10 Best Ski Resorts in North America
For those who enjoy outdoor sports and spending time in nature, skiing through a beautiful trail between trees while breathing in the fresh mountain air is an unbeatable experience. Skiing is a popular activity among Americans, and during the 2021-2022 season, skiers and snowboarders set a record for visits to ski resorts nationwide, according to the National Ski Areas Association. Apart from being a fun activity, skiing is also an excellent workout that has numerous benefits for your physical health, mental well-being, and overall quality of life. And after a day of skiing, you can relax and enjoy some après-ski beverages in a comfortable lodge.
Choosing the right ski resort for your next vacation is crucial, regardless of your skill level. North America is home to some of the world’s most stunning ski resorts, from coast to coast. Famous ski areas in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Alberta attract skiers and snowboarders from all over the world. However, western ski destinations like Aspen, Colorado, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada, on the border between California and Nevada, attract the most skilled and experienced skiers. So, if you’re searching for the perfect ski destination, here’s a list of the finest ski resorts in North America.
Mt. Bachelor, Oregon
Mt. Bachelor is the sixth largest ski area in North America, spanning over 4,300 acres of ski slopes. Although the destination may lack some amenities, it is not as crowded as other ski areas. Skiers are attracted to Mt. Bachelor because of its excellent spring skiing and unique terrain that allows them to ski 360 degrees around the inactive volcano. Visitors to the area can find exceptional shopping and restaurants just 20 minutes away in the artistic city of Bend. Additionally, 11 direct flights from cities such as San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Seattle make it increasingly accessible.
Whitefish Mountain Resort, Montana
This resort in Montana is perfect for families and is known for its stunning views of the Flathead Valley from all angles. The resort covers nearly 3,000 acres and is open throughout the year. Visitors can enjoy the panoramic view from the summit, go shopping on Central Avenue, or relax at the base lodge. According to Ski Magazine, Whitefish Mountain Resort is one of the top resorts in the West.
The resort offers groomed trails that cater to experienced skiers as well as visitors of all skill levels. The resort is conveniently located only a 30-minute drive from Glacier Park International Airport (FCA/GPI), and the S.N.O.W. Bus stops for free between the resort and downtown Whitefish.
Aspen Snowmass has four mountains, and the largest one has an elevation drop of 4,406 feet, making it a popular choice for families due to its varied terrain. The Snowmass Base Village has been transformed into a social hub, featuring an ice skating rink and some excellent restaurants. Additionally, guests can enjoy an on-mountain dining experience that rivals those found in Europe.
Vail boasts of 5,317 acres of skiable terrain, out of which 3,000 acres are spread across the mountain’s seven renowned Back Bowls. These Bowls offer vast snow fields with mainly intermediate-to-advanced and ungroomed terrain. You can also visit Belle’s Camp located in Vail’s Blue Sky Basin. There, you can enjoy your lunch break at outdoor picnic tables while taking in the panoramic views of Mount Holy Cross, one of Colorado’s highest peaks.
Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley is widely regarded as the birthplace of destination skiing. Skiers and riders can enjoy over 2,400 acres of various terrains that offer something unique on two separate mountains. Bald Mountain is renowned for its diverse terrain and the absence of lift lines, making it one of the world’s best ski mountains. The skiing experience at Bald Mountain is further enhanced by themed Adventure Trails that span 30 acres of glade terrain, suitable for all skill levels, and perfect for kids. On the other hand, Dollar Mountain is ideal for families with kids looking to gain confidence on the slopes. It offers beginner-friendly terrains and features the Wundercarpet, an easy uphill transporter that is perfect for the young ones. Sun Valley is now more accessible than ever, with six nonstop flights from six different locations, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago.
Mount Tremblant rises 2,116 feet northwest of Montreal, right in the Laurentian Mountains. This beautiful location in French-speaking Quebec offers what is needed to enjoy a European-inspired ski resort. After skiing, visitors can visit the beautiful pedestrian village with boutiques at the foot of the mountain and ski events such as the Tremblant 24 Hours and the Tremblant World Cup. Also, Le Shack is a must-see when traveling to this destination for an après ski adventure, with a terrace with fireplaces and views of Place St. Bernard and the ski slopes.
Breckenridge, also known as Breck, is an ideal destination for those who enjoy skiing and snowboarding. You can literally ski in and out of the town. Here you may experience a blend of big-mountain scenery with the retro-cool vibe of a ski town. With a season that extends into May, Breck is known for its dependably good snow conditions throughout the spring. The resort’s Five Peaks and other top-notch lift-accessible high-alpine terrain, including North America’s tallest chairlift, include approximately 3,000 skiable acres on-mountain.
Marmot Basin, Alberta
Marmot Basin offers whatever your style of skiing or riding, from tree runs in the lower mountain area to high alpine open bowls and chutes in the upper area, plus two terrain parks. Set at 5,570 feet within Jasper National Park, this destination has the highest base elevation of any major Canadian ski area. To refuel with poutine or cozy up by the fire after a day in the mountain, The Caribou Chaletin is the perfect place located at the base in Marmot Basin.
Palisades Tahoe, California
Palisades Tahoe is known as the spring ski capital of the U.S,, with corn snow well into July in good years. Olympic Valley and Alpine Meadows are the two sprawling ski areas that span 6,000 acres in the area and are connected by a 15-minute shuttle. The steeply sloping vertical terrain on the Olympic Valley side is the playground of the most demanding pros, while Alpine Meadows is known for its crowd-free, walk-to-the-back bowls and top-to-bottom groomers.
Deer Valley, Utah
Only three U.S. resorts are designated as “ski-only,” catering to families who love skiing and are prepared to pay premium cash for the privilege. Deer Valley is one of those destinations. With a distance of less than 40 miles, Park City is easily accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport. Significant investments are being made to guarantee that the experience will continue to improve. One hundred ten new ski routes, nine more chairlifts, and 2,900 additional acres of skiable terrain will be added to the mountain by the winter of 2025–26 as part of the Expanded Excellence project. Moreover, the resort’s culinary offerings are on par with its first-rate skiing.