown: 86 miles (1 hr 26 minutes).

Parking and Transportation

Breck boasts a pedestrian-friendly downtown with ample parking lots and free transportation options. Epic Mountain Express shuttles smoothly connect the airport to your destination. Walkable distances to the ski area and Main Street and the complimentary Breck FreeRide bus system make navigation a breeze. The BreckConnect Gondola and ski-to-town (bike in summer) trails effortlessly unite the mountain and downtown areas.

Note: If driving down, check GoI70.com for tips and conditions, but once in town, use free transportation to ease traffic and contribute to a greener environment.

Winter in Breckenridge

  • Country Boy Mine
  • Dog Sledding
  • Gondola Rides
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Skiing
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Sledding
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Christmas lights on trees in Breckenridge.

Summer in Breckenridge

  • Art Fairs
  • Bike Trails
  • Concerts
  • Festivals
  • Fly Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Local Farmers Markets
  • Mountain Biking
  • Rafting
  • SUP Yoga
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Fall festivals like Oktoberfest, Wine Classic, and the Craft Spirits Festival.

For details, visit the official website of Breckenridge Ski Resort

You may also like: 5 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado near Denver

Denise Truscello/WireImage via Getty Images
Denise Truscello/WireImage via Getty Images Denise Truscello/WireImage via Getty Images

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

This four-season mountain resort is in the picturesque town of Park City, Utah. Park City Mountain Resort connects with Canyons Resort, collectively forming the largest ski resort in the United States. Beyond its cinematic allure, Park City offers a mix of meticulously groomed runs and challenging terrain, creating a paradise for skiers and snowboarders. From gentle beginner slopes to expert terrain parks, the resort provides an expansive playground for all levels of winter enthusiasts.

Nearest Airports

  • Salt Lake International Airport: 37.4 miles (47 minutes)
  • Heber Valley Airport: 19.3 miles (32 minutes)
  • South Valley Regional Airport: 39.4 miles (50 minutes).

How to Reach

Bus, Taxi, or Car.

Driving Directions

Directions to Park City Mountain Village

1345 Lowell Ave., Park City, UT 84060:

Drive on UT-224 from I-80 toward Park City. Turn right onto Empire Avenue after 6 miles and follow signs directing entry to your destination.

Directions to Canyons Village

4000 Canyons Resort Dr, Park City, UT 84098:

Drive on UT-224 from I-80 toward Park City. Take right onto Canyons Resort Drive after 3 miles and follow the signs to your destination.

Follow UDOT for highway and pass-related information and condition reports.

Where to Stay?

  • Apex Park City Residences at Canyons Village
  • Grand Summit Hotel, RockResort
  • Lift Park City.

Nearest Towns

  • Canyons Village is the first base area for visitors to Park City, which is 4.7 miles (9 minutes)
  • Kamas: 15.7 miles (20 minutes)
  • Oakley: 16.6 miles (23 minutes)
  • Heber City: 17.7 miles (23 minutes)
  • Marion: 18.1 miles (23 minutes)
  • Midway: 18.2 mi (26 minutes).

Winter in Park City Mountain Resort

  • Flying Eagle Zipline
  • Learn to Ski
  • Learn to Snowboard
  • Mountain Coaster
  • Private Mountain Guide
  • Shopping
  • Ski to Historic Main Street
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowmobile Tours
  • The Viking Yurt
  • Winter Scenic Gondola Ride.

Summer in Park City Mountain Resort

  • Alpine Slide
  • Gem Panning
  • Legacy Launcher
  • Mini Golf
  • Mountain Biking
  • Mountain Coaster
  • Scenic Lift Rides
  • ZipRider

For details, visit the official website of the Park City Mountain Resort, Utah.

Phil Schermeister/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images
Phil Schermeister/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images Phil Schermeister/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Palisades Tahoe

Located at 1960 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley, CA 96146, Palisades Tahoe (formerly known as Squaw Valley) in the western United States takes the lead in our rankings with the highest number of lift pods, offering renowned steeps and terrain variety. However, it’s essential to note that the overall experience can be bustling with crowds and traffic.

Nearest Airport

  • Reno Tahoe International Airport (RNO): 48.4 miles (55 minutes)
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport (TRK): Private Airport, 11 miles (20minutes).

Driving Directions:

Turn left on Highway 89, heading northwest. At the West River Rd. traffic light, turn right. Take the first left onto McIver Crossing. Take the first exit of the roundabout. You can’t miss downtown Truckee!

Transportation

Amtrak Train, Shuttles, Regional Bus, Bay Area Bus, Bay Area Ski Bus, and Tahoe Convoy (Weekend luxury shuttle).

Parking

Both free and paid reservations are available, but you must reserve your spot in advance.

Nearby Towns

  • Truckee: 11.3 miles (15 minutes)
  • Reno: 43.4 miles (48 minutes)
  • Incline Village: 22.0 mi (36 minutes).

Where to Stay?

  • The Village at Palisades Tahoe Lodging
  • Olympic Village
  • Everline Resort and Spa.

Winter in Palisades Tahoe

  • Sunset Happy Hours
  • Mountain Guides
  • Snow Tubing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Alpenglow Expeditions
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Scenic Gondola Ride
  • AIARE 1: AVALANCHE COURSE
  • NASCAR Races
  • Snowshoe Tour & Chalet
  • Snowshoe Tour Under the Stars
  • Palisades Yoga Studio.

Summer in Palisades Tahoe

  • Guided Hike with Picnic
  • Lake Tahoe Ropes Course
  • Roller Skating at High Camp
  • Tahoe Via Ferrata
  • Hiking & Walking at Palisades Tahoe
  • Palisades Tahoe Hiking Trails.

Water Activities in Lake Tahoe

  • Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP)
  • Kayak
  • Rafting and Floating the Truckee River
  • Boating and Water sports
  • Explore Tahoe’s Many Beaches
  • Docks on Donner Lake

For more details, visit the official website of Palisades Tahoe.

AMBER BAESLER for The Washington Post via Getty Images
AMBER BAESLER for The Washington Post via Getty Images AMBER BAESLER for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson, Wyoming, has gained acclaim for its legendary expert terrain, notably the challenging Corbet’s Couloir and the steep Teton Pass. The resort offers breathtaking views of the Teton Range of the spectacular Rocky Mountains in Teton County, enhancing the exhilarating experience. Perfect for those craving an adrenaline rush, Jackson Hole is renowned for its challenging and steep slopes, making it a haven for expert skiers. The awe-inspiring views of the Tetons further elevate the overall experience.

Nearest Airport

Jackson Hole Airport: 21.6 miles (30 minutes).

How to Reach

Jackson Hole Airport has several public transportation options to and from the village, such as taxis, cars, and shuttle services.

Parking in Jackson Hole

Parking at Jackson Hole is on a first-come, first-served basis, and you can park at Stilson Lot, Cody Lot, Village Lot, Crystal Springs, and Ranch Lot.

Nearby Towns

Driggs, Idaho: 34.0 miles (42 minutes)

Victor, Idaho: 25.7 miles (33 minutes)

Dubois, Wyoming: 97.9 miles (1 hour, 58 minutes).

Where to Stay?

  • Caldera House
  • Jackson Hole Vacation Rentals
  • Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa
  • Four Seasons Resort and Residences, Jackson Hole.

Winter in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

  • Snowmobile
  • Backcountry Skiing
  • Dog sledding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Snowboarding
  • Backcountry skiing
  • Wildlife tours
  • Ice skating
  • Shopping and dining
  • Relaxing in hot springs

Summer in Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

  • Mountain biking
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Paragliding
  • Fly fishing
  • Horseback riding
  • Float the Snake River
  • Hiking

Other activities

  • Teton Village activities
  • Hot springs
  • Paddling.

For details, visit the official website of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Big Sky Resort, Montana

Big Sky, in Gallatin and Madison counties in southwestern Montana, is the second-largest ski resort in the U.S. Big Sky Resort offers expansive, uncrowded slopes, creating an ideal setting for a tranquil and exhilarating winter retreat. Regarded as one of North America’s most challenging ski resorts, Big Sky doesn’t disappoint with a diverse terrain catering to all abilities. Big Sky Resort in Montana is a winter haven for skiing enthusiasts, boasting exceptional steep grooming and abundant natural snowfall.

Nearest Airports

  • Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport: 51.5 miles (1 hour, 5 minutes)
  • Monger Airport: 55.9 miles (1 hour, 9 minutes)
  • Three Forks Airport 9S5: 71.3 miles (1 hour, 22 minutes)
  • Mission Field Airport: 83.5 miles (1 hour, 43 minutes)
  • Helena Regional Airport: 137 miles (2 hours, 23 minutes).

Note: Reserving transportation or rental cars well in advance would be a good idea. Ridesharing and Uber services are not available.

Driving Directions

  • Big Sky Resort is accessible off of Montana Highway 191.
  • Provides a direct link to Bozeman and I-90 in the north.
  • The resort is conveniently connected to West Yellowstone and I-15 in the south.

Getting Around

Rental Cars and other local transportation like Skyline Bus service (rides are free between the slopes and Town Center) or download the Go Gallatin App for carpool.

Parking

Finding a parking spot is easy at Big Sky Resort, and most lots are free. Big Sky Resort also offers free parking and shuttles to the lifts. The shuttles offer pickup and drop-off at the lot from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Nearest Towns

  • Town Center, MT: 6.1 miles (10 minutes)
  • Big Sky Meadow Village: 7.4 miles (12 minutes)
  • Gallatin Gateway, MT: 37.1 miles (44 minutes)
  • Bozeman, MT: 50.0 miles (1 hour, 2 minutes)
  • West Yellowstone, MT: 56.7 miles (1 hour, 5 minutes).

Where to Stay?

  • The Summit Hotel
  • Huntley Lodge
  • Village Center
  • Shoshone Condominium Hotel
  • Whitewater Inn.

Winter in Big Sky Resort

  • Headlamp Night Skiing
  • Nordic Skiing
  • Enchanted Forest
  • Snowshoe Tours
  • SNO-GO Biking
  • Dog Sledding
  • Horseback Riding
  • Fly Fishing
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowmobile Tours
  • Snowcoach Tours

Summer in Big Sky Resort

  • Adventure Mountain
  • Archery
  • Disc Golf
  • Fly Fishing
  • Golf
  • Guided Hikes
  • Horseback Riding
  • Lake Levinski Marina
  • Mountain Biking
  • Outdoor Escape Room
  • Rock Climbing
  • Scenic Lift Rides
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Zipline Tours

For details, visit the official page of Big Sky Resort, Montana.

Although most US ski resorts are in the western states, there’s a significant presence of ski destinations in the eastern United States, including Killington, Sugarbush Resort, and Sugarloaf. The eastern ski resorts offer inferior snow conditions and are not typically visited by international powder hounds. However, they remain immensely popular among local skiers.

To Sum It Up

Whether you’re a seasoned ski prowess or a first-timer on the slopes, these ski resorts will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. So, get ready for the cold, gear up, and embark on a quest to explore the enchantment offered by these ski resorts. Experience a winter wonderland, Experience unmatched beauty!

This story was produced by Way.com and reviewed and distributed by Stacker Media.

© Stacker Media, LLC.

This story was originally published December 12, 2023, 9:30 AM.

source: star-telegram

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